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WONCA EUROPE 2014

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WONCA
Debate Session

Working Party on Ethics in Primary Care
Ethical aspects of remuneration and financial incentives systems in focus
 
One of the 19th WONCA Europe Conference’s debates that promises to draw significant attention will take place on July 3rd (11:30 p.m.) and it’s the responsibility of the WONCA Working Party on Ethics in Primary Care. This session, entitled "Challenges to our professional attitudes – use and misuse of remuneration systems and financial incentives for doctors" is going to be under the spotlight, in a moment when the dissemination and improvement of financial incentives schemes and new remuneration systems in primary healthcare is such a an important topic of discussion in Portugal, the country that hosts the conference and where such schemes have been implemented and perfected in last few years. 
 
The WONCA Working Party on Ethics in Primary Care chair – Austrian family doctor Manfred Maier – says this session “aims to address ethical aspects which arise as an integral part of a particular remuneration system, possibly due to efforts to optimize the system in the personal interest of doctors or which arise from financial incentives provided to them”.
 
Attendants should expect a session where four to five speakers, from countries with different remuneration systems for doctors, present their countries situation, by providing some data and background information.
 
When it comes to the Portuguese reality, where incentive schemes (both group and financial/individual schemes) have been applied gradually to the primary healthcare teams, Manfred Maier recommends a certain degree of vigilance, regarding ethical aspects and potential abuses. But even so, the Austrian family doctor believes the ethical concerns are probably less relevant in the context of such performance incentives systems “than in other systems, such as fee for service”.

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