EURIPA meeting now in Croatia

April, 2012

EURIPA 3rd Rural Health Forum Education and Training for Rural Practice to be held from May 11-13, 2012 will now be held at the Island of Pag, Croatia.

The EURIPA annual European Rural Health Forum had been planned for Northern Portugal but unfortunately due to circumstances beyond the control of both EURIPA and the Portuguese hosts, the venue has had to be changed.

The 3rd Rural Health Forum’s theme will be Training and Education for Rural Practice with sub-themes will be teaching undergraduates in rural practice; training for rural practice CPD for rural practice; training for emergencies and out of hours; interprofessional learning (IPE) in rural practice; rural education research and developing a rural academic base; the contribution of education to recruitment and retention; developing higher qualifications in rural practice and rural health.

Donald Li (third from right) with president of RACGP Prof Claire Jackson (left) and Dr Ruby Li , President of Hong Kong College of Family Physicians (front, third from left) and Dr Harry Pert, president of the RNZCGP (centre rear)

Prof Ian Couper, WONCA Working Party on Rural Health chair speaking at the last WONCA Rural conference in Cebu 2011.

EURIPA has just announced that Prof Ian Couper, Chair of the WONCA Working Party of Rural health will be present at the conference.

Dr John Wynn-Jones, president of EURIPA writes:

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you on behalf of the EURIPA Board and conference organisers to Croatia for EURIPA’s Annual European Rural Health Forum.

This will be the 3rd meeting in our ongoing programme, which aims to raise the profile of rural health and rural practice in Europe. We intend to develop a European Strategy for Rural Health by addressing our 4 guiding principles (quality, research, education and policy engagement). This year we will concentrate of the important topic of training and education for rural practice.

We live in difficult and testing times. Many countries are going through unprecedented periods of austerity with significant cuts in public services and spending. Rural areas may well bear the brunt of these political decisions, leaving them devoid of basic services and an ageing population with lower average wages, greater unemployment and higher deprivation. In addition to this, our colleagues tell us of increasing difficulties in attracting young  doctors to work in rural communities. Radical approaches will be needed to solve these growing problems. We must develop a workforce that is fit for purpose. This new workforce will need to be multi-professional, academic, highly trained with an intimate knowledge of technology and an ability to train and educate those following in their wake. Hippocrates states that there is the “teacher” and the “pupil” in each of us emphasising the importance that change ensures that we must all engage in a programme of life-long learning.

Europe lags behind some of the exciting developments in education and training for rural practice taking place in other parts of the world. By working together and sharing ideas and good practice we can make a difference. We need to develop innovative undergraduate courses and training programmes with the aim of attracting young doctors and health care professionals into some of the most beautiful and exciting places in our diverse continent.

The Forum will be asking questions and seeking answers to some of the most important and pertinent educational issues facing rural practice. If you are a rural practitioner, a rural academic, a specialist in rural public health or someone who just wants to make a change in rural healthcare, then this Forum meeting is for you!

Prof John Wynn–Jones, EURIPA President (right) and Dr Mario Malnar, president of KoHOM (Coordination of Croatian Family Medicine) in small group discussion at a EURIPA workshop in Warsaw in 2011.

Come and join us on the beautiful Island of Pag on the stunning Croatian Adriatic coast. This is not one of those expensive blockbuster conferences but it is an opportunity to engage in a process that can make a difference. We have limited the number of delegates and kept the costs at an affordable scale to ensure that we can attract delegates from across the whole of Europe.

So come and join us, have your say and make a difference.

John Wynn-Jones

For more information please follow the link: