From the CEO’s Desk: September 2020

Photo: memories of 'normality' in WONCA -  the World conference in Rio 2016 with past Presidents Chris van Weel and Göran Sjönell in front of the crowd.

Greetings once more. Normal life has yet to resume in most parts of the world, and family doctors continue their vital role as front line workers. We continue to think of, and pray for, all primary care health professionals currently engaged in COVID-19 activities.

WONCA Events

Last month I bemoaned the fact that we had lost so many WONCA events to postponement or even cancellation. Sadly one of the events I referred to as “still on” has now fallen victim to such a postponement, with WONCA APR, originally scheduled for Yangon, Myanmar, in April 2021 now put back until April 2022.

However, WONCA Europe is still going ahead in Berlin from 17th to 19th December 2020, and our fingers are firmly crossed that we can all meet together and network at that time. My flights and accommodation are already booked!

More information on WONCA Europe in Berlin
WONCA Webinars

I also talked last month about the WONCA series of webinars which we ran throughout April and May this year, which were very well received. We have now gone out to our Working Parties (WPs) and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to gauge interest in a second series of webinars and have been massively encouraged by the great interest in, and support for, further webinars. We met with many of the WPs and SIGs in a teleconference on 31st July and it provided evidence yet again on how lucky we are to have such a dynamic and skilled and talented group of volunteers to provide expert advice to our Executive and Council. A number of the proposals we explored particularly involved cross cutting issues – such as patient safety and mental health; or ageing and health and family violence; with health equity cutting across so many of the issues under discussion.

An Organizing Committee has been formed to assess the proposals in more detail, before webinar slots are allocated, and the committee will also make final decisions on which day of the week the webinars will take place and also their frequency. We will publicise and promote on the WONCA website and through WONCA News and the weekly e-updates, so keep looking, and I hope to be able to provide far more details in next month’s WONCA News

revisit WONCA webinars
WONCA Annual Report July 2019 – June 2020

In the midst of the confusion and madness of our current lives it’s good to have some degree of normality. One such “normal” is WONCA’s Annual Report, which has been a feature of the organization since we first initiated it in 2014, so this will be our seventh report - and of course my last as CEO. Work has been going on for some weeks now as Dr Nongluck and I have collated and edited content, and Nongluck is now (mid-August) formatting in preparation for sending the final copy to the printers.

We would usually have sufficient copies of the report to ensure that every member of Council received a hard copy at the Council meeting, but that sadly will not be possible this year. Postponement of the meeting, together with prohibitive postal costs, prevent us from circulating in this way. Nevertheless a soft copy will be posted on the WONCA website and we hope that as many as possible will read through the many and varied activities of a busy and vibrant organization over the 12 month period covered by the report.

And that’s it for another month. We miss the personal contact with you all and look forward to the day when we can all meet up again. Stay safe and stay well.

Dr Garth Manning. CEO