It is estimated that in Latin America only 10% of the economically active population have access to specialised occupational health services.
Delivering Primary Care in order to expand coverage and improve workers health is a commitment of various International Organisations. In this sense the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) and the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) pledge to work with their partner organisations (including WHO and ILO) to address the gaps in services, research, and policies for the health and safety of workers and to better integrate occupational health in the primary care setting, to the benefit of all workers and their families.
WONCA has established a new Special Interest Group on Workers Health in order to pursue this objective, where both Organisations are working together. This is particularly feasible since Primary Care and Occupational Health have several aspects in common, such as focus on prevention and patient-centred medicine, and also by giving relevance to the context of the patient.
Primary Care is in many countries of our region, the gateway for users to the health system, so it is very important that Primary Care Centres incorporate their staff to training programs designed to meet the standards that are needed for treating occupational diseases and work accidents. Latin America is gaining experience in delivering Primary Care as close as posible where people live and work as it is stated in the Declaration of Alma Ata.
This presentation will try to illustrate on different countries experiences about providing this kind of services throughout our region.