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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Development, state and society

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Recomendado pela AMICOR Maria Inês Reinert Azambuja

Towards a new model of development,the state, and society 
Eduardo Espinoza, MD 
I never had the good fortune of meeting Juan César García personally*, although I came to know him through his writings. These were introduced to me (along with many other things) by María Isabel Rodríguez. Subsequently, I had the honor (and good fortune) of meeting Edmundo Granda, Asa Cristina Laurell, Jaime Breilh, and Saul Franco, cherished colleagues whom I count among my friends. They have now handed me the responsibility of giving this lecture, named by ALAMES in honor of our great teacher. I did not feel that I was the most appropriate person to take on the sensitive task of delivering the keynote address at an ALAMES Conference. In fact, I did everything in my power to have someone else stand here on this podium before all of you tonight. But this was not to be. Thus, I would like to thank the Latin American Association of Social Medicine for this great – and undeserved – honor.
I don’t want to repeat what has already been said by my colleagues in the ample and thorough discussions that have preceded this talk. They are certainly more qualified to do this than I am. Instead, I would like to see this Congress develop a set of recommendations – action plans – for those of us who are preparing ALAMES’ next generation.
These are particularly difficult and strategic times. Every day we see overwhelming evidence that time is running out both for our planet and for the human race. It is a propitious moment to reflect on health conditions within a broader context by examining several particularly alarming situations that call into question both the present and the future in terms of health, wellbeing, and development. People tend to easily forget that today’s issues are not new. Similar problems have plagued humanity since the development of social systems that have concentrated riches among the few, created inequalities, and stimulated the outsized appetites of those who always want to hoard even more. These systems have crushed any attempt to better distribute social wealth.
Mahatma Gandhi summed this up well when he said: "The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed." With this in mind, I would like to start with an excerpt from the Juan César Garcia lecture delivered by Jaime Breilh in Montevideo in 2012: /.../

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