Medicine in resource-poor settings: time for a paradigm shift?

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The current global health system, which concentrates on a few and neglects billions of people who live in resource-poor settings and carry the largest burden of global diseases, is unacceptable. The weight of medical practice patterns ought to shift from the therapeutic phase of medical care to prevention. Achieving better health for the majority of humanity requires innovation, improved resources, new cooperation between the rich and the poor, and a clear ethical vision, consolidated by goal-oriented and system-focused strategic health planning. Development assistance from wealthier nations to developing countries must shift from the current donor-driven agendas to country-driven sector-wide approaches for health development with adequate accountability and sustainability. There must be a fundamental departure from classical universalism to new universalism, reoriented by a new public health, and reinforced by a new solidarity, using holistic approaches to ensure better health for the whole of humanity.

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