A fantastic achievement for MAP’s family medicine programme in Palestine

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is delighted by the outstanding progress made by Palestinian health workers training to become family medicine doctors. 

In countries like the UK, when someone has a health problem, they will usually first visit their GP, who can, if necessary, refer them on to specialists for tests or treatment. This is part of the ‘family medicine’ model of healthcare, which can help address 21st century health challenges by providing long-term, holistic, coordinated care which is more person- and family-centred and includes the involvement of multidisciplinary teams.

MAP is helping to adapt the family medicine model of healthcare for the Palestinian health system. Among the many benefits, is how it should help address challenges faced with an ageing population and rising rates of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

With our partner, the International Development of Family Medicine in Palestine (IDFMP), MAP is supporting An Najah National University (ANNU) in Nablus, in the West Bank, to teach Palestinian GPs the key skills needed for applying the family medicine model in their work.

One key strand of this is a residency training programme to teach Palestinian doctors the speciality of family medicine, hosted at ANNU. Through this programme, Palestinians doctors work and train in family medicine training centres, developing core competencies against a curriculum that MAP, IDFMP and ANNU have helped restructure to meet international standards.

Last week, MAP received excellent news. All 13 family medicine residents passed the first part of their specialist exams, sat half way through the residency programme. Dr Andy Ferguson, MAP’s Director of Programmes, reflected that “this a fantastic and almost unprecedented achievement!

Esma, one of the family medicine residents, describes being involved in the residency training programme: 

Supporting Palestinian doctors to become leaders in family medicine

Building on the recent success of the family medicine residents, last week MAP-supported a workshop for second year residents from the Ministry of Health (MoH) and ANNU. Delivered by IDFMP, ANNU and the Palestine Association of Family Medicine (PAFM), the training helped the medics to develop medical leadership skills. These skills are essential for future family medicine supervisors and leaders, and consequently for a well-functioning family medicine programme in Palestine. 

Dr. Atta Qre’, Director of the MoH Jerusalem Primary Health Centre (PHC), delivered a welcoming speech where he emphasised the importance of introducing family medicine in Palestine and the current progress in its development.

Mohammad Rabae, Head of PAFM, then delivered a speech to welcome the residents, reaffirming the medical and social benefits of family medicine and the importance of medical leadership in order to fully achieve the family medicine principles in Palestine.

The two-day workshop involved lectures, interactive sessions and group activities, and covered a variety of topics on medical leadership, including self-management, self-responsibility, effectiveness improvement, emotional intelligence and decision-making.

MAP, ANNU and FFMP would like to thank the Ministry of Health, in particular Dr Kamal Shakhra, General Directorate of Primary Health Care, and Dr. Nancy Falah, the focal point of Family Medicine at MoH, for their help in facilitating the training programme for their staff. Talking to MAP, Dr. Nancy explained: “These trainings for the residents are excellent as they continue to develop the skills of our family medicine staff”.

Special thanks to the IDFMP and ANNU team: Dr. Anita Berlin (FFMP), Dr. John Launer (FFMP), Prof. Bishara Bisharat (FFMP), Dr. Lubna AlSaudi (ANNU), Dr. Suha Hamshari (ANNU) and Dr. Suad Balkabir (ANNU) for providing such a great course.

If you would like to support our family medicine programme in the occupied Palestinian territory, please consider making a donation today.

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