About MAFP

Thank you for your interest in the Myanmar Academy of Family Physicians. The MAFP is the non-profit professional society for Family Medicine in Myanmar. Our vision is to improve the health of the people of Myanmar by allowing primary care doctors to receive true postgraduate training in the global medical specialty of Family Medicine. In addition to a rigorous professional education program for physicians, we defend the right of patients in Myanmar to have access to doctors who:

Treat a wide range of health problems in a clinically responsible manner

Consider the well-being of the whole patient rather than simply an organ system

Provide diagnosis and treatment recommendations in the context of a patient’s family, community, and socioeconomic status

Act ethically from a clinical and financial standpoint according to the best current understanding of modern medicine

Provide continuing, comprehensive health care for the individual and family

Focus on disease prevention, health promotion, and the early detection of disease

Take a patient-centered approach to the healing and healthy lifestyle process

We believe the result will be a paradigm shift in patient-doctor communication in Myanmar, with far-ranging benefits that include improved population-wide health outcomes, better quality of life, increased financial security for the family unit, and greater likelihood of economic solvency of the health system.

Background

Upon completion of medical school in Myanmar, students are either absorbed into the government system where they work in township clinics and hospitals en route to further medical specialization (ie, Surgery, Cardiology, OB/Gyn, Pediatrics, etc.), or they begin work as primary care General Practitioners (GPs) in private clinics. The private GP clinic is ubiquitous in cities, peri-urban areas, and small-medium sized towns. According to government health estimates Myanmar has 11,000 GPs, which represents 65% of the country’s current physician workforce. These doctors are providing curative and other health services at the grassroots level to a wide range of patients. This large network could be leveraged to deliver services and interventions targeted at improving population health indicators.

However, currently no mechanism exists for rigorous post-medical school training of these primary care providers. As a result doctors often deliver clinically inappropriate care, patient expectations are poorly managed, and the financial burden borne by the population can be destructive to the family unit. The newly established Myanmar Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) is endeavoring to address this gap in the national health care system by offering a post-graduate degree in Family Medicine.

The MAFP was established in 2015 by the leadership of the General Practitioner Society of the Myanmar Medical Association, which has 5000 members in 35 branch offices across Myanmar. With decades of experience representing the interests of GPs and having provided Continuing Medical Education courses for many years, MAFP members are positioned to take a lead role in the training of future Family Medicine physicians in Myanmar. A core group of Myanmar physicians and international advisors have designed a clinical training program which will confer a degree in Family Medicine intended to bring Myanmar in line with ASEAN and international Family Medicine standards. The result will be a teaching institution that develops a primary care physician work force which delivers ethical medical care, addresses the major epidemiological challenges facing Myanmar, and helps implement Ministry of Health programs in public health and health care financing.

Mission Statement and Objectives

Mission Statement

To train existing General Practitioners and new medical graduates into competent Family Physicians.

Objectives

1

To establish a level of vocational training in the medical specialty of Family Medicine that gives physicians the skills and capacity to deliver ongoing comprehensive and high quality care.

3

To serve as a forum for sharing experiences, exchanging expertise, expressing views, and defending the interest and rights of Family Physicians, General Practitioners, and our patients.

5

To network and establish inter-professional collaborations and affiliations with local and international bodies sharing similar objectives.

2

To prepare a new generation of primary care physicians who are able to act as professional leaders, researchers and faculty members in Family Medicine education and practice.

4

To promote the appropriate legislation, professional accreditation and public recognition that establishes Family Medicine as an academic discipline.

6

To encourage and facilitate primary care research that furthers the discipline of Family Medicine in Myanmar and allows for the publishing of journals, manuals, and guidelines.

Benefits for Doctors, Patients and the Health System

The aim of the Myanmar Academy of Family Physicians is to address the lack of vocational medical training for General Practitioners in Myanmar. In offering post-graduate (after medical school) training in Family Medicine we are giving doctors, patients, and policy makers a framework for strengthening Myanmar’s health system.

For Doctors

Providing a post-graduate training program will give GPs their own specialty, Family Medicine, that offers parity in medical training with other specialties (Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, OB/Gyn, etc)

Family Medicine training facilitates better use of financial resources under a Universal Health Coverage scheme by optimizing referrals and the purchase of medical services

Increasing physicians’ clinical skills with a practical focus on the local context will allow doctors to make better diagnostic and treatment decisions

Doctors specializing in Family Medicine are better equipped to evaluate patient disease burden, set treatment expectations, explain prognosis, and thereby help family units avoid financial ruin is seeking medical care

Message From The Chairman

A Challenging Journey for Tomorrow's Family Physicians

Dear Friends of MAFP,

Thank you for joining us on this journey to establishing Family Medicine in Myanmar. Improving the quality of primary care doctors in Myanmar has been my dream since I first became aware of Family Medicine during a visit to Singapore in 1987. Today we have a new opportunity to increase the quality of our frontline doctors by offering them specialty training in the globally recognized academic discipline of Family Medicine.

The mission of MAFP is to develop appropriate education and training programs that will allow General Practitioners to become competent and qualified Family Physicians, and gain their rightful place amongst other medical specialties in Myanmar. We will further endeavor to advocate for the profession, the communities for which we provide care, and for accreditation within Myanmar.

Primary care in Myanmar is neglected and has been under-resourced for many years. As a result frontline quality of care and health screening has suffered, leading to excessive disease burden in the population and health spending by family units.

Only through a well developed system of Family Medicine training can we ensure accessible comprehensive coordinated and people-centered care that covers the majority of urban poor and rural populations. The MAFP is the leading force in a paradigm shift that is moving medical education and training from tertiary hospitals to community and ambulatory care settings. An emphasis is placed on the importance of educating physicians in community/ambulatory and clinic-based (work place based) training with the same academic rigor previously reserved for the hospital environment.

We invite General Practitioners in Myanmar to become Family Medicine doctors by becoming Membership Candidates in our training program. We also encourage the Myanmar physician community and international stakeholders to join us in developing a new model of medical education for our country. To all of the individuals and organizations, both locally and globally, who have supported us so far, we owe you much and will never be able to adequately express our thanks. As the saying goes, a thousand miles starts with a first step, and we have our walk on this challenging journey with dedicated commitment and the offer of unifying primary care doctors under the banner of the MAFP. We will march through all the hardships until we reach our goal.

Sincerely,

U Tin Aye, Chairman, Myanmar Academy of Family Physicians

The Myanmar Medical Empowerment Project (MMEP)

The MMEP was launched by SKLF in 2015 with recruitment of Global Health through Education, Training and Service (GHETS) and MAFP with the goal to provide universal health access through the recognition of Family Medicine as a specialty. This will be accomplished by a bespoke three-level Training of Faculty course designed by GHETS and MAFP, with the intent of incorporating the content into the national education system and curriculum. Since 2015, with SKLF’s funding support and cooperation with its strategic partners, such as the Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Shin Kong Bank, and Manan Trust, MMEP has successfully promoted the setup of, and raised awareness of, primary care education with international best practices and standards.

The Design and Implementation of MMEP 2014-2018

  • TMMEP: Taiwan Myanmar Medical Empowerment Project
  • MMEP: Myanmar Medical Empowerment Project
  • SKLF: Shin Kong Life Foundation
  • SKH: Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital
  • SKL: Shin Kong Life Insurance
  • MOHS: Ministry of Health and Sports
  • GHETS: Global Health through Education, Training and Service
  • GPS: General Practitioners’ Society
  • MAFP: Myanmar Academy of Family Physicians
  • THC: Taiwan Health Corp
  • AVPN: Asian Venture Philanthropy Network
  • WONCA: World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians
  • RCGP: Royal College of General Practitioners
  • FM: Family Medicine

July 2014 (Myanmar)

The delegates from SKLF, SKH, and SKL visited the Yangon Worker’s Hospital and Mandalay General Hospital in Myanmar arranged by the Union Minister, HE U Soe Thane. SKLF assembled an advisory board of local and international leaders (including HE U Soe Thane, U Maung Maung, Thaung Su Nyein, Win Win Tint, Jared Genser Perseus, Dr. Yap Kwong Weng, and Dr. Peter Chou).

September 2014 (Taiwan & USA)

TMMEP Proposal was requested by SKLF and first drafted by THC and GHETS.

December 2014 (Myanmar)

Delegates from SKLF, SKH, SKL, THC, GHETS and HTC Chief Innovation Officer Peter Jou visited the Minister of Labor and National Policy Advisor, Yangon Worker’s Hospital, University of Medicine 1 Yangon, and Mandalay General Hospital.

March 2015 (Taiwan)

To do a feasibility and design of a cross-boarder project in Myanmar, SKLF invited GPS members (Dr. Tin Aye, Dr. Nay Win, Dr. Aye Aye Thein, Dr. Mie Mie Htay, Dr. Tin Myo Han) and GHETS (Dr. Jeffrey Markuns) to come to Taipei based on an itinerary THC recommended (included SKH, CK Memorial Hospital International Medical Center, Hualien Siou Lin Health Center and Hualien County Health Center). This was an expense paid for research trip founded by SKLF.

July 2015 (Taiwan & USA)

SKLF and GHETS confirmed MAFP as a project partner for TMMEP in Myanmar. The Pilot Phase 1 Proposal (2015) was signed between SKLF and GHETS; GHETS would coordinate with MAFP to deliver the programs agreed for TMMEP in Myanmar according to the 3-year program stipulated in the contract.

September 2015 (Myanmar)

SKLF organized the Taiwan Myanmar Primary Care Round Table and extended the invitation to MAFP (Dr. Tin Aye and colleagues) to raise their visibility. Doctors from Taiwan (SKH Superintendent and former Minister of Health in Taiwan Dr. Sheng Mou Hou and his colleagues from SKH Dr. Shiow Wen Liou, Dr. Haw Yueh Thong, and Dr. Jung Hui Hsu) and doctors from Myanmar (Dr. Nay Soe Mg at the University of Public Health, Dr. A. Aung from Myanmar Medical Association, and Dr. Thein Swe from People’s Health Foundation).

December 2015 (Myanmar)

The Level 1 of the Training of Faculty (TOF Level 1) in TMMEP was completed.

March 2016 (Taiwan & USA)

The three years proposal for TMMEP Phase 2 (2016-2018) was confirmed.

May 2016 (Hong Kong)

SKLF presented at panel in AVPN Annual Conference and connected with Manan Trust, the later whom became a co-funder of TMMEP.

June 2016 (Taiwan & USA)

TMMEP changed its name to MMEP.

November 2016 (Brazil)

SKLF provided additional funding for MAFP to participate at the WONCA Rio Conference. Dr. Kyaw Thu from MAFP and partner of the MMEP presented at panel “Developing Post graduate Family Medicine Curriculum: International Experiences.

February 2017 (Myanmar)

SKLF provided additional funding for MMEP to present at panel in the AVPN Myanmar Social Impact Forum. Dr. Jeff Markuns from GHETS, the founding partner of the MMEP was a presenter. UK RCGP contributed to the content of the MMEP curriculum. SKLF sponsored the design and building of the MAFP official website.

May 2017 (Myanmar)

MAFP partnered with the MOHS to deliver a two-day FM Seminar at MOHS. MOHS promulgated a National Strategic Plan for Family Medicine development. ˙MAFP Chairman, Dr. Tin Aye was inducted into the Myanmar Academy of Medical Sciences, as the first-ever GP to join this elite group (of approximately 300 of the most respected clinicians).

May 2017 (Myanmar)

The first cohort of 20 graduates received diplomas for having completed three levels of the Training of Faculty program.

October 2018 (Myanmar)

Delegates from SKH visited OSC Hospital, Parami General Hospital, Sakura Hospital and Asia Royal Hospital in Myanmar. SKH also provided voluntary medical consultation in MAFP member Dr. Vijay Kumar’s clinic. SKH doctor and graduate from the University of Medicine 1, Yangon Dr. Jung Hui Hsu gave speech on “Role of Endoscopy in Gastrointestinal Diseases” in the Medical Workshop to MAFP members.

2017-2018 (Myanmar)

A second cohort of faculty have begun the TOF training program in Yangon. The Training of Faculty program expanded to Mandalay. A total of 51 graduates have received diplomas for having completed three levels of the Training of Faculty program in Yangon and Mandalay.

April 2019 (Myanmar)

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Myanmar Academy of Family Physicians and Shin Kong Hospital was signed at the Sule Shangri-la hotel in downtown Yangon. The two parties agreed to cooperate in the field of medical education and research, and to share the Taiwanese medical development experience with Myanmar.

July 2019 (Myanmar)

The leaderships of the General Practitioners’ Society (GPS) and the MAFP were received by the minister of MOHS at the ministry guest house in Yangon. The main agenda was the earliest opening of the masters in Family Medicine program. After verifying the updates with the program development, the minister agreed to start the program in 2020. The planning to finalize the masters Family Medicine curriculum and to hold stakeholders meeting were also discussed.

September 2019 (Magway, Mandalay, Bago, Ayeyawady, Yangon)

In collaboration with the GPS, the MAFP launched a pilot program on Continuing Professional Development for general practitioners in several divisions of Myanmar. This pilot program was aimed at assessing the needs of the primary care work force when the universal accreditation of Myanmar medical doctors initiates in 2023. This milestone program is endorsed by the Myanmar Medical Association (MMA) and Myanmar Medical Council (MMC).

September – October 2019 (Taiwan, Myanmar)

The Shin Kong Hospital Medical Assistance Program to Myanmar (SKMM) awarded scholarships to 4 family medicine trainers from MAFP. They travelled to Taiwan to learn about the Family Medicine teaching program in Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial hospital and additionally visited to prominent pharmaceutical corporations in Taiwan.

November 2019 (Myanmar, USA)

MAFP conducted the “Family Medicine Induction Seminar” on November 7 and 8 at the University of Medicine 1 with the support of the Department of Human Resources for Health (DHRH) from the Ministry of Health and Sports. During the seminar, faculty from Boston University Global Health Collaborative (BUGHC) facilitated as the resource persons.The director general and deputy director general of DHRH, rectors, MMC chairman and MAMS chairman attended the opening ceremony. During the two-day interactive TOT sessions led by BUGHC, faculty members from different medical universities and MAFP were provided family medicine teaching skills necessary for the master degree program.

November 2019 (Yangon)

MAFP took part in the 21st General Practitioners’ Scientific Conference on November 22 to 25 in Yangon. A booth provided conference participants with a display of the activities of Family Medicine development in Myanmar and how MMEP was being implemented by collaboration with international partners including Shin Kong Life Foundation and Manan Trust.

February 2020 (Myanmar, USA)

A meeting between the Boston University Global Health Collaborative and MAFP leadership took place at MAFP office and the action plans for the 2020 period was discussed. BU and MAFP strategized about the coming Master of FM degree with the Ministry of Health and rectors of medical universities 1 and 2. Dr. Jeff Markuns, Executive Director of the Boston University Global Health Collaborative, took the opportunity to provide meeting attendees with best practices in Family Medicine education and training.

March 2020 (Myanmar)

MAFP published health education posters to promote the public awareness of the preventive measures to contain COVID-19 spread. These posters were distributed to many townships in Yangon as well as to Mandalay, Meiktila and Mawlamyine.
Moreover, the MAFP distributed surgical masks donated from Shin Kong Hospital to newly formed dedicated COVID clinics. SKH PPE items such as N95 masks and goggles were distributed to the general practitioners providing the primary care to the community.

April 2020 (Taiwan, Myanmar)

MAFP members attended the online seminar on ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019’ organized by Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital on April 29. The seminar allowed MAFP leadership to understand the Taiwanese experience in containing COVID-19 outbreak and to discuss with disease experts from SKH.

April to date (Myanmar)

MAFP continues to sponsor online video training programs for General Practitioners in Myanmar. This initiative has allowed MMEP to provide vital continuing education to primary care doctors in Myanmar despite current restrictions on in-person meetings.

May 2020 (Myanmar)

According to the advocacy and outreach strategy of MMEP and aiming to support the practice management of primary care clinics during COVID-19, MAFP distributed the different kinds of patient information vinyl regarding clinic booking and clinic visit etiquette to the general practitioners across country.

September 2020 (Myanmar, USA)

MAFP and BU initiated the Training of Faculty Fellowship program for the family medicine teachers in Magway University of Medicine. This program will develop a cohort group of family medicine trainers in this region.

September to December 2020 (Myanmar, USA)

MAFP and BU initiated the Training of Faculty Fellowship program for the family medicine teachers in Magway University of Medicine. This program will develop a cohort group of family medicine trainers in this region. The training was provided as an online program for the first time because of the heightened Covid-19 situation.

December 2020 ( Myanmar )

The GP Society and MAFP jointly conducted the CPD program Leading to Accreditation in 15 townships across Myanmar. A total of 330 candidates enrolled to the program who attended online didactics over 13 weeks period. The TOF faculty delivered some of the didactics on Family Medicine-oriented approaches in dealing with NCDs and other common problems. The credit points were offered by Myanmar Medical Association and Myanmar Medical Council as a pilot accreditation schemes.

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