Introduction – what it is and why it’s important
Family Medicine is a clinical speciality that provides comprehensive (across all ages, gender, organ systems, and specialities), cost-effective and patient centred care. This field specializes on the patient and a family physician is a patient’s advocate.
Family Practice is well recognized in the developed countries and has been crucial in providing universal, affordable and accountable health care access to all sections of society. CMC recognized the need for this speciality and has been a pioneer in initiating an academic Department of Family Medicine.
The Family Physician is able to manage 80% of the presenting problems in a health centre. There is no limit in gender or age in this field. The patient is taken care of from the ‘cradle to the grave’ and the care includes preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative.
Since 1993 CMC has been running a Family Medicine course under the National Board of Examinations. In 2007, due to prescribed regulations the DNB had been discontinued.
The faculty of the family medicine department provide clinical services in various primary and secondary care facilities. Primary care facilities are provided in the Citizen’s Clinic and the Red Cross Clinic. Secondary care facilities are at CHAD, LCECU, SSHS and RUHSA.
The Department runs a two year Fellowship in Family Medicine course which takes two students each year. It also provides assistance to the distance education course in Family Medicine by developing educational materials as well as teaching in the contact sessions. It manages the MBBS undergraduate posting in Family Medicine.
The clinical services include daily outpatient clinics for all common illnesses and inpatient care for acute illnesses. Special services include:
diabetes mellitus clinic – rheumatic heart disease clinic– antenatal services for low and high risk women– delivery services– post -partum sterilization– immunisation clinic for the new born – psychiatric clinic– ENT clinic – dental clinic– home visits and mobile clinics.
There is a well linked referral system with the tertiary hospital for patients who need care at that level. Patients are referred back, after they receive specialist care, and continue routine care in the secondary clinical unit. The patients’ health care needs are co-ordinated by the department.