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Strong Primary Care (PC) produces better health outcomes against lower costs. That is the briefest summary of available scientific evidence. By promoting strong PC the population’s health can be improved. Strong PC does not emerge spontaneously. It requires appropriate conditions at the health care system level and in actual practice to make PC providers able and willing to take responsibility for the health of the population under their care. A key element is effective collaboration with well organized secondary care. Everywhere in Europe the process of strengthening PC is ongoing, with a large diversity in the way PC is organized. Therefore, Europe is in a sense a laboratory landscape of experiments for organizing primary care. There is a strong need to collect and share information about what structures and strategies matter. This is a support to practitioners but will also provide the evidence to convince policy makers at different levels that PC needs to be strengthened.
The European Forum for Primary Care is multidisciplinary and brings together interested parties from many European countries. The aim of the Forum is to connect three groups of stakeholders in the field of Primary Care:
• the health care field; this includes practitioners from the different professions: physicians, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, dentists and several others;
• health policy makers;
• the producers and evaluators of (health) care information: universities and other research groups.
These parties work at three levels: the local or district level, the national level and the supra-national level. By linking policy, practice and research the Forum intends to stimulate policy making based on vision and evidence as much as it intends to support PC practice oriented towards quality and equity.
The Forum provides information and opportunities for debate to its members, using thematic discussion groups, facilitated by the website and the secretariat. It also formulates Position Papers, based on contributions of its members and third parties. In the past years, Position Papers on Mental Health, Self Care, Diabetes, Chronic Disease Management, all in relation to Primary Care, have been developed and published and in coming years further Position Papers will be issued.
The Forum monitors EU policies and advices its members, the relevant organizations of the European Union and its member states on policies that bear relevance to Primary Care. However, the scope of the Forum is not limited to member states of the European Union: it encompasses all European countries. The Forum works in close collaboration with several organizations like WHO, WONCA, EUPHA, EHMA, ENOTHE, EuroPharm Forum and EFAD.
A biennial conference dedicated to the development of Primary Care with the title: The Future of Primary Care in Europe is the major recurrent event of the Forum. In 2006 this event took place in Utrecht, The Netherlands, the 2008 edition in Southampton, UK and in 2010 the conference was held in Pisa, Italy. The 2012 edition takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden and in 2014 the EFPC will meet in Barcelona.
The European Forum for Primary Care was created in 2005. The nine member advisory board guides the activities of the Forum. Current chair is Prof Dr Jan De Maeseneer (Belgium) with other board members from UK, Italy, France, Slovenia, Moldova, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands. The secretarial support to the Forum is shared by JVEI, the Jan van Es Institute in Almere, the Netherlands and NIVEL, the Netherlands institute for Health Services Research in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Mr Diederik Aarendonk, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Public Health, is the coordinator of the Forum.
Benefits of the membership are:
• opportunity to participate in the exchanges within the Forum through theme-group discussions, the publication of articles and documentation on the Forum’s website;
• full access to member website via the members Area;
• regular e-mail newsletters on Primary Care developments;
• information on conferences, thematic meetings, study visits and other activities organized by the European Forum for Primary Care and its partners; reduced registration fees for EFPC conferences;
• a chance to network and meet colleagues who have similar interests and concerns;
• opportunities to participate in advocacy towards European and national health policy developments in favor of Primary Care;
• The European Forum for Primary Care has adopted the journal Quality in Primary Care as its official publication. The Forum’s Position Papers appear in the journal. Members have the opportunity to submit their own work for publication. Members of the European Forum for Primary Care will have on-line full access to Quality in Primary Care.
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Small Institutional Membership
350 euro Basic institutional membership for institutes with less than 50 employees (two votes & four addressees for the newsflash) with a free subscription for QPC.
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700 euro Institutional membership for medium sized institutions (50 – 100 employees); which includes besides the free subscription for QPC, one free entrance for a EFPC conference per year.
Large Institutional Membership
1200 euro Institutional membership for larger institutions (more than 100 employees) which includes besides the free subscription for QPC, two free entrances for the EFPC conference.
2500 euro Premium membership Members who want to be included in the EFPC web-based list to form partnerships for EU research proposals (EFPC Working Group on Primary Care research) plus free subscription QPC, three free entrances for the EFPC conference, logo plus link on our home-page.
Members who register after July will be charged 50 % of the fee for the current year.