Primary Health Care in Focus at Qatar Health 2010

Primary Health Care in Focus at Qatar Health 2010
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Published October 24th, 2010 - 11:13 GMT

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Primary Health Care (PHC) will be one of the tracks covered in Qatar Health 2010, the country's premier healthcare event to be held in Doha December 10-15.

According to the World Health Organization, it states that: "The ultimate goal of primary health care is better health for all." Qatar, like other countries, has many Primary Health Care Centers spread across the country that are designed to help and maintain the wellness of the community by looking after their basic healthcare needs and being the first port of call before being referred on to hospital.

PHC is a field of medicine that interests a broad range of the community including medical practitioners and the general public. An important function of PHCs is in providing care to patients that will help prevent serious diseases through preventive healthcare.

"A good primary healthcare system is an important foundation for a robust health system and in Qatar we have a network of such health centers that provide general healthcare to communities. Health care professionals often act as the first point of consultation for patients and it is essential that they have a broad knowledge of the varied health issues that are most common in our country," said Dr Mariam Abdulmalik, Acting Executive Director of Primary Health Centers and Chairperson of the Primary Health Care track. "I am therefore pleased to welcome so many internationally respected experts to share their knowledge and expertise on this important subject and for us to focus our efforts on raising the overall standards of our primary health care".

Internationally renowned speakers will participate in the Primary Health Care track at Qatar Health 2010, including:

Professor Max Birchwood, who is Clinical Director of 'YouthSpace', Youth Mental Health services in Birmingham, UK and Professor of Mental Health at the University of Birmingham. He has published over 200 articles, chapters and books. He is a founding member of IRIS; a network that supports the promotion of Early Intervention in Psychosis. Prof Birchwood also established the first early intervention service in the UK. Prof. Birchwood is one of the leading pioneers of the application of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to psychosis.

Dr. Gustavo Gusso is the President of the Brazilian Society of Family and Community Medicine since 2008. He worked at the Ministry of Health from 2006 to 2008 and was responsible for education strategy for health workers. Dr. Gusso is passionate about family medicine and primary health care and he believes it can help develop health systems and countries.

Dr. Luis Pisco worked as a General Practitioner for fourteen years in rural areas in Portugal. He was a board member of the Portuguese Association of General Practitioners since 1990, and became its president in January 1999. Dr. Pisco was appointed in 1999 by the Minister of Health, as the Director of the National Institute for Quality in Health, and was re-appointed twice till October 2005. Dr. Pisco was a board member of the European Society of Family Medicine – Wonca Europe from 2001 to 2007. Between 1991 and 2009 he was the Portuguese delegate to EQuiP the European Association for Quality in Family Medicine. Dr. Pisco has returned in April 2010 to practice medicine in the rural areas after leaving it for 12 years.

Professor Barbara Starfield is a University Distinguished Professor with appointments in the Department of Health Policy and Management and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Public Health and Medicine. She is also the director of the Johns Hopkins University Primary Care Policy Center. Her focus is both on clinical care and on services to populations as well as the inter-relationships between the two. Of particular note are her contributions in the areas of primary care, quality of care, health status assessment (particularly for children), and case-mix assessment and adjustment. She is the recipient of numerous national awards, most recently including the Distinguished Investigator Award of the Association for Health Services Research (1995) and the American Public Health Association's Martha May Eliot Award (1995). 

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