Transforming primary care
Last week saw two important publications on primary care in the UK. The .General Practice Forward View, published by NHS England and developed in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners and Health Education England sets out a plan to transform general practice over the next 5 years. Backed by an extra £2·4 billion a year, the plan outlines steps to increase the number of general practitioners (GPs) and co-workers, as well as measures to reduce workload stresses, develop infrastructure, and support care redesign to enable increased access to GPs. link
Second report, Primary Care, by the House of Commons Health Committee emphasises the need for increased funding of general practice to improve access to care and services for patients, such as extending the traditional 10 minute appointment time. link
Both reports acknowledge the unprecedented strain on today's GPs, with rising demand from more patients, many of whom have increasingly long-term complex medical conditions. Getting an appointment with a GP is becoming ever more difficult for patients in many areas, while GPs themselves are retiring early, moving abroad, or unable to recruit to fill vacancies.
Primary care is the backbone of the NHS. 90% of all NHS patient contacts take place within primary care. Moreover, as Florian Stigler and co-authors outline in Correspondence this week, primary care builds an effective health-care system through its core principles of first contact, continuous, comprehensive, and coordinated care. For countries aspiring to universal health coverage, a strong primary care system is an essential underlying framework. For the NHS, urgent repair, support, and investment into primary care is needed to rebuild and strengthen its backbone. Recruitment from countries with weaker health systems than the NHS is not the answer; training more doctors in the UK, encouraging a career in general practice, improving retention, and increasing task sharing with co-workers (such as pharmacists) are far better solutions. Transforming general practice into a career that is once more desirable and rewarding is essential for the NHS to survive.
The Lancet 30.04.2016
Entre nós, propõe-se um "Novo Ciclo para os Cuidados de Saúde Primários" link
ACF, ministro da saúde, comprometeu-se em dar médico de família a todos os portugueses até ao final da legislatura. link
Estamos certos que, face aos novos desafios, é necessário ir mais longe no redesenhar da oferta e organização dos CSP e da sua articulação com os cuidados hospitalares.
De notar a importância que no NHS dão ao investimento na formação dos profissionais de saúde (plan to transform general practice over the next 5 years) como medida essencial de adequação/transformação da oferta às novas necessidades de cuidados de saúde dos cidadãos.