MOH News
Four new cities included in family medicine program
09 November 2008
The Minister of Health Dr. Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Mane has issued a directive for executing the system of "A Family Doctor for Every Family" at all primary health care centers in Riyadh, Jeddah, Mekkah, and Al-Khober, said MOH Official Spokesman Dr. Khalid Al-Marghalani. He said primary health care centers shall be renamed "Family Medicine Centers", for ensuring more efficiency and restructuring primary health care centers to enable them to cope with the new objectives and programs set for family medicine centers.
 
He said the step represents a new phase for promoting primary health care centers following implementation of the project in its first phase in Al-Jouf, Al-Kharj, Al-Baha, and Beljurashi.
 
According to Al-Marghalani, the project is a crucial priority for MOH, being the cornerstone for promoting health care services through developing a system of family medicine centers as a primary level for health care provision. "It is a strategic objective for MOH officials", he said.
 
Al-Marghalani was speaking yesterday during the activities of Qatar International Conference for Improving Primary Health Care, which is organized by the Qatari National Health Commission in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). About 1000 participants, including ministers, physicians, scholars, and heads of medical organizations from the Arab World, the Americas, and Europe, have attended the conference.
 
The Qatari General Health Minister Dr. Ghalia bint Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani said the convening of conference coincides with the worldwide celebrations commemorating the International Declaration on Primary Health Care, which was adopted by the WHO conference held in Alma-Ata city in Kazakhistan on September 12, 1978. "30 years have passed since the issuance of this declaration, which comprises some important principles for promoting health care services and represents a clear strategy for creating the social change required for dealing with political and economic hindrances confronting health care promotion", she said.
 
She said the international community has emphasized in the Alma-Aata Declaration that primary health care must be part and parcel, not only of national health systems, but also of the overall economic and social development.  "The declaration has called for reorganizing and extending the range of medical services to include social and economic elements and ensure effective participation of all individuals and community sectors in all efforts exerted for promoting the quality of health services", she said. "It emphasized the right as well as the duty of each individual to participate in planning and executing primary health care services and urged all member states and international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations to work for promoting primary health care by consolidating international and regional cooperation and making use of modern technologies", she added.
 
Referring to the recent call of WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan to return back to the original values and principles of primary health care for utilizing them as guidelines for regulating the health system, the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Director Dr. Hussain A. Al-Jazairi said such principles, including social justice, community participation, health upgrading, rational utilization of resources, and cooperation among sectors, are still valid as it were 30 years ago.
 
She said the Qatar conference aims to utilize such original values for extending health care services to the whole community through primary health care centers. "The conference will discuss the policies and strategies to make sure they cope with new changes and challenges", she said.
 
Commenting on the occasion, the Director General of the Executive Office of the GCC Council of Ministers of Health Dr. Tawfeeq Ahmed Khoja said the success of health systems is measured nowadays according to the performance and quality in providing health care services. "The quality of health care provision actually determines to which extent any country is civilized or advanced", he said.
 
He said the endeavors to reach targeted goals and setting programs for promoting health services are now guiding the work within the GCC health ministries. "They are aware of the fact that consistent evaluation and promotion of primary health care services comprises the cornerstone for any approach towards upgrading the quality of health services", he said.
 
Referring to the resolution issued by the GCC ministers of health in their 63rd conference, whereby they approved a methodology for promoting the GCC program for primary health care, he said the ministers adopted the new vision, message, and goals. "They approved the broad guidelines for the GCC short, medium, and long term strategies of promoting primary health care", he added.
 
He said the conference has allotted the year 2009 for primary health care and approved the general approach of giving priority to family and community medicine in order to be able to confront the challenges relative to primary health care. "The conference has set certain techniques for realizing such goal", he said "They include training plans, acknowledging national training programs, and allotting about 20% of the overall training budgets of the GCC health ministries to primary health  



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