The new strategy of Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has focused on preventive health and wellness services, a major shift from the traditional curative care model.
The PHCC's Corporate Strategic Plan 2019-2023 highlights that “our vision is to empower people to take responsibility for their own health and make healthy lifestyle choices”.
The new approach includes health promotion and wellness interventions and services that educate people, and encourage and empower them to adopt healthy behaviours that reduce their exposure to disease risk factors.
While launching the strategy recently, Dr Mariam Ali Abdulmalik, managing director of PHCC, said the quality of life for people in Qatar is at risk from the impact of their changing lifestyles.
“Although there is already a high prevalence of chronic conditions and associated risk factors, I have always been convinced that the best way to a healthy population is to focus on wellness and prevention and by having a comprehensive high-quality primary healthcare service,” explained Dr Abdulmalik.
According to the strategy, preventive services focus on early detection of risk factors and screening for chronic diseases. The preventive health model of care "includes services and practices that aim to protect people’s health by appropriate immunisation, preventing transmission of communicable diseases and infections, reducing multidrug-resistant infections, and managing outbreaks and epidemics” the strategy explains.
PHCC has already established a range of services focusing on the promotion of health and prevention of illness and disease. It has also invested in the infrastructure of new health and wellness centres to support the communities towards healthier lives.
The major goals of the organisation in this regard are to increase health promotion and wellbeing, provide early detection and screening, and ensure health protection and communicable disease prevention.
In this regard, PHCC plans to expand targeted wellness programmes for improving physical activity and healthy behaviours among youth and adults. This will support people to improve their health literacy, as well as support behaviour change, such as to quit smoking. The plan will also use mobile technology and the social media to encourage healthy lifestyles and develop wellness services for the key populations, mothers and newborns, children and adolescents.
Another method is to expand the national screening programmes for cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. PHCC also plans to extend screening to schoolchildren and adolescents, supported with education on healthy habits.
The strategy further aims to"standardise and improve the surveillance and outbreak management of multi-drug resistant organisms and infectious diseases, implement control and prevention programmes for communicable diseases, and deliver immunisation programmes for vaccine preventable diseases”.