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Archivos de Medicina Interna

Print version ISSN 0250-3816On-line version ISSN 1688-423X


VIGNOLO, Julio; VACAREZZA, Mariela; ALVAREZ, Cecilia  and  SOSA, Alicia. Levels of care, prevention and primary health care. Arch. Med Int [online]. 2011, vol.33, n.1, pp.7-11. ISSN 0250-3816.

The objective is to develop and define the concepts of Primary Health Care (PHC), Levels of Care, Levels of Complexity and Levels of Prevention, and to clearly set the differences between Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. The PHS strategy defined at the Alma Ata Conference in 1978 was a step forward to overcome the disease-centered biomedical models that privilege expensive curative services, based on second and third level facilities, for models based on the promotion of health and prevention of disease at reasonable costs for the population. Levels of care are a way of organizing resources at the three levels of care. The levels of complexity depend on the number of differenciated tasks or complex procedures covered at a unit of care and the degree of development reached by that unit. Prevention is defined as those measures aimed at not only preventing the occurrence of disease, such as the reduction of risk factors, but also to arrest their progression and attenuate their consequences after they occur. Health promotion as such is a strategy established in Ottawa in 1986, where they defined it as the process that provides the individuals and communities the means they need to better control and improve their own health.

Keywords : Primary Health Care; First Level of Care; Primary Prevention.

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