Innovation 40 Years On From Alma-Ata


The Alma-Ata International Conference on Primary Health Care, held in Kazakhstan from 6 to 12 September 1978, was the most important health-related international political event of the decade, organized by WHO-PAHO and UNICEF and drawing 134 countries and 67 international organizations.

The conference defined the concept of primary health care as a strategy to deliver on the “Health for All by 2000” challenge and issued the Declaration of Alma-Ata, expressing the need for urgent action by all governments, all health and development workers, and the world community to protect and promote the health of all people.

alma alta

The Alma-Ata International Conference on Primary Health Care aimed to promote “Health for All by 2000”. Universal coverage is posited on the WHO’s 1948 Constitution stating that health is a fundamental human right, shored up in 1978 with the Declaration of Alma-Ata (today Almaty). Equality was one of the primordial aspects. Countries must assess progress not only across the national population as a whole but also in the different groups determined by income level, sex, age, place of residence, condition of migrant or ethnic origin.

In this year celebrating the 40th anniversary of Almaty, the Spanish Society for Family and Community Medicine (semFYC) is organizing its 38th semFYC Congress in Barcelona from 10 to 12 de May. The association’s long trajectory speaks to its importance and perseverance, having held its first congress in Madrid in 1980.


The congress will be a meeting point for promotion and prevention, health care, health policy planning, research, and community intervention.

The 38th edition will also boast a groundbreaking congress model featuring itineraries.

HEALTHIO is very happy to see more dynamic and interactive formats being taken up at leading conferences. HEALTHIO implemented an Itineraries concept at HEALTHIO 2017 where various guides helped visitors enjoy experiential itineraries.

Innovation: driving care quality

Well-implemented innovation is one of the driving forces that could make it possible to boost the level of care quality across all care levels. Primary care can benefit significantly from the new technologies that are opening up, with digital health as the backbone of all these new innovations.

The semFYC congress will feature a Large-Format Workshop entitledThe 21st Century Family Doctor’s Bag (2 hours)” created and led by Dr Miguel Molina de Heras.

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It is announced as follows:

“One of the most important and customary tasks of the Family Doctor is hands-on emergency and home-based care. Physicians must have tools that make their work easier and support decision-making. Home and/or emergency home visits and open spaces put family doctors to the test, as they have limited access to diagnostic tools and fast assessments, leading to uncertainty in real-life practice. This workshop/exhibition aims to familiarize attendees with the use of new smartphone extensions, apps, and other online tools to use in care practice”.

The concept of the 21st Century Doctor’s Bag which is in vogue in multiple spheres and emblematic medical innovation-related spaces such as Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine is an example of this paradigm shift. At the 2017 Exponential Medicine event in San Diego, Daniel Kraft explained what to expect from a digital doctor’s bag.


We will repeat the experience of the semFYC congress workshop at HEALTHIO 2018 to be held at Feria de Barcelona from 16 to 18 October. It will once again by led by Dr Miguel Molina and will take the format of an interactive event whereby citizens, health workers, and innovators can share and enjoy the 21st century bag.

The 40-year anniversary of Almaty throws down a gauntlet to us all and remind us of the path for continuing to improve health for all, and especially and very importantly in the fields of promotion and prevention, the areas that will enable the public to experience a proactive rather than reactive health system as exists in most countries at present.

It is great that associations like semFYC are contributing to this transformation.

Dr Jordi Serrano Pons (HEALTHIO Cofounder)


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