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What role should general practitioners play in a modern health system?

#Irishmed tweetchat 10pm GMT Wednesday 10 February 2016

Health systems across the world are faced with many challenges – such as rising patient expectations, increased workload, ageing populations, and an increased number of people with long-term conditions. At the same time, health systems also face significant financial problems. Consequently, governments, other funders of healthcare and patients expect more from their doctors without necessarily offering them additional resources.

As the first point of contact with patients, what role should general practitioners (in some countries, referred to as primary care physicians or family practitioners) play in meeting these challenges? General practitioners (GPs) have to deal daily with large numbers of patients, cope with a very wide range of clinical problems, meet performance targets, provide continuity of care while at the same time also providing easy access to health services, show they are addressing issues such as the rise of antimicrobial resistance; and play a public health role in addressing unhealthy lifestyles and improving the uptake of preventive programmes such as screening and immunization.

Can GPs meet all these challenges? What support do GPs need to meet them? Could more be done to support GPs by non-medical health professionals? What do patients expect from their GPs? Does the training and continuous professional development of GPs need to change? How should we fund primary care services? In this #Irishmed tweetchat we will address these questions and gain opinions from a wide range of people with different professional backgrounds from across the world. The tweetchat will be followed by a blab.

We look forward to your contributions, which will help in defining what role GPs should play in a modern health system.

Azeem Majeed & Liam Farrell

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