REVIEW – May 2009

Quality activities in Estonian family practice


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Development of health care quality is primarily the responsibility and interest of professional organisations. Among the priorities of the Estonian Society of Family Doctors in recent years have been stimulation of both professional development and quality of work as well as assessment of professional competency. Training of family doctors in Estonia corresponds to the directives of the EU. All family doctors working in primary health care in Estonia are certifi ed family doctors, which is one of the indicators of professional competency. To facilitate family doctors’ professional development, the Estonian Society of the Family Doctors has created special web-based self-training environment „Svoog“. This environment  allows all registered family doctors to follow, via the internet, all conferences and lectures organised by the Society of Family Doctors, to ask questions and to respond to them, as well as to establish one’s own personal account of CME points. Soon we will complete a handbook of quality development for family practices, which helps to organize and assess daily professional activities in concordance with best practice. Since the year 2006 the payment scheme of family doctors includes also a component of so-called „payment for performance“. This component is foreseen to stimulate preventive activities and follow-up of patients with chronic diseases, as well as to stimulate provision of more comprehensive care.