East Mediterranean Region president reports on WHO meeting

Subject: The 62nd session of WHO regional Committee for East Mediterranean Region
Date: October 5-8 2015
Venue: Kuwait

Dr Mohammed Tarawneh WONCA EMR president and Dr Huda Al-Dwuiesn, WONCA EMR Executive member and Kuwait FM/GP association president, attended the WHO Regional Committee in Kuwait from 5-8 October 2015. (both pictured right)

The meeting was attended by health ministers and high ranking delegates from the 23 EMRO countries and other NGOs. The meeting covered different issues which represents high priority to WHO EMR

• Health Technology assessment (HTS), where about 52% of the EMRO countries implied HTS activity, during the discussion the General Director of WHO Dr Margret Chan pointed and focused on three elements ; the technology, high expectation of the clients, and aging process, Dr Alwan EMRO RD strengthen on the suggestion raised by Prof Khoja GCC health CEO to create a committee at the region level for further assessment for the HTS

• Food safety prospective; assessment was done in 15 countries of the EMR, it shows big gaps between the surveyed countries , challenges such as countries do not refer to the international, the WHO raised a slogan safe food from the farm to the table

• UHC, the presentation focused mainly on the financial issues, examples from Singapore, USA, Thailand shows different output to the UHC, example from Singapore conclude that people pay direct and better results are achieved where in US the government pay and has less benefit, alternatives from direct payment; donors, health insurance, social security , the emphasis on the private sector participation,

• Other important issues discussed are: the Sustainable Developmental Goals , global health security, review of medical educations, scaling up mental health care, global vaccine action plan, implementation of IHR, emergencies and others

WONCA EMR president, Mohammed Tarawneh, emphasized the importance of family practice as an essential component of PHC, where strong PHC is essential for achieving UHC, WONCA believes that PHC which depend essentially on well trained manpower which include family physicians and other health worker members are an important path to reach UHC, WONCA also believes that shortages of FP is due to different reasons, however the important factor is the political commitment and decision makers have to expand FP in their countries, because of its comprehensiveness in providing essential health services, WONCA believes that optimal and strong health services the percentage of FP should be 50% from the nations physicians.

During the Medical education session WONCA EMR president highlighted that one of the WONCA objectives is to provide technical support to Academic members or when asked to assist technically, and might provide accreditation upon request.
WONCA EMR was keen to submit the following statement and thanked WHO EMRO for its continuous invitations to participate in the regional committees

The World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) is a not-for-profit organization and was founded in 1972 by member organizations in 18 countries. WONCA now has 118 Member Organizations in 131 countries and territories representing 500,000 family doctors and covering more than 90 per cent of the world’s population.

On this occasion of 62nd WHO-Regional Committee for Eastern Mediterranean meeting, it is my privilege to make WONCA statement on Regional strategy and to highlight the work of WONCA with the WHO EMRO, where our actual active engagement for scaling up family practice approach (program) in the region to achieve Universal Health Coverage is an important example for our joint collaboration,

WONCA would like to highlight its desire to work with each nation in the region on supporting the role of family medicine in strengthening their primary health care delivery, and support the training and continuing professional development of family doctors, and the member of primary care team, in each country in the region.

“Strong primary health care systems are where people turn in their communities to stay healthy and get care when they fall sick. When primary health care works, it can meet the vast majority of people’s health needs," says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization

The World Organization of Family Doctors would like to focus on the importance of family medicine role on strengthening primary health care and the whole health system.

Last month WONCA president Prof Michael Kidd invited to attend the launch of primary health care performance initiative in New York where this initiative was supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank Group, and WHO launch collaboration to strengthen primary health care, advance progress toward Sustainable Development Goals through the primary health care performance indicators

I would like to thank WHO-EMRO for giving me the opportunity to make WONCA statement on this prestigious gathering.

WONCA EMR president
Mohammed Tarawneh