“Towards Health for all. Synergies between Public Health and Primary Care”. 64th EQuiP Conference

The 64th EQuiP Conference with the theme “Towards Health for all. Synergies between Public Health and Primary Care” took place between 25th-27th/04/24 in Ghent (Belgium) 

It began with an introduction by Leen Vanzele, the leading Public Health officer of the City of Ghent. She detailed the operations of the city's health department, how they set priorities, and their collaboration with local primary care providers to address local challenges. This was followed by site visits to two different deprived neighborhoods in the city, providing an in-depth look at these efforts in action.

Participants were then invited to the official opening of the conference at Ghent City Hall, featuring a short speech by the deputy mayor and a welcoming drink.



On Friday, the first keynote by WHO expert Marc Bruijnzeels provided theoretical insights into 'population management'. PhD student Emmily Schaubrouck further explored this topic by presenting her scoping review on conceptualizing population management in primary care. A key takeaway from both presentations was the importance of data quality and its practical application in achieving better health outcomes for patients and groups of patients. This theme was further explored in a workshop where Flemish and Dutch colleagues shared their experiences with data in primary care. Another important message from the keynotes emphasized local action and listening to community needs, highlighting the significance of the previous day's site visits.

An inspiring workshop in the morning focused on nurse-led care and task redistribution within primary health care as solutions to some of the challenges in population management.

Friday afternoon's keynote session centered on planetary health. Professor Nicolas Senn delivered an inspiring talk on 'Translating Planetary Health Principles into Sustainable Primary Care Services', followed by ecopsychologist Marcella Danon. In a parallel morning session, participants experienced her topic hands-on in the garden, and in her keynote, she stressed the importance of a healthy planet and green environment for community health.

The subsequent parallel sessions emphasized interprofessional cooperation and equity of care as crucial elements of quality care and successful population management. Another workshop focused on improving the health of caregivers themselves.

Friday evening concluded with a panel session discussing how to convince primary care workers, who are often overstressed and facing manpower shortages in many European countries, of the importance of population management and cooperation with public health to achieve Quintuple Aim priorities in their practices and local communities.

Saturday morning featured three parallel sessions: on sustainable care, the workings of primary care zones in Belgium and France, and overall quality of care. The conference concluded with a double keynote on leadership, emphasizing how primary care workers can lead in developing community health. Mercey Wanjala from Kenya shared a universal message from her personal experiences, and Jan De Maeseneer was interviewed about his leadership roles as a GP, in the university, the city of Ghent, and the Belgian and European primary care movement. Both talks were highly inspiring.

Sustainability was a continuous focus throughout the conference, reflected in the organization’s adherence to the latest Flemish community guidelines and the green charter of Ghent University. The event was held in an old cloister, a unique venue in the city center that encouraged reflection and networking.

The conference offered high-quality keynotes and parallel sessions that were both outstanding and inspiring. Theoretical frameworks were discussed, developed, and compared with field experiences. Numerous best practices from across Europe were identified and shared. The EQuiP network for quality in primary care was strengthened, and opportunities for further collaboration among participants were explored.

Afterwards the EQuiP council meeting took place.

More information in https://www.qualityfamilymedicine.eu/