World Family Doctor Day is celebrated on May 19 every year. WONCA first declared this day in 2010, and it has since become a day to recognize the importance of family doctors and primary care teams in healthcare systems all over the world.
We will take this opportunity to recognize the important role of family doctors in providing comprehensive and ongoing healthcare in a personal manner.
Family doctors specialize in Family Medicine. This is a field of medicine that offers ongoing and comprehensive health services for individuals and families. It is a broad discipline that encompasses biological, clinical, and behavioral sciences. Family practice covers all ages, all sexes, every organ system, and every disease.
The importance of primary healthcare and the critical role played by family doctors while the healthcare systems are put to a tough test has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Family doctors are often the first point of contact for patients and are thus seen as ‘gatekeepers’ in the fight against COVID-19. They are included in the COVID-19 response effort through:
- Identifying the most vulnerable people – especially elderly and patients with chronic disease and other comorbidities – and advising families on how to support them
- Teaching home-care guidelines, even for sick patients, to avoid going to the hospital
- Working together with other healthcare professionals to ensure appropriate actions are taken promptly to reduce risks
- To prevent hospitalization, a physician is responsible for the whole family in testing and evaluation should someone become ill
Rightfully, this year’s theme was chosen “Building the Future with Family Doctors!”
WONCA has suggested four pillars to address the future of the healthcare system:
Building the Future with Family Doctors and Primary Care Teams
Family doctors are part of a primary care team that also includes nurses, dieticians, physiotherapists, pharmacists, and other members of the allied health care team. While family doctors play an important role, a comprehensive service cannot be provided without the help of other members of the team. This COVID-19 pandemic has shown that only a group of primary care professionals working together can provide the most effective treatment.
Building the Future with Family Doctors and Patients
The approach to family medicine has changed dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Face-to-face consultations now are dangerous for both patients and physicians, hence doctors and patients have been connecting over video consultations. A majority of COVID-19 patients do not need to be admitted to the hospital and can be handled at home under the guidance of a family doctor.
Building the Future with Family Doctors and New Technologies
If we really want to advance in the field of healthcare in the future, we must embrace new technological developments. AI in healthcare, like other essential innovations, is critical to resolving the crisis and spurring future development.
We are noticing three different technology trends:
- Telemedicine: One of the major benefits of telemedicine over in-person alternatives is that it reduces contact between patients, healthcare workers, and other patients.
- The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT): Various devices and smartphone apps have become important in monitoring and preventing chronic illnesses.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare: This can increase diagnosis precision, speed, and efficiency, allowing for early treatment through AI-driven analytics that can assist healthcare providers in determining the best approach for a given patient.
Building the Future with Family Doctors and YOU!
Every individual’s interest is critical for better healthcare in the future. All should speak up, engage in events and efforts, and thus help to create a better future for family doctors and their patients.
At Praava Health, we provide a full length of family doctor services. Praava is a network of family health centers where patients always come first. The whole team of Praava is dedicated to building a better patient experience that is enabled by technology.
You can talk to the family doctors through video consultations. Not only family doctors, Praava’s physiotherapists, dieticians, and the dentist are also available for video consultation. The nursing team and phlebotomists are collecting samples for both COVID and non-COVID patients from home.
Praava has taken the challenge of this pandemic and survived and will continuously try to provide better health service to a person in need through a holistic approach.