The two-day conference on Family Medicine entitled “Building Primary Care Capacity: Pakistan’s Critical Need” organised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) and Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) concluded at RMU on Thursday.
Addressing the closing ceremony, Vice Chancellor RMU Prof. Muhammad Umar said the conference gave voice to the stakeholders and generated a healthy dialogue on Family Medicine. He said the recommendations presented by the experts will be presented to the policy makers so that they may be implemented to strengthen the primary healthcare system.
Prof. Umar thanked the conference participants, especially the speakers and experts, who came to enlighten the participants from across the country and abroad. He said the conference will prove to be a launching pad for the uplift of the overall healthcare system in the country. He said that the policy framework and the training model for Family Medicine proposed in the conference will prove to be a guiding pathway for the future.
He thanked the HEC for its remarkable role in promoting Family Medicine Education and for its tireless efforts to make the conference successful on such a crucial topic. The conference also provided a platform to develop a framework for a long-term relationship between Pakistani institutions and international faculty through APPNA, which represents 18,000 physicians working in various medical disciplines including Family Practice in the United States and Canada.
The conference covered a large number of subjects and topics pivotal for the development of healthcare system, including Family Medicine Policy Framework Including Career Planning; Family Medical Curriculum and Training Models; Healthcare Systems and Role of Technology; Preventive Care in Family Medicine; Public-Private Partnerships; and, Strengthening Nursing Care.
A large number of local and foreign medical practitioners, medical providers, educators, administrators, and policy makers attended the conference, where the experts shared their views about the actionable items needed to enhance life expectancy and health outcomes in the country. Panel discussions and working groups also discussed how to foster training programmes and improve policies for comprehensive development of Family Medicine, while promoting investment in public health and healthcare systems.
The Conference was also consistent with the steps taken recently by the HEC to enhance the quality and relevance of the system of education in the country.
APPNA experts including Family Medicine faculty from the US/Canada training programmes and the Residency programme directors presented the curriculum and structure of Family Medicine training in US/Canada and participate in design workshops to help Pakistan’s participating teaching institutions develop primary care training.
Besides, participants from Pakistan including Vice Chancellors and faculty members of medical universities and colleges, leaders from federal and provincial health ministries, representatives of regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders shed light on the Family Medicine programmes already established in Pakistan in order to bring improvement in them. The conference also provided an array of recommendations for the development of Family Medicine, as the Family Medicine doctors are considered to be the backbone of primary care.