Family and community medicine contributes to the transformation of the national health system – PAHO/WHO

Guatemala, October 7, 2022 (PAHO/WHO) – Authorities from the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS), the Guatemalan Institute for Social Security (IGSS) and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) inaugurated the “National seminar on family and community medicine in Guatemala: opportunities and challenges”, where they emphasized the importance of implementing family and community medicine for improving the health and quality of life of the population.

This seminar, which included high-level regional participants, allowed for the exchange of experiences and information on Spain, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, the United States, among others. During this year, three seminars were held in the country before the Eighth Ibero-American Summit on Family and Social Medicine, which will be held on November 10 and 11 in Guatemala City.

“Family and community medicine contributes to avoiding hospital saturation and represents a change in health systems moving from reactive to preventive,” said Dr. Gerardo Hernández, Deputy Minister of Hospitals of MSPAS during his speech.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gerardo Alfaro, representative of PAHO/WHO in Guatemala, said that “all interventions during the seminar are aimed at sharing lessons learned about the value of family medicine and community medicine for the transformation of systems and services, with the aim of advancing care models that are based on a primary health care strategy with a more comprehensive component involving family and community for early risk identification.

For his part, José Adolfo Flamenco Jau, president of the IGSS Board of Directors, emphasized that “family and community medicine is an obligation at all levels of health care and should be an inter-institutional effort with MSPAS.”

As part of the follow-up activities after the seminar and summit, efforts will be made to train specialists in family medicine in Guatemala, which is why Dr. Sandra Fraifer from Argentina, PAHO’s international consultant for family and community medicine / WHO, will deal with the possibilities and challenges of implementing family medicine studies. of medicine at university institutions.

In addition, we hope that with these lessons shared during the seminar, the implementation of health care and management models and family and community health strategies can be supported in a sustainable way.

Dr. Alexandre Florencio, PAHO/WHO International Advisor for Health Systems and Services, participated in some of the presentations, who provided information on the development of the Family Health Strategy in Brazil since 1992. On the other hand, Dr. On the theoretical-methodological elements of family medicine and its fundamental role in the transformation of health care, among other prominent panelists, Jacques Girard, an academician from Laval University in Canada, commented.

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