The European Association of Primary Care Partners (EAPCP) is a not for profit membership organisation representing the interests of primary care professionals across Europe, including general practitioners, nurses, practice managers and staff, pharmacists, opticians, dentists, physiotherapists and other allied health professionals working in primary care. Our aim is to help shape the future of healthcare across the continent, by spreading innovation, influencing policy, and supporting and connecting professionals across the primary care network – and by doing so enabling a sustainable patient-centred model in the community to enhance patient care. The EAPCP is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
We believe that strong, patient centred primary care produces better health outcomes against lower costs. Evidence shows (Starfield B, Milbank Q. 2005;83(3):457-502) that primary care helps prevent illness and death, regardless of whether the care is characterised by supply of primary care physicians, a relationship with a source of primary care, or the receipt of important features of primary care.The late Barbara Starfield also showed that primary care – in contrast to specialty care – was associated with a more equitable distribution of health in populations, a finding that holds in both cross-national and within-national studies.
Primary care is also the only way that we will be able to effectively fight the epidemics of non-communicable diseases affecting many populations across Europe, especially the rising rates of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancers as a result of continued smoking, obesity, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.
Chronic diseases represent 86% of mortality and 77% of the disease burden in Europe. EU member states spend 9-10% of GDP on healthcare, but 80% of this spending goes towards the treatment of chronic diseases, amounting to around €700 billion per year. Much of this is preventable.
Prof Michael Kidd, Australian GP and former President of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA), has also pointed out that primary care is the only way that we will be able to effectively fight the rapidly rising burden of mental health problems (J Family Med Prim Care. 2013 Jul-Sep; 2(3): 211–214. doi: 10.4103/2249-4863.120712) and manage the healthcare needs of the increasing proportion of elderly people in many of our communities.
“Moreover, primary care in the only way that we will be able to effectively contain the rising healthcare costs in our nations, through support for preventive care, health promotion and improvements in chronic disease management and the management of co-morbidities. We cannot afford to continue to build more and more hospitals. We need strong primary care to keep people out of hospitals,” according to Prof Kidd, Executive Dean at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.
Integrating primary care with public health, social and hospital care is also crucial to putting people at the centre of healthcare systems. Organising services to tackle acute and chronic care needs while putting people first can mean, for example, that primary care providers receive support from hospitals that play a more active role in the communities they serve.
The European Association of Primary Care Partners (EAPCP) is modelled on the successful Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) in the US – the multi-stakeholder membership organisation established in 2006 to advance an effective and efficient health system built on a strong foundation of primary care and the patient-centered medical home. Representing a broad group of public and private organisations, the PCPCC’s mission is to unify and engage diverse stakeholders in promoting policies and sharing best practices that support growth of high-performing primary care and achieve the ‘Quadruple Aim’ of better care, better health, lower costs, and greater joy for clinicians and staff in delivery of care.
The PCPCC coalition serves as a ‘driver of change’, educating and advocating for policies and programmes that advance the goals of high-performing primary care as the central focus of a healthcare system.
The European Association of Primary Care Partners will share those ideals, and by bringing together doctors, nurses, patient and consumer groups, health planners, employers, industry, quality organisations, health systems and much more, the EAPCP will help forge a consensus on future policy solutions for primary care.
We are committed to the advancement of patient centred primary care through the creation of a European community, connected to a global community, that will bring best practice and thought leadership to its members.
We are dedicated to working closely with policymakers, agencies and government leaders at local, national and European levels to drive health system reform and supports primary care driven health policies.
EAPCP policy and advocacy works with health care stakeholders to support meaningful policies related to Accountable Care Organisations, health insurance exchanges, health information technology, and payment reform.
Our organisation will partake in a number of key policy reform campaigns and events both at a local and international level. We will:
- Develop communication tools that enhance public awareness for positive primary care and key advocacy issues
- Advocate for the development of public policies that strengthen positive primary care
- Educate policymakers at a local and European level about the cost-saving and care delivery impact of primary care reform
- Gather and disseminate evidence that demonstrates the patient centered primary care is the future of positive impact health delivery
- Work collaboratively with key stakeholders to develop a strategic public policy agenda
- Promote the delivery of primary care excellence through European bi-annual awards
- Participates and organises series of international evidence based conferences which reinforce the benefits of primary care led health systems
- Provide a platform to share best practice and promote thought leadership within the primary care community
We have assembled an impressive advisory board of primary care professionals and thought leaders in the sector.