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General News Mon, 21 May 2018

Support training of family physicians - SOFPOG told government

The Africa Regional President for World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA), Dr. Henry Lawson has called on government, the World Health Organization(WHO) and other International Organizations and funding agencies, NGOs and corporate organizations in the country to as matter of urgency help support training of Family Physicians in order to help improve healthcare delivery in the country.

According to him, training more Family Physicians can help improve the chances of other medical doctors also getting trained to deliver on quality healthcare in the country.

The move he noted would help also accelerate healthcare delivery or treatment of health problems in areas of care including pregnancy, delivery, infant care, adult and elderly care, acute and chronic health conditions, emergency care, mental health conditions among others.

Dr. Henry Lawson made this known at a Free Health Screening event to mark the World Family Doctor Day at Korle Gorno Mount Zion Methodist Church in Accra on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

The free health screening exercise which witnessed majority of residents from Korle Gonno Community in Accra screened thoroughly off non-communicable and other diseases was organized by SOFPOG in conjunction with World Organization of Family Doctors(WONCA) on the theme: “A Family Doctor For Every Family”.

The World Family Doctor day is held every year on May 19, to highlight the role and contributions of family doctors in health care system around the world.

This important day was initially set aside in 2010 by the world organization of family Doctors (WONCA) is currently celebrated globally to recognize and increase the morale of family doctors. The day is also used to address vital health issues globally and locally.

Dr. Henry Lawson in his speech identified some challenges Family Physicians in the health sector are confronted with making it difficult for them to receive the needed attention it deserves from other medical practitioners as well as to operate.

Citing newly trained Ghanaian doctors as an example, Dr. Lawson referred to them as people who prefer to enter the traditional specialities of Internal Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Paediatrics after completing medical School while Family Medicine which is a relatively new speciality is unable to attract a significant number of medical graduates.

To this end, he said, “The resultant fall out has led to fragmented care, higher costs and dissatisfaction among patients”. “Increasing age, socioeconomic issues, stress and non-communicable diseases have changed patient dynamics over the years and present challenges that the Family Physician is uniquely qualified to tackle”.

SOFPOG is a member of the World Organization of Family Doctors. With the mission of improving quality of life of all people by fostering high standards of care in family practice, SOFPOG believes no person should be denied the opportunity to have a family doctor, irrespective of their location, economic status, age or sex hence the need to campaign for every family to have a family doctor when possible in the near future.

Mr. Emmanuel Ati, President of SOFPOG in an interview admonishes all Ghanaians to seek regular medical attention from family doctors.

He also underscored the need for all and sundry to indulge in regular exercise, adding “it is good for the human body”

Dr. Priscilla Vandyck-Sey, Senior Family Physician at Korlebu Polyclinic adding her voice to the call said: “it is good for every family to have one family physician who can cater for their health needs on time”.

Meanwhile, the society raising its voice to the call of ensuring quality standards in quality healthcare believes that all doctors who operate private clinics or hospitals in general practice should have some training in family medicine.

It has therefore called on Medical and Dental Council, Health Facilities Regulatory Agency including other regulatory bodies to revise the criteria for licensing health facilities that provide family care to conform to the above standards.

Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor