College of Family Physicians of Canada.
This discussion paper examines the role of family medicine and family doctors in public health, including the part played by family doctors in health promotion, disease prevention, chronic disease management and, in particular, in preparing for and managing public health emergencies. In Canada, family doctors are the main providers of primary medical care and in the event of a public health emergency, are therefore integral to the timely delivery of critical medical services.
This paper looks at the value that family doctors can and do contribute to public health. It is about the benefits of managing the interface between primary care and public health. It is also about being ready for public health emergencies of such national severity and global importance that they could threaten the delivery of all other health care and social services in Canada.
In this report, The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) outlines the issues that need to be addressed to ensure that: (i) Canadians will have the help they require if faced with another public health crisis, and; (ii) family doctors will be adequately prepared to meet their patients’ expectations during a public health emergency.