This Wednesday, May 19th, is the celebration of World Family Doctor Day. In Spain, this person is a key figure in how the health care system is built. They act as the guarantor for the health biography of each one of their patients, with a comprehensive perspective that lets them prevent illnesses and promote health.
But this system, whose foundations were laid with primary care reform in 1984, has cracks, which have become apparent in recent years. The limited availability of professionals, along with increased chronicity and the risk of vulnerability among the population, have led primary care to a crisis in regard to response capacity. And professionals are feeling increasingly discouraged, exacerbated by the effects of the long pandemic.
Technology, risk and solution
The new digital society is an opportunity, while building on technological possibilities, to recover the area of the family doctor in the national health care system, reinforcing attributes such as a social and global perspective, continuity, and longitudinality in health care.
Nevertheless, the opportunities are not risk-free, as the EADT has long been pointing out.
Many technological solutions have emerged aimed at self-consumption. They are tempting, but end up being useless if they aren’t integrated into an entire professional chain – a health service, a family doctor, and a primary care team – that monitors the results obtained from technology and is capable of providing a precise response for care-giving.
The family doctor, guarantor of the citizens’ health biography, must also lead as well as evaluate technological deployment aimed at improving patient follow-up in the outpatient setting. Because we are talking about health, not another business for the big technology companies.