After a couple of years of meeting only online, the Primary Health Care Expert Group met for a face to face meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, on 31 January – 1 February. It was refreshing and energising to meet in person again and exchange experiences on recent developments in the Primary Health Care sector.
Participants from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, WHO, NDPHS Secretariat and NDPHS ASA Expert Group shared the news on latest developments, such as the Finnish social and health care service reform which came into force in the beginning of 2023, think-tanks organised in Latvia in 2022 to have a broad participatory discussion on changes needed to strengthen the primary health care, a reform of family medicine scheme currently being planned in Lithuania, the transition undertaken by Sweden towards more person-centred health care services, improvements of e-health services and crisis preparedness, as well as about the new health development plan under preparation in Estonia.
The participants had a chance to take part in a field visit to Ülemiste Health Centre in Ülemiste City, which aims to develop into the largest knowledge-based economic environment in the Baltic countries, and get to know the centre in general, as well as one of the Centre’s family doctor practices in more detail.
After two days of invigorating discussions, the feedback from participants was that it is very helpful for their work at home to have these exchanges with fellow professionals, and the information obtained during the meeting gives more confidence to pursue the reforms towards strengthening their primary health care systems, as well as allows to look at their own primary health care systems with fresh eyes.
Next face to face meeting will be hosted by Finland at the very beginning of autumn, but meanwhile the Expert Group will meet regularly at shorter online meetings.