Dr Margaret Chan speaks to family doctors in Prague


Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 20th WONCA world conference in Prague, Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, said how happy she was to be in Prague speaking to thousands of family doctors.

She called family doctors “rising stars” and “the heroes of modern day health care” adding that “you offer our best hope of coping with health challenges”.

Dr Donald Li, member of WONCA executive, was mentioned as being instrumental in bringing Dr Chan to our conference in Prague.

Dr Chan outlined many of the factors affecting health of populations and health systems and noted that the rate and complexity of illnesses and disease have accelerated, with health being shaped everywhere by the same forces – urbanisation and migration and environment.

Her speech was interesting and comprehensive. She was positive about the contribution of family doctors and the need for us to be the lynch-pin in the continuum of care, noting that family doctors are the bedrock of the health system. They deal with 95% of health problems while absorbing 5% of health budgets.

Dr Chan also launched the new “WONCA guidebook” (The Contribution Of Family Medicine To Improving Health Systems: A Guidebook From The World Organization Of Family Doctors And The World Health Organization. 2nd Edition). See separate news item

In finishing, Dr Chan stated that primary care is our best hope for the future. Out of the ashes built up by highly specialise care, family medicine rises like a phoenix and takes life…