The Emergence of Primary Care in Latin America: Reflections from the Field

Journal of the American Board of Family Practice

A U.S. family physician educator working in El Salvador, recently returned from the WONCA Fourth Regional Congress of the Ibero American Confederation of Family Medicine, reflects on the state of primary care in Latin America. Progress in primary health care and family medicine is occurring in several countries in the region as many countries are coming to accept that primary care is a systematic solution to their structural problems. The author discusses reasons for this progress in the context of political, economic, medical, and cultural dynamics. He notes several key points of comparing this development with the health care system in the United States and suggests that there is much to learn from those systems that are making their way on the path toward primary care.