Secretary, Department of Health, Philippines
Family Medicine is known for its comprehensive care of patients regardless of age, gender, or illness. In this regard, the Department of Health (DOH) looks upon Family Medicine physicians as its critical allies to address the health care needs of families and communities in its quest to achieve Kalusugan Pangkalahatan or Universal Health Care for all.
Therefore, hosting the ASEAN Region Primary Care Physicians Organizations (ARPaC) Third Biennial Conference with the theme, “Best Practices in Universal Health Care” comes at such an opportune time. The DOH welcomes the esteemed delegates and guests of this international conference. We congratulate the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) on its 52nd Anniversary and Annual Convention, and commend its officers and members for hosting this event.
The DOH believes in the importance of maintaining ASEAN’s centrality, amidst increasing engagements with countries outside Southeast Asia, by creating a cohesive community and establishing health reforms that gear towards Universal Health Care. After all, the ASEAN community has long shared a determination to build a healthier and more prosperous region. Over the years, our different countries have worked together on important health concerns across South-East Asia and demonstrated a strong partnership.
Universal Health Care for all is a global movement that is needed now more than ever. Family Medicine Physicians could ensure that everyone has access to health care services through your broad array of competencies and expertise. One of the strategies that the current Philippine administration employs is adopting the Life Cycle Approach wherein at all nodal points in the family life cycle, such as birth, serious illness, and the end of life, individuals are protected by social insurance. Your commitment to patients and populations could be in the form of activism and advocacy for raising awareness on how a national health insurance is a symbol of social solidarity and means to financial risk protection from illnesses.
The DOH recognizes your invaluable contributions to health as you endeavor to promote greater involvement and collaborative partnerships within the ASEAN region with international organizations.
Congratulations and Mabuhay!
Secretary, Department of Tourism, Philippines
The Filipino is a natural healer. From the indigenous babaylan to the modern-day Rizal, the Filipino healthcare provider is part of the over 12 million Filipino workers overseas – they are the doctors, nurses and caregivers who support some of the world’s health services facilities today.
The Philippines takes pride as home to some of the best and sought-after healthcare providers. Our hospitals and specialty centers offer a full range of healthcare services from simple medical care to highly-specialized procedures. Renowned for our unique caring and nurturing spirit, the Philippines has been gaining ground as a healthcare travel destination of choice for tourists seeking better, affordable, and alternative medical care. The Philippines is also truly the idyllic setting for relaxation, healing, and recovery.
However for the country’s medical tourism to grow into a multi-million dollar industry, there is a tremendous work that needs to be done. The Department of Tourism recognizes the commitment of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians in rallying all family physicians around one common goal – that is to develop and implement cost-effective medical practices.
We hope to have your organization’s continued support as we implement our medical tourism programs to effectively establish Philippines as a challenger brand and “must-experience destination” in the region, with Filipinos delivering a level of service that is truly superior.
Congratulations to the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians on your 52nd Anniversary Celebration!
To the organizers and participants, we wish you a most successful convention!
Regional Preident, WONCA Asia Pacific
It is a great pleasure to offer my congratulations to the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians PAFP host of the 3rd Biennial Conference of the ASEAN Region Primary Care Physicians Conference (ARPAC) to be held jointly with the 52nd Anniversary and Annual Convention of PAFP.
The occasion will prepare for the mutual recognition agreement of 10 ASEAN countries. This alliance within WONCA will enhance cooperation and development of family medicine within the regions.
The theme of the conference “Best practices in Universal Health Care” is timely and appropriate. It is a consensus statement of our strive towards excellence in the delivery of primary care through the practice of family medicine. It also follows the Jeju declaration calling upon member organization to develop and implement actionable activities to enhance family medicine.
May I wish the conference every success and all delegates an enjoyable and memorable learning experience.
Founding Chair, ARPaC
Although many health programs have been carried out by each nation, yet the health status of many people, especially those who live in the developing countries, are still unsatisfactory. Scarcity of the health facilities, lack of the health workforces, low of political commitment, low education and unsound socio-economic as well as unhealthy behaviors, are some of determinant factors that play a significant role in creating improper health conditions. At present it is estimated that globally about one billion people experience lack of access to health care systems. Every year, about 36 million people die due to non-communicable diseases, some 6.7 million people die due to infectious diseases and over 7.5 million children under the age of 5 die from malnutrition and mostly preventable diseases.
To solve these health challenges, two global health development strategies have been implemented worldwide. Firstly, the Primary Health Care (PHC) strategy that was introduced in 1978. The expected outcome of the PHC strategy implementation is to achieve health for all by the year 2000. Secondly, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) strategy that was introduced in 2000. This strategy is aimed to the lack behind countries so they can be more aggressive in enacting the national development programs, including health programs. The expected impacts are that the rates of various major health problems such as malnutrition, infant mortality, maternal mortality, as well as several communicable diseases can be reduced significantly.
To be able to achieve the health for all (PHC) and to reduce the occurrences of several major health problems (MDGs), we certainly need good health services that can be characterized by three main concepts: accessible, affordable and quality. Providing the accessibility and affordability of health care services are mostly under the government’s responsibility, the provision of quality health care services is mostly under the responsibility of each individual health practitioner. For the benefit of the people, each health practitioner should provide quality health care services. A quality health care service means services that are able to satisfy the patients; and the provision of services is based on the agreed clinical and ethical professional standards.
There are many factors that influence the quality health care services. One of the very important factors is the implementation of the best practice principles. In order to provide quality health care services, every health practitioner including medical doctors and particularly family doctors, should implement the best practice principles in his/her daily practice. The successful implementation of the best practice principles will not only able to improve the effectiveness of the health services but also it will improve its efficiency. Many of us who live in this region are facing various determinant factors that affect the health status of the people. The best practices will be able to deal with all of these determinant factors.
At present, in the era of international free trade, following the General Agreement on Free Trades and Services (GATS), the globalization of the health services will soon be in practice. To protect the health of the people internationally, efforts to improve the quality of health services globally should also be seriously implemented. It should be a mandatory that the best practices are the only model in providing the health care services worldwide.
In accordance to the theme of this conference “To Make the Best Practices in Universal Health Care”, it requires many things. Common services standard as well as common education and training standard should be developed, agreed and implemented by the professional organization universally. At the regional level, such as ASEAN, the development of these two standards, especially for primary health care, should be under the responsibility of ASEAN Regional Primary Care Physician Organization
I do hope through this conference the preliminary concept in regards of these two standards can be formulated.
I wish all delegates have a very fruitful and successful meeting.