841 The Ageing Face Of Primary Health Care.

Tomczak Silva I
Aims: The rapid ageing of the modern day population creates big challenges to the provision of primary health care and social services. As the number of elderly people continues to grow demands on such services may well intensify. Since the elderly prefer to live in their own homes, communities and familiar environments, the proximity, accessibility, cost effectiveness and user-friendliness of community-based primary health care services are therefore of vital significance to the health and well-being of both the elderly and their families. However, very often community-based primary health care services are fragmented and not enough sensitive to the needs of elderly people. They often have inadequate resources and there is not enough emphasis on health promotion, prevention, systematic screening and referrals - all of which are essential for maintaining the health of ageing populations.
Methodology: The paper is based on a questionnaire about training in Geriatrics, which was elaborated by some Portuguese GPs/family doctors.
Results: Most of GPs/family doctors did not have any training in Geriatrics.
Conclusion: It is indispensable to prepare and train family doctors/GPs to deal better with the elderly and their necessities and promote the responsiveness of community based primary health care to the needs of the population in particular to the growing numbers of the elderly. The organization and delivery of community-based primary health care services depend on national health care systems and their individual settings. However, it is still not a widespread practice to train GPs/family doctors in core competences of elder care as well as age, gender and culturally sensitive practices, which address knowledge, attitude and skills. Only this way we can make it easier for the elderly to live this stage of their lives as well and long as possible and prepare young practitioners to deal effectively with all problems of the elderly.
The ageing face of primary health care.