The declared aim of the World Health Organization, based on the Alma Ata declaration (1978), is to promote health care for all by the year 2000. It is recognised that this can be achieved only by the channelling of efforts into the development of primary health care, with medical care greatly augmented by the utilisation of non-medical carers, traditional healers and public health measures. As in more developed countries, where psychiatry struggles to maintain its share of national health resources against the ever increasing demand of technical advances in physical health care, so the mental health services of the less developed countries constantly are in danger of losing out to physical health in the battle against illness and natural disasters. To redress this balance and to meet the needs for mental health by the year 2000, the less developed world needs more psychiatrists (who are currently estimated to relate to the population at a rate of approximately only one per million) and these psychiatrists need to be appropriately trained to meet the challenges. How can the more developed nations help in this training of trainees from the less developed world? Can a partnership be formed between nations that ensures that trainees in psychiatry, in whichever country, are equipped as well as possible for the needs of their home country?
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