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A Time for Action on Health Inequities: Foundations of the 2014 Geneva Declaration on Person- and People-centered Integrated Health Care for All

C. Robert Cloninger, Luis Salvador-Carulla, Laurence J. Kirmayer, Michael A. Schwartz, James Appleyard, Nick Goodwin, JoAnna Groves, Marc H. M. Hermans, Juan E. Mezzich, C. W. van Staden, Salman Rawaf


Global inequalities contribute to marked disparities in health and wellness of human populations. Many opportunities now exist to provide health care to all people in a person- and people-centered way that is effective, equitable, and sustainable.  We review these opportunities and the scientific, historical, and philosophical considerations that form the basis for the International College of Person-centered Medicine’s 2014 Geneva Declaration onPerson- and People-centered Integrated Health Care for All.  Using consistent time-series data, we critically examine examples of universal healthcare systems in Chile, Spain, and Cuba.

In a person-centered approach to public health, people are recognized to have intrinsic dignity and are treated with respect to encourage their developing health and happiness.  A person-centered approach supports the freedom and the responsibility to develop one’s life in ways that are personally meaningful and that are respectful of others and the environment in which we live together.  Evidence suggests that health care organizations function well when they operate in a person-and people-centered way because that stimulates better coordination, cooperation, and social trust. 

Health care coverage must be integrated at several interconnected levels in order to be effective, efficient, and fair.  To reduce the burden of disease, integration is needed between the people seeking and delivering care, within the social network of each person, across the trajectory of each person’s life, among primary caregivers and specialists, and across multiple sectors of society.   For integration to succeed across all these levels, it must foster common values and a shared vision of the future.


Public Health, Universal Health Care, Health Care Integration, Person-centered Medicine, Complex Adaptive Systems, Health Promotion

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