Symbiosis of general medicine and geriatrics: the path to an active and healthy old age

The recently held congress day brought two key topics to the fore - geriatrics and general medicine, both disciplines closely linked to current demographic trends - the ageing population. Geriatrics plays a key role in this context, as the main goal is not only to hospitalize patients, but to promote an active and healthy old age. This is now also supported by the Ministry of Health.

25 Sep 2023

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On 15 September 2023, two important events took place in Brno: XXV. XXVII Brno Geriatric Day and XXX. XX. Both of them were connected in time and took place at the University Campus Brno Bohunice. MUDr. Ivo Rovný, MBA, Director of the Brno University Hospital, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University, Prof. Martin Repko, MD, PhD, the Minister of Health of the Czech Republic, Prof. Vlastimil Válek, MD, PhD, the Mayor of Brno, JUDr. Markéta Vaňková, and the Governor of the South Moravian Region, Mgr. Jan Grolich. The combination of two congresses, which had a high attendance, in one day allowed experts from the field of general medicine and geriatrics to share knowledge and experience. Discussions focused on how to ensure that patients live their old age actively and have the best possible quality of life without compromising its length.

The Congress emphasized that healthy old age is not only the motto of geriatrics, but also a key theme for the future. Practitioners and geriatricians thus have the challenge of finding the right balance between life extension and quality of life, so that old age is as pleasant as possible and patients can live life to the full. The XXV. Brno Geriatric Day focused on a number of interesting topics in cardiology, endocrinology, osteology, nutrition and pharmacotherapy in the elderly. Since health care for the elderly is not only a matter of geriatrics, but also involves the coordinated cooperation of several specialties, experts from other specialties also participated in this event. The expert programme of the XXX. Brno GP Day was prepared, as usual, in cooperation with colleagues, general practitioners, who selected the topics of most interest to general practitioners. In the first, cardiology-focused block, there were lectures on the evaluation of electrocardiography, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and a lecture on the cooperation between cardiologists and general practitioners. After the break there was a legislative block, which was led by Mr. Mgr. Uher. The last block was devoted to the differential diagnosis of dizziness, syncope and collapse conditions from the perspective of various specialties.

"Geriatrics is currently a very interesting and important field, which suffers from a lack of personnel, especially a lack of outpatient specialists, while 'healthy ageing' with the aim of keeping the elderly in the best possible condition for as long as possible in home conditions, i.e. with the highest possible quality of life, should become a common part of our medical practice. It is important that the Ministry of Health and other bodies work actively to improve the attractiveness of this sector, for example by reviewing and reassessing financial remuneration and working conditions. Young physicians and other health professionals should be motivated to work in the outpatient sector in the field of geriatrics," says Prof. Ondřej Ludka, M.D., Ph.D., Head of the Department of Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and General Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the Medical University of Brno.

This congress has thus opened the door to a discussion on the future direction of geriatrics and the need to include all relevant parties. During the conference, the Minister of Health, Prof. Vlastimil Válek, M.D., Ph.D., outlined how large the amount could be: "The government has already approved that the reform of geriatric care is a priority, I would like it to be clear already next year how we will proceed, what subsidy titles will be announced and how they will be followed up." Thus, the creation of a national geriatric plan could be the first step toward ensuring quality care for the growing number of seniors in our society.

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