Foreword from EFPC
Welcome to Porto!
European Primary Care functions nowadays at the crossroads of societal changes. Increasingly, people who are older (and this is not a problem but a success-story!), are presenting with more complex multi-morbidity, whilst our younger population are becoming more and more multi-cultural and presenting with problems created by our social world, especially stress and mental health difficulties. In order to face the challenges, strong primary health care teams should be prepared to address health promotion, empowerment, cure, care, palliative services and rehabilitation. Working in interprofessional teams, invites us to leave our “comfort zone” and be open to new perspectives, approaches and concepts. The topic of the 2017 EFPC-conference: The citizen voice in primary care: the social commitment to “health for all”! invites us to take the citizen on board in our primary care-activities and structures. People, communities and local authorities are important stakeholders when designing the future pathways of care delivery. To work together, drawing on the strengths of communities, to ensure we keep pace with the impact of social change and focus our resources on the priorities that are of the highest concern to our citizens is imperative.
What can primary care offer? There is increasingly evidence that strong primary care, contributes to social cohesion in communities. We can identify this as working towards the well-being of all members, fighting exclusion and marginalisation, creating a sense of belonging, promoting trust. Community-orientated primary care aligns with this concept and central to it is the notion of citizen participation and engagement with the aim that by contributing and influencing policies, citizens will be more empowered to change and be part of a social movement that creates social cohesion. EFPC is committed to these ideas and actions at a time in Europe when primary health care and social cohesion is needed now more than ever!