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Indian Family Doctors Champion Planetary Health

Indian Family Doctors Champion Planetary Health on World Family Doctor Day 2024

As the world contends with climate change, pollution, and health disparities, Indian family doctors are emerging as key advocates for planetary health. Celebrated under the theme 'Healthy Planet, Healthy People,' World Family Doctor Day 2024 highlighted the essential role of family doctors in addressing the health impacts of environmental changes. 

The event, organized by the Academy of Family Physicians of India (AFPI) Delhi Chapter in collaboration with Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, Punjabi Bagh, Delhi, underscored the importance of family doctors as the cornerstone of primary healthcare.

Dr. Raman Kumar, President of AFPI, emphasized, “Family doctors are on the frontline, witnessing the health effects of environmental changes firsthand. Their role goes beyond treating illnesses; they are advocates for sustainable living and environmental stewardship. Recent statistics show that Earth's natural systems are under immense strain, with climate change alone contributing to a rise in communicable and non-communicable diseases.”

During the event's inauguration, Dr. Subhash Gupta, Chairman of Maharaja Agrasen Hospital Trust, highlighted the critical role of family doctors in an era dominated by super specialization. “We must recognize the invaluable role of family doctors. They provide trusted guidance, ensuring you receive the right care at the right time, aligning with a growing national trend,” he said.

Dr. Sunil Massand, a leading family doctor, pointed out the healthcare sector's significant contribution to carbon emissions. “Family doctors, through preventive care and lifestyle interventions, play a pivotal role in reducing the need for resource-intensive medical treatments, thereby lowering emissions,” he noted.

The conference featured interactive workshops and panel sessions on the latest trends in family medicine and primary care. Family doctors are at the forefront, witnessing the health consequences of climate change firsthand. From the surge in respiratory illnesses due to pollution to the spread of vector-borne diseases with changing climates, their observations are crucial in understanding and combating these environmental health threats.

Dr. Vandana Boobna, the event organizer, expressed, “World Family Doctor Day is not just a celebration; it's a reaffirmation of our commitment to providing holistic and sustainable healthcare. As we navigate the complexities of modern healthcare, family doctors remain the bedrock of our health systems.”

As the world commemorates World Family Doctor Day 2024, it serves as a reminder of the invaluable contributions of family doctors in promoting health, preventing diseases, and fostering healthy communities. Their dedication to patient care, combined with their advocacy for planetary health, embodies the spirit of this year's theme, 'Healthy Planet, Healthy People.'

The AFPI Delhi Chapter's World Family Doctor Day conference highlighted that family doctors are the backbone of a healthy nation. As India faces a rising burden of chronic diseases and the challenges of climate change, a robust primary care system with family doctors at its core is more crucial than ever.

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