The Association of Private Family Doctors and the Malta College of Family Doctors stated in their budget proposals that family doctors can do much more if they were provided with more tools. Decision-makers were encouraged through a joint statement to fully rollout the national electronic patient health records for primary care.
They also urged to improve communication between primary and secondary care through the investing of digital interfaces needed to put all patient information from different medical branches online. Patient experience would be greatly improved if, apart from this, a route for all family doctors to be able to apply for free medication on behalf of their patients were provided. They also asked to make more investigations available to all family doctors and to make permanent the shortcuts to bureaucratic triangulations which worked well during the past months.
All these improvements would decrease the number of stops needed and days taken off work to access health services. Decision makers were also encouraged to invest in the participation of family doctors in cancer prevention. This would complement the massive investment made in the past years in screening, early diagnosis, treatment and hospital management. A research fund is also be called for, which includes research into cancer prevention in its broadest sense.
Photo Source: Cowichan Valley Citizen