Global Health Centre
29 May 2019

Primary Health Care: New Priority on the International Agenda

Health ministers of the Group of Seven (G7), the European Commissioner for health as well as other health representatives met in Paris on 16 and 17 May 2019 in order to discuss global actions. G7 leaders play a dominant role in the global health agenda as they emphasise health issues, develop common strategies and provide assistance to partner countries and international health actors.

During their last meeting, G7 members addressed the persistent health inequalities occurring worldwide and stressed the need to strengthen primary health care in order to ensure rapid progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. G7 countries committed to improve primary health care globally through health literacy, prevention, treatments, immunisation and health promotion. They recognised that a greater investment in the health workforce and infrastructures can positively influence the stability and the economy of a country. Primary health care teams have a critical position as they have the ability to provide recommendations to patients and identify preventive measures. Multiple health associations are strongly engaged in developing innovative tools or approaches in different areas of the world. In their declaration, G7 members committed to support international organisations in their efforts to provide high-quality, safe and affordable health services and products. Financial contributions to these actors are determinant for the stability of health systems and global security. The G7 committed to support the upcoming replenishment conference of the Global Fund and mobilise all actors in order to accelerate the elimination of malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis by 2030.

G7 health ministers also underlined the role of women in the health agenda. Members committed to reduce gender inequalities in access to primary health care. The group engaged to empower women as they represent the majority of the health workforce.

Another important project was initiated during the Paris meeting. G7 representatives launched the G7 Primary Health Care Universal Knowledge Initiative which will lead to the development of an online knowledge-sharing platform. The project aims to assemble and expand knowledge on primary health care practices and systems. The World Health Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Gavi The Vaccine Alliance and the World Bank Group committed to contribute to the web-based platform.

Prioritising primary health care shows a strong intention to coordinate the work of the international health community. The dialogue held in Paris set ambitious goals which will be further addressed this year at the United Nations High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage in September 2019 and at the 6th Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund in October 2019. The ministerial gathering firmly added primary health care on the international agenda to ensure that all countries can progress towards UHC.


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Picture © The G7