Jose Paulo Diaz, President of Semergen.
The The 43rd National Congress of the Spanish Association of Primary Care Physicians (Semergen) He completed his face-to-face segment after holding 147 tables, workshops and seminars where more than 3000 participants were able to train and discuss concerns and issues of first level care in the National Health System (SNS). Meeting as detailed for medical writingJosé Polo Diaz, President of Semergen, has worked to “raise the self-esteem” of family physicians and establish a common roadmap for improving health care services.
Jose Polo Diaz: “The conference was very well attended. The rooms were full.”
What is your assessment of Congress?
I can’t help but be satisfied and happy. The work was hard and the uncertainty was enormous until the last moments. I think Congress met the quality standards of our community and there was a lot of participation, and the rooms were full. There was also a generational renewal, which is important. In addition, exemplary security standards and protocols were adhered to.
It is the first major medical conference after the most difficult phase of the epidemic. Could it be said that there were no injuries?
We had very strict control over all the assistants, requiring a vaccination certificate. We also have the Covid protocol that has been approved by Public Health. We also have a Covid point in case a colleague gets sick. Very few tests were done and all were negative. It can be said that we had no injuries.
The theme of the conference was ‘Valuing Primary Care’, Was it Possible to Empower Professionals?
We always try to empower the professionals. I think the self-esteem of primary care physicians and family physicians should increase. We do a lot of good for the public health system and for our patients, which is our main goal. I think self-esteem is always a bit painful.
What is the roadmap after Congress to continue increasing the initial value?
We will issue a document for all business meetings and circulate it to the governing bodies. There we will discuss, not just analysis, but where we should all go along with a proposal for the Department and ICHS to reform or improve primary care.
When will they send that document to the ministry?
The document is very advanced, we just need to know the survey data that we launched to all partners and got high engagement.
Jose Polo Diaz: “It’s a key moment for primary care”
It’s been said in Congress that it’s time to start because it has more social support than ever, is the paradigm reworked now or will it never be possible?
I think the model does not need to be reformulated, it is good and successful. Our National Health and Patient Care System is a model of success. We have achieved very high goals and high standards of health and quality of life for our patients.
There are many challenges and problems as well. It is not a question of reforming or revolutionizing the entire system, but rather of global improvement to increase quality and resources in primary care.
Should we take advantage of the wind to improve primary care?
I think it’s an important moment. We are facing a change of course after the whole system collapsed and across the country with the pandemic. It is also a key moment to learn about the problems we are facing and the goals we have set for ourselves.
As a society we must know what resources we want to allocate to the national health system. And within that percentage of GDP, how much should go into primary care so we can reach the goals we’ve set for ourselves.
At the same time as this conference, an individual summit on primary health care was held among the Autonomous Communities, what do you think of the document that emerged from that summit?
I haven’t had time yet to see the document, but the impression the colleague gave me is that he’s fine. In addition, the director of the Extremadura Health Service, with whom I have an important friendship, told me that economically it is a very large sum of money for primary care. Then we will have to see what this budget translates into. A few years ago, there was money to enable primary care and 80 percent went to improve the payroll or working hours of professionals. I’m not against improving my fees or anyone else’s fees, but that shouldn’t be a priority because then we’re not going to reform primary care.
It’s based on the regulatory framework approved in 2019, would you consider it a good starting point?
The 2019 framework was a consensus, an agreement between different political sensibilities, and I think it was a starting point and it should be reversed. Everything that is a great compact is important because it is necessary to strive always that there is no injustice and that it is homogeneous throughout Spain.
Another aspect discussed in Congress is that rural medicine in primary care is in a weaker position, should we pay special attention to rural medicine?
It is necessary for several reasons. The first is that if services are not provided to the rural population, the population displacement will increase. The second is difficult coverage places. I am a rural doctor and have worked in hard-to-cover areas and I think the problem is not only economic. Family matchmaking, professional training and access to resources should always be increased to be able to exercise and increase training or solution capabilities in this hard-to-reach area.
Although it may contain statements, statements or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information in medical writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend that the reader be consulted on any health-related question with a healthcare professional.
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