The close medical supervision of patients not just at the hospital but also at home may cut the number of health problems down to 20 percent. Family medicine is a medical specialty that aims for the early detection and treatment of diseases, preventing them from developing into more advanced states.
Not adopting this kind of approach would push up costs for the healthcare system and impair the population’s quality of life.
The topic is being discussed by doctors and medical professionals at the 4th Congress of the Family and Community Medicine Association of the State of Rio de Janeiro (AMFaC-RJ), in Brazil.
“It’s no longer about those health stations that provide medical services from the poor to the poor, but rather about skilled doctors, capable of doing a good and rewarding work with the people, with respect. Family medicine is available today as a field that brings back the doctors that would pay visits to people’s homes, but without lacking the theoretical and conceptual framework, with specific techniques that considerably enhance the quality of their work.
“Nearly 80% of the health problems that affect the population may be dealt with in primary care,” said Rodrigo Pacheco, the association’s director and a family doctor who works in Rocinha, a community in south Rio de Janeiro, home to 70 thousand people.
Municipal Health Secretary of Rio de Janeiro Daniel Soranz said that the goal is to have 70 percent of the families covered by the system. “With top professionals and units it is possible to tackle 80 to 85 percent of everyday problems. When we get sick we usually don’t need a hospital and an operating theater, but good care and assistance at a primary care unit,” Soranz said.
According to Soranz, 900 family medicine teams are currently working in the municipality of Rio, and the target is to raise this number to 1,300 teams.
“There’s a large amount of doctors who need to graduate. Today, the city holds the country’s largest number of family medicine residents, with a hundred openings for the first year and another hundred for the second. This is crucial to increase the workforce to fill positions at future units,” he noted.
In the view of Rodrigo Pacheco, the More Doctors program, which brought to the country thousands of medics from abroad, especially from Cuba, has focused on family medicine and proved successful.
“We have 14 thousand new doctors in the country, and I don’t know any doctor who doesn’t have a job on account of that. The country managed to absorb all this workforce. Our need for doctors was undeniable. There were available positions that were just not taken,” he said.
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