From the CEO's desk: WONCA Membership explained

August, 2016

WONCA was founded in 1972 with just 18 member organizations. Year on year the organization has grown, and we have been slightly surprised – and delighted – that in the last triennium we have received a huge number of new applications for WONCA membership. Our impressions that numbers would tail off were clearly misplaced!! WONCA now boasts over 130 Member Organizations in around 150 countries and territories and represents some 600,000 family doctors globally.

WONCA Membership categories

WONCA has a number of membership categories, which are detailed in the Bylaws:

Full Membership
is open to:

National organizations or a group of national organizations which are representative of general practitioners/family physicians of that country or those countries and a majority of whose constituent voting membership consists of general practitioners/family physicians who are legally registered to practise within that country or those countries.

Full members have the right to vote at regional and world level.

Associate Membership is available to:

National Organizations or a group of national organizations whose missions and objectives are consistent with those of WONCA and not eligible or do not seek Full Membership and of which the majority of the constituent voting membership are members of the recognized health professions as defined in these Bylaws.

Associate Members have the right to attend Council and have the privileges of the floor, but have no voting rights.

Membership Pro Tem does not feature in the current Bylaws, but it has been agreed by Executive in 2014 and will be presented to Council for endorsement in Rio. It came about because in some countries not all Organizations interested in joining WONCA fit the current definitions above. WONCA aims to be inclusive of like-minded groups and organizations and so has established this new category of "Pro Tem" Member Organization for countries where there is no eligible organization to be a Full Member of WONCA but where there may be a Full Member Organization in the future.

Member Organizations Pro Tem have the same status and entitlement as Associate Member Organizations.

Academic Membership is open to Academic Departments or training programs of general practice/family medicine which are actively involved in teaching and research, support the Mission of the Organization, and desire affiliation with the Organization.

Organization in Collaborative Relationship status is open to international organizations whose missions and objectives are consistent with those of WONCA and who are not eligible for, or who do not seek, Full or Associate Membership.

Direct Individual Member. These are individual persons who are members of a recognized health profession and who support the vision, mission and goals of WONCA, and who wish to belong to a worldwide network of family medicine/general practice professionals, educators, caregivers and advocates. Membership can be for a limited period, but since 2013 we have also offered Life Direct Membership to those individuals who wish to make a special gift to the World Organization of Family Doctors in return for waiver of annual direct membership renewal requirements. Note that this category of membership is open to all health professionals and not just family doctors.

More information for Organizations
More information for Individuals

New Organizational members 2013-2017

This may seem rather long-winded and bureaucratic, but I have included it as a preamble so that as I go on to list all the new members in this triennium readers might better understand the various distinctions. So, in this triennium the following have joined the WONCA family:

Full Membership

1. Faculty of Family Medicine of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria.
2. College de Medicine Generale, France (merger of two organizations)
3. The Afghan Family Medicine Association (AFMA)
4. Societé Algérienne de Medecin General (SAMG), Algeria
5. The National Collective of General Practitioners of Morocco (MG Maroc)
6. The Kuwaiti Association of Family Physicians and General Practitioners, Kuwait (a merger of two organisations)
7. Slovak Society of General Practice (upgrade from Associate Member)
8. Bulgarian General Practice Society for Research and Education
9. The Hungarian Research Organisation of Family Physicians (CSAKOSZ)
10. The Academy of Family Physicians of India (AFPI) – upgrade from Associate Member
11. The Bangladesh Academy of Family Physicians (BAFP) – upgrade from Associate Member
12. The Iranian GP association, Tehran, Iran
13. Cross-Straits Medicine Exchange Association-Committee of General Practice, Beijing, China

Membership Pro Tem
1. Qatar Primary Health Care Corporation

Academic Membership
1. Institute of General Practice, University of Erlangen-Nuremburg, Germany
2. The Department of General Practice, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
3. The Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Gezira, Sudan
4. Department of Family, Community Medicine and Bioethics, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogjakarta, Indonesia
5. Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University of Nicosia Medical School, Nicosia, Cyprus
6. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Annajah University, Nablus- West Bank
7. National Republic Training and Clinical Medicine Center,Tajikistan

Organization in Collaborative Relationship
1. European Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH)

There are simply too many Individual Direct Members to list, but in recognition of those who have very generously taken out Life Direct Membership we have listed them in the Annual Report which will be published next month.

This great boost in membership numbers is a great tribute to the hard work of the WONCA Executive – especially regional presidents – together with the Secretariat staff and the WONCA Membership Committee who have worked hard to process all these applications.

To all our new members – a very warm welcome to the WONCA family.

Until next month.

Dr Garth Manning