Strategic policy plan for EFPC - 2008 and beyond


Established in 2005, the Forum intends to improve the health of the population of Europe and equity in health care delivery by strengthening Primary Care. In several countries of Europe Primary Care is well developed, in others there is a growing development. We all can learn from each other however and create and seize the opportunities there are to make sure that all countries enjoy the benefits of Primary Care. 

The vision and objectives of the Forum have been firmly established in 2006 and 2007 and appeal to many policymakers, practitioners and researchers in Europe: 

Strong Primary Care (PC) produces better health outcomes against lower costs. That is the briefest summary of available scientific evidence. By promoting strong PC the population's health can be improved. Strong PC does not emerge spontaneously. It requires appropriate conditions at the health care system level and in actual practice to make PC providers able and willing to take responsibility for the health of the population under their care. A key element is effective collaboration with well organised secondary care. Everywhere in Europe the process of strengthening PC is ongoing, with a large diversity in the way PC is organised. Therefore, Europe is in a sense a laboratory landscape of experiments for organising primary care. There is a strong need to collect and share information about what structures and strategies matter. This is a support to practitioners but will also provide the evidence to convince policy makers at different levels that PC needs to be strengthened. 

   Strategy for a time frame of 3 to 5 years 

   General organisational aims: 

  • Growth and (financial) sustainability of the organization
  • Broadening membership of the Forum to other target groups than general practitioners and an equal distribution of members throughout Europe
  • Balanced involvement of research, the health care field and national and international policy makers 

    Domains on which the Forum wants to focus:

    Patients / Citizens

  • The involvement of patient associations and citizens networks in setting the policy and research agenda by providing them the possibility for expressing their views on issues like quality assurance, navigation, transparency in care, etc.
  • EFPC will use its own network and activities to provide them with the means to act in this direction. The European Parliament provides a platform to integrate patient/ citizen views and primary care policy.

  Policy development

  • In the end all initiatives developed by the Forum should lead to a maximum influence on policy development at European and National level. By bringing Policy Makers together with renowned research institutes, the healthcare consumers and the professionals' active in Primary Care, the Forum will maximize its influence on the policy making in health systems throughout Europe.


  • Professional associations but also professionals at the implementation level (e.g.: the workforce of Health Centers) will be asked to provide proof for best practices from out of their own day to day practice. A maximum effort will be given by the Forum to disseminate these experiences to all the stakeholders involved to get more duplication of these best practices throughout Europe

    Technology and organization

  • In order to get more influence on the development of ICT systems within Primary Care and between the different care levels, like Electronic Patient Files and domotica used at household level, the Forum wants to focus on these issues by organizing discussion sessions and conferences with themes related to these issues.
  • The organization of primary care varies from separately organized services to integrated organizations and network organizations, depending on local and national context and historical developments. The Forum supports integrated and network forms of organization by providing professional groups and managers with information on experiences and practices at an international level. 

    Specific aims :

  • Additional funding up to an amount of € 250.000 will be realised.
  • This will enable the financial support for an EFPC secretariat with adequate staffing.
  • Sponsorships from regional, national and international authorities, charities and industry will be explored, structured by the 4 domains the EFPC is focussing on. 
  • The number of institutional members should reach a total number of approximately 500, covering 80% of the countries of the WHO Europe region, addressing the different professional-, management- and patient groups.
  • Contact with national and local organizations of the following core professional groups in primary care: general practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, ambulatory/pc mental health workers, occupational therapists, midwives, nutritionists and dentists.
  • Publication of short articles in the professional journals of these groups
  • Involve these professionals wherever possible in activities, such as drafting and discussing position papers. 
  • Involve these three audiences in a recognizable way in the organization of future activities. 

    Networking and alliances

    The Forum seeks to reinforce its position and impact by closely working together with organizations that are active in neighbouring domains: WHO Europe, WONCA Europe, EUPHA and others.
    The Forum will offer its professional expertise to these partners. During 2008, the Forum seeks to prepare more bilateral collaboration agreements, e.g. with EHMA, EFN, PRIMAFAMED.
    In these agreements, the mutual relationship, its benefit for both partners and the areas of activities will be described. 

    Current instruments: 

  •  EFPC two-yearly conference
  •  Topic or audience specific meetings 
  •  Position papers: planning of new ones and dissemination 
  •  Pre-conference or in-conference workshops at e.g.:    
     EUPHA and WONCA 
  •  Training seminars 
  •  Participation in international projects 
  •  Study visits 
  •  Newsflash 
  •  Publication of articles on PC (sub-)themes

    Possible new instruments 

  • International Primary Care journal 
  • Negotiations are taking place with Wiley and  
    Radcliffe about future collaboration in publishing 
    EFPC material through their journals.
  • Database and interactive discussion platform at the EFPC          website bilateral exchange programmes .
  • Initiating of and participating in international research activities 

    This results in the following Matrix projection for the aims / domains and what instruments are used for achieving these aims on the different domains. The Matrix will function as a check if instruments are relevant to the strategy of the forum.
    The matrix is used for a review of the years 2006 and 2007 in the annexes 2 and 3 and in annex 4 as a prospective view on the year 2008. 

    Yearly evaluation and update 

    Indicators for evaluation: 

  • Growth in the yearly budget 
  • Staff number (#FTE) and workload of the EFPC secretariat 
  • Membership growth 
  • Geographical distribution of the members (increase of the number of countries represented) 
  • Professional background of the members (increase of the number of different professional groups represented) 
  • Number of articles published in national and international relevant journals 
  • The Matrix used as an evaluation tool with all the instruments used in the previous year with: 
  • Number of activities related to each of the 4 domains 
  • Number of activities related to each of the three aims
  • Cells that remain empty need extra attention for the following year(s).
    Financial, organizational and quality policy 
  • Quality control of products of the Forum, such as position papers 
  • The Forum strives for an independent status but this process for independence will only be started in two years from now 
  • In 5 years from now a viability check will follow, evaluating the way the Forum has developed and is able to play the role that has been foreseen. 
    For the whole document click here.