Editorial Statement

https://doi.org/10.22146/apfmj.51629

Meng-Chih Lee(1*), Mohamed Husni Jamal(2), Shan Zhu Zhu(3), Policarpio B. Joves Jr.(4), Aileen Espina(5), Tessu Kusaba(6), Erfen Gustiawan Sawangto(7), Brian Chang(8)

(1) 2016-2020 President for Wonca APR and Honorary President, Taiwan Association of Family Medicine/ Consultant Physician of Family Medicine, Taichung Hospital
(2) President-elect, Wonca APR and President, Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia
(3) Member-at- Large, Wonca APR and President, Cross-Straits Medicine Exchange Association - Committee of General Practice
(4) President, Philippine Academy of Family Physicians
(5) Member-at- Large, Wonca APR
(6) Wonca APR and President, Japan Primary Care Association
(7) Young Doctor Representative to Wonca APR
(8) Honorary Secretary, Wonca APR
(*) Corresponding Author

Abstract


We, executives of Wonca APR, would like to express our statement on primary health care (PHC) and universal health coverage (UHC) which is the top health issue in this region , as follows:


1. It is important to note that Family Medicine is the key specialty whose competencies and scope of practice allow comprehensive, coordinated and person-centered care that meets multiple medical needs for individual patients of all ages, families and communities over time. Family doctors/general practitioners, working with other primary healthcare workers, can integrate patient needs for prevention, acute and chronic care across disease groups, in a way that centers care on the particular individual, family and their communities. 1,2
When appropriately trained and working within an adequately resourced clinical setting, family doctors have been shown to be both cost-effective, valuable and able to improve health outcomes for entire populations. All countries in the region have the potential to transform their health workforce by training more family doctors as a critical part of a multidisciplinary team providing integrated, people-centered primary health care – the foundation of universal health coverage. 3

2. Family doctors should be the coordinators, managers and leaders of the primary healthcare. Therefore, the top priority in workforce for primary healthcare is to train sufficient family doctors in WP region.4

3. The use of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in assisting training and works of family doctors especially those practicing in rural areas is now being developed in many places. The use of AI to assist family doctors in their consultation is also means of enhancing quality.5

4. To identify the gaps in global knowledge and practice about what works in primary health care and to priorities a collaborative and research agenda that focuses on four key areas: organization and models of care, quality, safety, and performance management, policy and governance, and financing of primary care systems, cooperation between WHO-WPRO and Wonca with an advisory group should be started in in the earliest future. 6


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22146/apfmj.51629

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