From the CEO's desk: June 2014

June, 2014

Hello again

Another busy month for WONCA, with the three main highlights for this month of Family Doctor Day, the World Health Assembly in Geneva and the WONCA Asia Pacific Region conference in Kuching Malaysia.

World Family Doctor Day

As I have mentioned here before, 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.

We asked you to let us know of your activities for the day…and you didn’t disappoint! We had more reports than ever from all around the world, and they’re still coming in. Click here to read some of the many interesting and inspiring reports from both our Member Organizations and also from individuals and other organizations.

World Health Assembly

Each year WONCA sends a delegation to the World Health Assembly in Geneva to make sure that WONCA – and the voice of family medicine generally – is heard loud and clear. This year the delegation consisted of our President (Professor Michael Kidd) our President-elect (Professor Amanda Howe), our WONCA-WHO Liaison (Dr Luisa Pettigrew) and me. We had a very busy series of meetings, wonderfully coordinated by Luisa, which gave us a chance to meet the many – and increasing – WHO staff members and departments with whom we collaborate. Luisa will report more fully, but we know from previous surveys how much importance our Member Organizations place on our liaison with WHO and it is refreshing to note that WHO is ever-more-mindful of WONCA and the huge assistance we can give each other in our individual endeavours. We also meet up with other organziations, including World Medical Association (WMA) and International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA), and this year we also made some useful contacts with the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the International Association of Patient Organizations (IAPO), and we will continue discussions with them to see how we might work together more closely in the future.

Whilst at WHA, WONCA joined forces with other organizations to develop two statements for presentation to the assembly. One – a joint communiqué with WMA and IFMSA – was on the subject of palliative care, endorsing a WHO resolution on the strengthening of palliative care as a component of integrated treatment throughout the life course. The second was also with WMA and IFMSA, joined this time by the Medical Women International Association (MWIA), calling for support of the WHO activities to combat domestic/family violence through multi-sectoral approaches. You can read both statements online -
   Palliative care statement
   Family Violence statement

WONCA Asia Pacific

From Geneva it was a quick getaway for Michael and I as we flew to Kuching in Malaysia, to take part in the WONCA Asia Pacific regional conference. A really excellent programme of plenaries and workshops and seminars had been organized and my thanks to Dr Husni Jamal, Chair of the HOC, and Dr Daniel Thurraiappah, President of the Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia and to all their colleagues for the wonderful hospitality. Thanks too to Professor JK Lee, President of WONCA Asia Pacific, and his Executive for their hard work and support.

The Junior Doctor Movement in Asia Pacific is called The Rajakumar Movement (TRM) in recognition of Dr Rajakumar, a previous President of WONCA. In Kuching a new Chair of TRM was formally appointed, so many congratulations to Dr Shin Yoshida of Japan who has taken over from Dr Naomi Harris of Australia. He has wonderful energy and enthusiasm – ably demonstrated on the stage at the conference dinner! – and we wish him well for the coming years.

And that’s about all for this month. In June we will be looking forward to the WONCA Europe regional conference, from 2nd to 5th July in Lisbon, and to the Vasco da Gama pre-conference. Slightly further ahead we will be looking forward to the WONCA South Asia regional conference in Chennai on 16th and 17th August. Until then…

Dr Garth Manning