•Dignitaries and practitioners after the programme
Dignitaries and practitioners after the programme

Family Doctor Day marked

This year's World Family Doctor Day has been marked at Elmina in the Central Region with a call on experienced doctors to mentor younger ones into the field.

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Panellists and participants discussing the topic: "The family physician and universal health coverage", agreed that more advocacy and exposure were needed, particularly for medical students and housemen to develop interest in generalised family medicine.

Family doctors are usually the first port of call in medical care, and practitioners are specialised in general medicine.

About 10 per cent of all medical students may opt for generalised family medical practice, a recent research has revealed.

Currently, there are about 200 family medical practitioners in the country.

More generalised practitioners will reduce the pressure on other specialised areas, industry experts say.

The day was marked by the Society of Family Physicians of Ghana (SOFPOG) on the theme: "Family Doctors: The heart of healthcare".

Currently, the practice is not so attractive.

The Faculty Chair of Family Medicine of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Prof. Akye Essuman, said while attracting younger doctors, there was also the need to get more family physicians into the faculty to promote family doctor practitioners.

He said more generalised practitioners in the primary health care facilities would promote quality healthcare and make it more accessible. 

The Central Regional Director of Health, Dr Akosua Owusu-Sarpong, said family medicine was critical to achieving optimum health care and universal health targets.

She said family medical practitioners were critical to quality health care, adding that they had immense impact on every other area of medical practice.

The President of SOFPOG, Dr George Bediako Nketiah, said family practitioners were at the heart of health care worldwide, delivering comprehensive health care for patients, and fostering enduring communication and a deep understanding of individual health care.

"The unique bond between family doctors and their patients is rooted in trust, compassion and understanding. They serve as a consistent point of contact, fostering enduring relationships built on open communication and a deep understanding of the individual's medical history, social context and family dynamics,” he said.

He said this holistic approach enabled family physicians to provide personalised care, address not only immediate health concerns but to also promote preventive measures and long-term wellness.

Dr Nketiah said from preventive care and routine check up and health education, family medical practitioners remained the cornerstone of healthcare who helped individuals to take care of their own health.

He called for the strengthening of the ranks of family physicians through constant education and further training to help them to efficiently play their roles.

The Chief Executive of the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem Municipal Assembly, Solomon Ebo Appiah, said the action and inactions of doctors could have dire consequences on health.

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