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: This work contains foreword by Ian R McWhinney, Emeritus Professor of General Practice, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Centre for Studies in Family Medicine University of Western Ontario, Canada. This ground-breaking book encourages a re-focus on the subjective and social nature of health and illness. It helps healthcare professionals find fresh perspectives to assist patients, many of whom are threatened by and lost in a healthcare system dominated by diseases and procedures. The book takes a whole systems approach to primary care, incorporating new developments, social aspects, critical discourse, international perspectives, and the history and philosophy of medicine. It is a stimulating and inspiring read for general practitioners and other primary healthcare professionals, undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, healthcare educators, academics, and primary care researchers. Healthcare policy makers and shapers will value its lucid account of complex issues. 'Joachim Sturmberg has written an important book, which I sincerely hope the reformers of our health care system will study carefully. It is also a riveting read. With great erudition and strong arguments, Sturmberg lays out a plan which leads to a goal to which we all aspire - a health care system based on primary care and primary health care which expresses the historic values of medicine and adapts itself to the complexity of modern medicine. A must read for anyone who has the interests of primary care at heart.' - Ian R McWhinney, in the Foreword.