A new WONCA Special Interest Group on Genetics was approved by the WONCA Executive in October 2015. Membership is open to interested family doctors.
Why an SIG on Genetics?
It is estimated that approximately 7% of Europeans are affected by a rare disease: totalling 30 million individuals. Of all rare diseases, 80% have a genetic component , requiring significant proportion of the healthcare budget. There is evidence that patients at risk of genetic disease may not be recognised, while those who seek advice about their risks of rare genetic diseases may not be referred or managed appropriately by health professionals (Baars, Henneman & Ten Kate, 2005). This may relate to lack of awareness of the family that a condition may have a genetic component, or may be due to lack of knowledge in primary care professionals that this may be so. Undetected genetic risk can have serious consequences for the entire family, for example through preventing access to screening or preventive drugs or surgery (e.g. for cancer), resulting in increased morbidity, mortality, family burden and healthcare costs. Thus, raising awareness of the risks and potential management of such cases is important for the patient and the wider family and falls well within the remit of primary care.
For more information email convenor