Primary Health Care Conference
The 5th International Primary Health Care Conference (IPHCC), organized by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), began Thursday and will continue until Nov. 12 under the theme "Primary Care Today: Lessons Learnt, Future Action for Sustainability." The opening of the 5th IPHCC was attended by HE Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Mohammed Al Kuwari and about 1,000 participants that include healthcare professionals, researchers, policymakers and influencers and those interested in the field, in addition to leading medical and academic institutions from all over the world.
The participants will discuss many of the topics that will be presented through six workshops and thirty sessions that will contribute to the exchange of experiences and best medical practices in this field.
PHCC Managing Director and Chairperson of the IPHCC Organizing Committee Dr. Mariam Abdul Malik said that the IPHCC 2023 coincides with the 45th anniversary of Alma-Ata and the 5th anniversary of Astana declarations on primary health care, both of which represent an essential step for public health in the twenty-first century as they highlight primary health care as the key to achieving the goal of right to health for all.
Dr. Abdul Malik noted in a speech delivered by Assistant Managing Director of the PHCC and Vice-Chairperson of the IPHCC Organizing Committee Musallam Al Nabit on her behalf during the opening of the conference, that in order to implement the primary care plan effectively, the PHCC has built a strategy centered around several items, the most important of which are providing integrated, comprehensive and coordinated health services, providing person-centered health care and well-being system, providing services based on evidence and data, the latest technology developments, as well as providing quality-based services.
She said that one of the most important areas of strategic progress in the PHCC is the shift towards a more person-centered care model. She noted that enabling individuals to participate effectively in their health decisions makes them feel responsible and can take control, which helps in their commitment to treatment plans and following a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Abdul Malik stated in her speech that the holding of the 5th IPHCC affirms the importance of primary care in any health system. The conference has great importance as it comes at a time of great global multi-sectoral movement to accelerate recovery process, take lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as achieve sustainable development goals at a more rapid pace.
She noted PHCC's contribution to the success of major events held in the State of Qatar, such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, by providing a safe and healthy environment and protecting public health in the country for all its residents and visitors.
Over the past years, the PHCC relied on accurate assessments with the aim of evidence-based development. Given the total population of the State of Qatar of approximately 3 million people, and through thirty-one health centers distributed across all regions, the number of visitors registered in health centers during the first six months of this year reached more than one million and 700 thousand visitors, while the number of patient visits reached more than two and a half million during the same period, with an average exceeding 420 thousand visits per month, Dr. Abdul Malik explained.
She added that the average of these numbers reached 19 percent of citizens compared to 81 percent of other nationalities, with a rate of 48 percent of males and 52 percent of females. The PHCC managed to obtain many major international accreditations between the years 2021 and 2022, such as the Diamond-level accreditation certificate from Accreditation Canada International (ACI), the Person-Centered Care Award, in addition to PHCC's laboratories being accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).
Dr. Abdul Malik pointed out that the PHCC aims to organize this conference due to its importance and in line with the wise leadership's keenness to give health care adequate and careful study, to reach recommendations that can be achieved on the ground, through the application of systems and programs that lead to integrated and comprehensive primary health care with high quality.
With the current global context, Dr. Abdul Malik said that the conference's agenda must be discussed with consideration of the interconnected global priorities such as the environment and health, multi-sectoral work, early warning systems and enhancing health care services.
Executive Chair of the World Innovation Summit for Health, the Co-Director of Imperial College London's Institute of Global Health Innovation Lord Ara Darzi praised the significant and innovative development witnessed by the primary health care sector in the State of Qatar and the comprehensive and integrated services it provides, which made it a successful model.
In his speech at the opening session, he stressed the importance of the 5th International Primary Health Care Conference as it is the cornerstone of health in all its aspects, which means that it must be given the care and attention it deserves, indicating the vital role played by this sector with all its components in terms of providing the best services to patients and visitors in health centers, which he said was designed in Qatar with high capabilities and international systems and standards to provide the best primary, secondary, and tertiary health care, diverse and of high quality under one roof.
He pointed out that the quality of primary health care in any place determines how it responds to any pandemic. In a related context, he called for community support, sharing responsibilities, and launching initiatives towards improving primary health care and health in general, including physical and mental health, and providing various options in this regard.
He also talked about modern technologies and artificial intelligence in the medical fields and benefiting from what electronic care provides in this regard, including improving performance and productivity, as well as what is also related to training, diagnosis, speed of service provision, and treatment plans in hospitals or homes, stressing, in this context, that the PHCC performs these tasks and responsibilities in a correct manner and vision through the integration, comprehensiveness and quality of services, which he said make patients always at the heart of these efforts.
Over the course of its four days, the conference covers many main topics, which include various areas such as health promotion, healthcare resilience in the face of global crises, advancements in clinical practices in primary care, quality improvement, capacity building, care models and innovations, in addition to the specialized topics in infectious disease surveillance and control, mental health examinations and management, the advancement of science in the field of education and research, improving health and well-being through lifestyle medicine and wellness, among many other topics.
The conference is an important platform to consider innovative health management systems and quality improvement initiatives with the aim of improving health outcomes and patient safety in primary care and identify the latest evidence-based options in the management of diagnosis and treatment of common diseases in primary health care settings. It also aims to identify the best international practices centered around the family and society in the field of health promotion and disease prevention.
During the conference, primary health care experts will compare approaches to health professions education, workforce training, and capacity building in primary health care practice, and emphasize the importance of research and its opportunities in primary care to improve population health outcomes.
The 5th International Primary Health Care Conference will be accompanied by a specialized exhibition held within its activities, in which exhibitors will present their latest contributions in the field of health care, in addition to displaying the best research summaries of participants in the field of innovation and medical care.