Training of Ukrainian Family Physicians in ICPC-2.

The government of Ukraine, together with the WHO-office in Kiev, is engaged in a process of transformation of the health care system, strengthening primary care and family medicine.

The Minister of Health decided that the implementation of the “International Classification of Primary Care – 2” is a necessary step to improve registration that documents what is happening at the level of family medicine and primary care.

Therefore, Dr. Kees van Boven (WICC-WONCA, Radboud University, Nijmegen – The Netherlands) and Prof. Jan De Maeseneer (Director International Center for Family Medicine and Primary Health Care – Ghent University, WHO Collaborating Center on PHC - Belgium) gave a two-days training workshop for 50 family doctors, coming from the different Oblasts (“Provinces” in Ukraine), in Kiev on the 24th and 25th of May 2017. The training was organised according to the “Train-the-trainers”-concept and was financed by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization – Kiev Office, with also support from the Swiss International Cooperation.

The Ukranian family doctors participated very actively in the training, and certainly when the ICPC-coding of “vignettes” (real doctor-patient encounters) were debated, active discussions and very relevant questions characterised the interaction.

The logistical organisation was excellent: very adequate technical support and excellent simultaneous translation from Ukrainian to English and vice-versa. Apart from the principles of episodes of care, the coding-principles and the particularities of the ICPC-2 classification, also time was invested in strategical issues, e.g. how to deal with resistance in groups of family doctors, when trying to motivate them to use ICPC-2 in their practice? The participating family doctors, demonstrated to be active ambassadors of ICPC-2 during a role-play session.

The participants were very positive in their final feedback and a clear plan has been established, in order to monitor the follow-up of this training-sessions.

Kees van Boven and Jan De Maeseneer enjoyed the positive interaction with the Ukrainian family doctors and their willingness to implement the ICPC-2 classification. This may lead to strengthening primary care in a country where there are still important challenges in providing health care.