Tirupati: Experts laud government's family doctor concept

Dr P Krishna Prasanthi

Dr P Krishna Prasanthi


  • Suggest consultation of various stakeholders for successful implementation
  • Govt set to launch the programme on Aug 15 at PHC level

Tirupati: The state government will be launching the 'Family Doctor' programme on August 15 which is planned to be implemented across the state in a phased manner. The government also started conducting preparatory meetings to educate the healthcare workers. However, while welcoming the concept, doctors said that some extra steps should be taken to take it forward effectively.

Explaining the features of the concept, the chairman-elect, AP Association of Physicians of India (APAPI) Dr P Krishna Prasanthi said that some 3-4 decades back , the MBBS doctors used to take care of all minor surgical problems and treat various diseases besides conducting normal deliveries. As such they were called primary care physicians and used to take care of all issues. However, during the last 20 years, this concept has changed as patients have been driven from family doctors (primary care physicians) to super speciality doctors. In foreign countries patients have to first visit to the family doctors who will refer them to concerned super speciality doctors which is not the case in India.

This causes delay in treatment as patients go from one specialist to another as they don't have any idea of the disease and whom to consult exactly. This also results in a huge financial burden on patients. Against this backdrop, the government proposed the family doctor concept which will be implemented through primary health centres (PHCs).

Dr P Krishna Prasanthi felt that the government must be careful to ensure its implementation. The government should talk to all the primary care physicians, retired DM&HOs, other stakeholders and they should also discuss the concept with various associations including that of physicians, surgeons, paediatricians and gynaecologists and take their inputs for its effective implementation. A family medicine operating committee with several expert doctors at every district may be helpful in taking the feedback from the field level doctors and address it in a better way.

To run various activities at PHC level including administration, field work, care taking of 104, national health programmes monitoring and conducting regular Ops and the doctors at the PHC level should be increased to at least five. Then only, one doctor can exclusively focus on family medicine clinics and run OPs.

As the concept will be implemented from August 15, from that day the digitalisation of patient data should be done which should be connected to a dashboard so that it can be analysed at state level. This will give an idea that which disease is more prevalent, she opined.

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