Hospitals and Health for All: Report of a WHO Expert Committee on the Role of Hospitals at the First Referral Level
(1987; 84 pages) [Arabic] [Chinese] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]


The report of an expert committee convened to consider ways to strengthen the involvement of hospitals with other components of the health system. Emphasis is placed on interactions at the first referral level, where support from hospital services is regarded as essential to the success of primary health care. The most extensive section considers the role and functions of the hospital within the district health system. Experiences from several countries are used to illustrate different types of health systems and the mutual benefits of hospital involvement in health services for the community. The concluding sections identify some of the most important problems that must be solved in order to secure a closer collaboration between hospitals and local health services. These include problems of organization and functions, of attitudes, orientation, and training, and of information, financing and referral systems. The report will serve as a stimulating discussion of proposals useful in redefining the role of the hospital and relating its curative functions to the disease prevention and health promotion activities essential to primary health care.

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