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Primary health care must come first in the Asia Pacific

Strengthening weak local systems will save money and raise health standards

| Japan
Primary health care is better for people, and it saves money.   © Reuters

Countries in the Asia Pacific spend, on average, 8% of GDP on health. A lot of that money goes to care provided in hospitals. In many cases, the money could be better spent by focusing on primary health care.

Primary health care makes populations healthier. It includes a range of health services, such as screening and treatment for common diseases, preventive care like vaccination and health information, and treatment for common, nonserious ailments like colds. Good primary health care services should be affordable, and provided close to where people live and work.

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