Research Topic

Core Values and Tasks of Primary Care in Changing Communities and Health Care Systems

About this Research Topic

In many countries general practice delivers accessible, adequate and affordable healthcare for all inhabitants. Continuity of care, person centered care, covering a broad variety of health problems for the whole population, are central features of primary care in most countries where general practitioners are available. In the last decades, the ageing of the population and changes in both medicine and health care systems have major consequences for the workload, the tasks and the organization of general practice. General practitioners face challenges such as new technologies, ‘too much medicine’ and ‘superspecialization’ combined with an increasing commercialization, an increasing social gradient, and the emergence of opportunistic “screen doctoring” companies. These challenges and the ever-increasing workload have led to reflection on core competencies in several countries.

Recently, both in the Scandinavian countries and in the Netherlands a reorientation on core values and core tasks has taken place, leading to a reaffirmation of core values such as continuity of care, person-centered care, and generalist care. Also, in the Netherlands the core tasks of general practice have been more sharply delineated in order to protect the GP from an overload of expectations and tasks. In other countries, for example Belgium and Germany, a reorientation process is being set in motion or going on at the moment. In England general practice faces serious problems in providing primary health care for all inhabitants. In eastern European countries general practice is gaining more ground and is rapidly developing.

The attention and the need for a serious reorientation on the core of general practice is reflected in the central theme of the WONCA conference in Berlin in June 2020: Core Values of Family Medicine: Threats and Opportunities. Thus, a series on core values and core tasks of general practice is highly warranted.

Outline of the series:
• WONCA mission and relevant activities concerning core values and tasks
• Process and outcome of reorientation process in the Scandinavian countries
• Process and outcome of reorientation process in the Netherlands
• Core values and tasks of general practice in countries where primary care is developing
• Review/overview of effects and effectiveness of continuity of care in primary care (prevention of overdiagnosis and overtreatment)
• Review/ overview of effects and effectiveness of person-centered care in primary care
• Review on the essence and necessity of generalist competencies
• The role general practice in complex health care systems
• How do core values help me to make choices in my own practice? (a practice based article on the relevance of having core values)
• Discussion and activities about core values across `Europe (Equip)
• Commentary: threats and opportunities of core values in a changing world


Keywords: Core values, primary care, person-centered care, continuity of care, generalistic competencies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In many countries general practice delivers accessible, adequate and affordable healthcare for all inhabitants. Continuity of care, person centered care, covering a broad variety of health problems for the whole population, are central features of primary care in most countries where general practitioners are available. In the last decades, the ageing of the population and changes in both medicine and health care systems have major consequences for the workload, the tasks and the organization of general practice. General practitioners face challenges such as new technologies, ‘too much medicine’ and ‘superspecialization’ combined with an increasing commercialization, an increasing social gradient, and the emergence of opportunistic “screen doctoring” companies. These challenges and the ever-increasing workload have led to reflection on core competencies in several countries.

Recently, both in the Scandinavian countries and in the Netherlands a reorientation on core values and core tasks has taken place, leading to a reaffirmation of core values such as continuity of care, person-centered care, and generalist care. Also, in the Netherlands the core tasks of general practice have been more sharply delineated in order to protect the GP from an overload of expectations and tasks. In other countries, for example Belgium and Germany, a reorientation process is being set in motion or going on at the moment. In England general practice faces serious problems in providing primary health care for all inhabitants. In eastern European countries general practice is gaining more ground and is rapidly developing.

The attention and the need for a serious reorientation on the core of general practice is reflected in the central theme of the WONCA conference in Berlin in June 2020: Core Values of Family Medicine: Threats and Opportunities. Thus, a series on core values and core tasks of general practice is highly warranted.

Outline of the series:
• WONCA mission and relevant activities concerning core values and tasks
• Process and outcome of reorientation process in the Scandinavian countries
• Process and outcome of reorientation process in the Netherlands
• Core values and tasks of general practice in countries where primary care is developing
• Review/overview of effects and effectiveness of continuity of care in primary care (prevention of overdiagnosis and overtreatment)
• Review/ overview of effects and effectiveness of person-centered care in primary care
• Review on the essence and necessity of generalist competencies
• The role general practice in complex health care systems
• How do core values help me to make choices in my own practice? (a practice based article on the relevance of having core values)
• Discussion and activities about core values across `Europe (Equip)
• Commentary: threats and opportunities of core values in a changing world


Keywords: Core values, primary care, person-centered care, continuity of care, generalistic competencies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

29 May 2020 Abstract
26 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

29 May 2020 Abstract
26 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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