From the CEO's desk: Family Doctor Day coming soon

March, 2014

Greetings again from Bangkok, where each day is hotter than the one before. A busy month ahead, with various conferences and meetings, and I also want to look ahead to 19th May and World Family Doctor Day.

Meetings and Conferences

Meetings and conferences first of all. By the time you read this, the Rural Health conference in Gramado will probably be over, but we all look forward to reading the reports of the event next month. Both our President, Michael Kidd, and President-elect, Amanda Howe, were attending. The work of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Health is absolutely vital, and we have been blessed over many years with a very active and innovative group, driving forward the rural health agenda. In Gramado the WP launched their Rural Medicine Education Guidebook (RMEG), a really fantastic educational resource, which is readily accessible to all members via the WONCA website.

  Rural Medicine Education Guidebook (RMEG)
I will then join Michael and Amanda in Quito, Ecuador, on 11th and 12th April for a major South American family medicine summit. Our WONCA Iberoamericana-CIMF colleagues, led by Regional President, Maria Padula Inez Anderson, have been intimately involved in the planning and organisation of the event, and we are delighted to be able to demonstrate WONCA’s support through our attendance. Again, reports of the event will appear in future WONCA News.

Our colleagues in the Jordanian Society will hold their conference at the end of April, with Professor Amanda Howe as the keynote speaker. They hope to have representation from all over the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

And two significant meetings of note this month:

  •   On 24th and 25th April there will be a meeting at WHO Headquarters in Geneva on the subject of Global technical consultation on WHO strategy on people-centred and integrated health services, and we are grateful to Professor Igor Swab of Slovenia, a past WONCA Europe President, for agreeing to represent WONCA at the meeting.
  •     At the end of April there will also be a WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) meeting in Iran looking at work-related health issues. This is an area that WONCA has been more and more involved with in recent years, both through the occupational health experts at WHO HQ and also via ICOH – the International Commission on Occupational Health. Professor Waris Qidwai of Aga Khan University in Karachi (Pakistan is in EMRO for WHO purposes) will represent WONCA at this important event, and we are really grateful to him.

World Family Doctor Day 2014

World Family Doctor Day – 19th May - was first declared by the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) in 2010 and it has become a day to highlight the role and contribution of family doctors in health care systems around the world. The event has gained momentum globally each year and it is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the central role of our specialty in the delivery of personal, comprehensive and continuing health care for all of our patients. It’s also a chance to celebrate the progress being made in family medicine and the special contributions of family doctors all around the world.

Last year many of our colleagues across the globe celebrated the day by organising a variety of events and activities, and we received reports from countries as diverse as Bolivia, Croatia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of Srpska, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei and Trinidad and Tobago. WONCA News highlighted many of the events held previously - these can be viewed here.

This year we want to encourage even more organizations to celebrate in appropriate style on 19th May. We would love Member Organisations to tell us in advance of their plans – so that we can promote at least some in WONCA News – and then we look forward to receiving reports after the events to show and tell. WONCA News will publish as many reports as we can, to highlight the really wonderful work done by so many of our great Member Organisations. All news and reports should be sent to [email protected].

So…get your thinking caps on and drop us an email to tell us of your plans.

Secretariat Visitor – Dr David Game

Finally for this month, on 10th March we were delighted to welcome Dr David Game to the WONCA Secretariat office. David was one of the founders of WONCA way back in 1972, and also served as its President from 1983 to 86. It was a real pleasure to meet and chat with him, as he regaled the staff and I about life in WONCA in “the old days”. Read more about Dr David Game.

Photo: Dr David Game (left) in 1972 with Donald Rice MD, of Canada, who would become the second president of WONCA

Dr Garth Manning