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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


STARFIELD, Barbara et al. Primary Health Care and Public Health Responsibilities in Six European and North American Countries: A Pilot Study. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.78, n.1, pp.17-26. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: Rapidly occurring changes within the health care systems are creating an opportunity to re-orient the relationships between their different sectors. In order to know the locus of responsibility for various types of preventive activities, we undertook an inquiry on eight areas in six countries from Europe and North America. Methods: An inquiry among experts based on a matrix which arrayed the type of preventive health services against the target population. Eight clinical conditions were identified (childhood immunizations; adult influenza vaccination; mammography screening, tuberculosis screening, hypertension screening, PKU screening, HIV screening, and osteoporosis testing) trying to know their target population and the locus of responsibility for setting of policy, level to contact individuals for testing, follow-up of people with abnormal tests and maintenance of their medical records. Results: This pilot study showed very little results coincidence either within the eight surveyed areas or across them. There was no regular pattern for the preventive activities studied among the different countries, neither according to the type of health system, nor to the primary health care orientation of the different systems. Conclusions: There was a limited consensus in the activities studied concerning the best mode of doing public health interventions for personal health services.

Keywords : Primary Health Care; Preventive Services; Hospital; Public Health; Health Maintenance organizations; Immunizations; Hypetension; VIH; Tuberculosis; Management.

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