With the participation of more than 700 international healthcare experts, the third International Primary Care Conference organised by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) was opened on Friday under the patronage and in the presence of HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari.
Key opinion leaders, primary care specialists, surgeons, physicians and health practitioners attended the opening ceremony of the three-day conference.
Being held under the theme ‘Healthier Communities; Brighter Future’, the conference aims to enhance primary health care and family medicine status as a basic model of the care in the modern health system.

Dr Ahmad al-Shatti addressing the gathering.

Dr Mariam Abdul Malik, managing director, PHCC, said that the conference aims to empower the primary health care and the professional standards of the medical personnel. 
“Following the wise leadership of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to invest in the nation’s health and wellness as a key priority of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, we are honoured to reflect this drive through our commitment to the continued development of primary health care services,” she said.
“This year’s conference will conspicuously mark a celebration of what has been already achieved, a focus on promoting healthy lifestyle, prevention, early diagnosis and the provision of long-term support to patients and their families. The event will lay the foundation for future developments in primary health care globally. It will present a platform for knowledge sharing, a forum facilitating discussions of best practice and a stage reinforcing Qatar’s legacy to promote the health and wellbeing of people through the provision of outstanding health care service,” she explained.
The keynote speaker at the event, Dr Ahmad al-Shatti, consultant, occupational and environmental medicine director, Ministry of Health, Kuwait, delivered a paper on laying the foundation for healthier communities and a brighter future.
Dr al-Shatti noted, “Primary health care centres are cornerstones in the health care delivery system, essential setting for health, wellbeing, and necessity for sustainable development for individuals, communities and countries.”
Dr al-Shatti’s presentation demonstrated several concepts and initiatives including Sustainable Development Goals, Eastern Mediterranean regional health priorities, strategies and roadmaps, current situation analysis of non-communicable diseases, healthy cities initiative, health and climate change, culture and behaviour. 
Over the three days of the conference, some of the world-renowned healthcare experts are participating, including Lord Ara Drazi, director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London; Prof Maureen Topps, senior associate dean education at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada and many more distinguished speakers in the field of primary care. 
At a local level, participants include health professionals from PHCC, the Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar University, Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar, Sidra Medicine, and University of Calgary Qatar. Global experts taking part in the conference include delegates from the UK, the US, Canada, Ireland, Lebanon, Kuwait and Oman. 
As many as 58 seminars and scientific lectures are scheduled to take place throughout the conference which will review primary care challenges and developments, provide a platform to drive change and enhance best practice. 
Sessions on the first day included discussions on minor surgical skills, knee and shoulder examination workshop and identifying and supporting autistic children in the community.
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