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Prime Minister Imran Khan received the APPNA MERIT delegation at the PM Office on Friday, March 6, for a 45-minute long meeting. Federal Minister of Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza, and Chairman Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC), Dr. Tariq Banuri also attended the meeting.

Building Primary Care Capacity: Pakistan's Critical Need

APPNA MERIT delegation briefed the PM on the very successful 2-day APPNA MERIT Conference "Building Primary Care Capacity: Pakistan's Critical Need" held at Rawalpindi Medical University in collaboration with HEC and RMU. They discussed the need for building primary care in Pakistan by creating a trained cadre of Family Medicine physicians.

The Prime Minister enthusiastically endorsed the initiative and said building primary care was critical if the new health insurance card schemes were to bring about change in Pakistan's health metrics. He recounted the experiences of other countries like Iran who had transformed healthcare for their populations by focusing on primary care.

The Prime Minister praised all the work APPNA does. He asked his ministers for their plans on implementing the Conference recommendations.

Federal Minister of Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza, also met separately with APPNA President and MERIT Chair and Co-Chair on Thursday, March 4, on APPNA-Pakistan collaboration on primary care. He scheduled a second follow up meeting with the APPNA team a week later on March 11 to give further shape to Family Medicine and primary care plans.

APPNA MERIT is excited at this strong support from the highest levels of Pakistan's government and invites APPNA Family Medicine physicians and faculty to join this worthy effort!

Naheed Usmani, MD
APPNA President 2020

Shahid Rafiq, MD

Danish Bhatti, MD