In recent decades,modern societiesinmostEuropean countries haveconsiderably developedtheir health systemsandtheir citizenshaveachievedhigh standards of quality of lifewith anincreasedaverage lifeexpectancy.However,nowadays,thoseachievementsarefacingseverethreats and might not be sustainable in theshort term due to an enduring internationalsocioeconomiccrisisandtothefinancialvulnerabilitiesofdifferentcountries.
Although a highly qualified and disseminated network of primary health care professionals intheEuropean countries, currently covers the vastmajority of the population’shealth needs,there is a considerablerisk that primary care services might be dismantled and severelyunderfundedbyhealthbudgetconstraintsandquestionablepoliticaldecisions.
Policymakersandpoliticalleadersshould,onceand forall,respectthesolid truthof the factsraised by scientific evidence and driven by the patients’ needs and expectations, madeimperative by the patients’new role as partners in healthcare. Health systems based onaccessibleand comprehensiveprimary care services,delivered bytrainedandqualifiedfamilydoctors,aremoreeffective,canguaranteeequityasapartoftheirsocialresponsibility,havealower cost and an increased user satisfaction,when compared to health systems with weakprimarycareservices.
Therefore, the above-named institutions exhort all European governments to implementconcretemeasuresto promote,defend anddevelopstronger andmoresustainableprimaryhealth care services forall citizens, based on an inter-professional and trans-generationalcollaborativeworkforce.