RCGP partnership will send GP volunteers to Africa and Middle East

GPs will help to run family medicine projects in Africa and the Middle East under a new scheme launched by the RCGP and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Dr Maureen Baker: 'We are delighted to be working to help some of the world's most vulnerable patients'. (Photo: Pete Hill)
Dr Maureen Baker: 'We are delighted to be working to help some of the world's most vulnerable patients'. (Photo: Pete Hill)

The 3 year project, the first of its kind for MSF, will place RCGP members into projects and Swaziland and Jordan to bring their skills to help some of the most vulnerable patients in the world. 

RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker said the college is committed to maintaining standards of patient care both in the UK and abroad.

‘We are delighted to be working with MSF to help some of the world's most vulnerable patients, in very fragile environments’, she said.

‘The work proposed through this partnership will be challenging, but undoubtedly rewarding. I am confident that the resilience, compassion and dedication to providing excellent, holistic care for patients that UK GPs show at home, will be an asset to these MSF projects - and the patients being treated there.’

GP volunteers posted to Swaziland will work to provide access to free healthcare particularly for patients with TB, HIV and noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes as well as treating survivors of sexual violence.

In Jordan GPs will focus on treating patients with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and COPD, identified as the greatest disease burden among the high numbers of Syrian refugees.

The RCGP will support recruitment of GP volunteers who will spend six to 24 months in one of the placements. As well as clinical duties, volunteers will use leadership and training skills and focus on delivering holistic care.

RCGP chief executive Neil Hunt said: ‘This is a very important partnership for the RCGP and one that I hope is just a beginning. Promoting general practice globally is key to our ambitious international strategy and I envisage this new partnership as being key to achieving our goals.’

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