Event Recap - "Achieving health for all: Primary health care in action" by Professor David Bishai
Professor David Bishai, the Director of the School of Public Health, was invited by The University of Hong Kong Primary Health Care Academy (HKU PHCA) to deliver a seminar titled "Achieving health for all: Primary health care in action" on September 26, 2023. Over 330 local and international healthcare practitioners, scholars, researchers, and students participated the seminar both in-person and virtually.
During the event, Professor Bishai discussed the hygiene revolution, starting from the social transformation in the 1800s, the healthcare progress in the USA and Europe from 1850 to 1950, including significant milestones such as the Dawson Report (1920), Bandoeng Conference by the League of Nations (1937), and the establishment of the World Health Organization (1948). He also talked about the Alma-Ata Declaration (1978), the counter-revolution Bellagio (1979), and the contested version of the legacy of Alma-Ata between northern historians and southern experiences after 1979. Additionally, Professor Bishai highlighted the development of the People's Health Movement (2000). Furthermore, he emphasized the distinction between comprehensive primary health care (PHC) and primary care.
He shared success stories from Nepal and Ethiopia, where PHC systems were integrated with district committees and outreach systems tailored to local resources and cultures. In the latter part of the seminar, Professor Bishai shed light on Hong Kong's PHC blueprint, which currently focuses solely on primary health services. He advised policymakers to collaborate with district stakeholders to co-design a district public health pathway towards comprehensive public health care.
The event concluded with a Q&A session. Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee, the Director of HKU PHCA, presented a souvenir to Professor Bishai as a token of gratitude.
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