Foreword from EFPC
Welcome to the EFPC-conference “Balancing the Primary and Secondary Care provision for more integration and better health outcomes”.
Both the demographical and epidemiological transition and the increasing social and health problems related to poverty, challenges health systems in Europe to develop comprehensive and integrated responses. Patient- and people-centeredness are key features of primary care that can develop in community-oriented health facilities. In the era of multi-morbidity vertical disease-oriented programs should be replaced by an integrated approach, focusing on the needs of individuals and their families. This paradigm-shift will need not only new organisational structures, but also a new type of health professional able to improve quality and to act as a change agent in the health services.
In order to stimulate providers and services to be responsive to the needs of the population, appropriate, comprehensive and integrated payment systems should be explored and implemented. In addition, smooth care pathways from primary care to secondary care and hospitals with appropriate information-transfer are needed to improve health outcomes at an affordable price.
The European Forum for Primary Care (EFPC) has planned some specific actions for the forthcoming year. It wants to pay special attention to vulnerable groups in society. Therefore, the intention is to develop a position paper on “Primary Care and the health of Roma population”. This position paper could give a thorough analysis of the health situation of Roma in different countries and draw the lines for an international comprehensive approach to address the health problems.
The European Forum is convinced that cities and local authorities have an important role to play in the development of primary care and population health. Therefore, a working group on primary care and population health for European cities, “PRiPHECi”, has been established. This working group will look at appropriate strategies that can be used by local authorities to contribute to prevention and health promotion, reactive care, including emergencies, continuity of care, home care,…. The community-oriented and integrated primary care approach could be a model that fits very well to tackle most of the challenges. Moreover, at the local level there are opportunities for an intersectoral approach, integrating health and welfare sectors with housing, work, education, infrastructure,…
As always, this conference will be an opportunity to meet professionals, organisations, researchers, policy makers and all other stakeholders involved in primary care in Europe. The exchange of information by committed people is one of the major assets of EFPC-conferences. The inspiring intercultural environment with its rich history will stimulate the interaction.