National Primary Health Care Conference July 11 to 13 | 08 July 2019
Seychelles takes stock of its primary health care system
Is primary health care in Seychelles still meeting the needs of all the people several decades after being put in place?
With the increase in new diseases and numerous challenges including mounting treatment costs, is the system still sustainable?
Or is there a need to completely review and strengthen it so it can better respond to present day health needs while remaining sustainable through innovative strategies to achieve efficiency, through more stakeholder engagement and people’s individual commitment and responsibility to take ownership of their health?
All these questions and many others are expected to be discussed and answered during a major national primary health care conference to take place this week.
The three-day conference is being organised by the Ministry of Health and will take place from July 11 to 13.
It will bring together for a serious national discussion, a diverse group of people – from policy makers, community leaders, regulators, health care managers and leaders, private and public sector health practitioners and managers as well as health workers to patient, youth and senior citizens representatives.
The conference, to be held at the Avani Hotel Barbarons, will be led by local health professionals and leaders and it will take place under the theme ‘Lasante Pour Nou Tou Partou, Par Nou Tou’.
The principal secretary for health, Dr Bernard Valentin, said during the three days all the different stakeholder groups will have a frank discussion to identify the strengths and weaknesses of primary health care in Seychelles.
He said the aim of such a discussion involving a wide range of concerned groups is to get their views and concerns to help improve primary health care in Seychelles.
While it is a widely accepted fact that the primary health care approach adopted decades ago has greatly contributed to improve access to quality health and care services for the whole nation, over the years people have been very critical of the system.
Many people feel that in many cases services and care are not to the expected standard due to complacency on the part of health professionals, not enough engagement at community level and other sectors to promote healthy lifestyles, little or no coordination between the public and private providers of health care services, deterioration in facilities and equipment and as a result people are not benefitting as they should from services available.
The objective of the national discussions therefore will be to agree on the good primary health care practices, to identify and prioritise any unmet health needs, identify new strategies for health governance, leadership, planning, monitoring, evaluation and promotion. Participants in their discussions are also expected to strongly agree on how to build partnerships and increase engagement of non-health actors in strengthening primary health care and find ways to strengthen primary health care in private practice and improve interactions between public and private sectors.
The outcome of the conference will pave the way for a stronger primary health care system by mobilising and pooling together enough financial resources to continue sustaining primary health care and services, by building consensus on the necessary priority actions needed today to prevent diseases and foster wellbeing, by developing a model of health that optimises the role of health centres.