This essay presents a theoretical-conceptual discussion about the potentialities of Primary Health Care as an imperative strategy for the development of universal health systems. It reflects the current scenario of the Brazilian health system, exposing its main advances regarding the guarantee of the right to health and access to public health services and, furthermore, its challenges that permeate social problems and health of a complex nature, in a country marked by great social and economic inequalities between its regions, states, and municipalities. The serious contemporary challenges for the development of the Unified Health System, for its sustainability as a universal public policy, involve overcoming the hegemony of the biomedical model, overcoming the neoliberal economic policy, and the construction a full citizenship condition so that the population recognizes their fundamental rights, including the right to a public health of quality. In order to achieve universal systems, it is necessary to promote a health care model that has in primary health care and family health care teams the necessary strategies for promoting health for the population and strengthening of citizenship.
Primary Health Care; Family Health Strategy; Health systems; Healthcare models; Public health policy