From the CEO's desk: WONCA happenings

June, 2014

As this edition of WONCA News is published many of us will be in Lisbon, attending the WONCA Europe Region conference. We will report on it more fully next month, and on the 10th anniversary Vasco da Gama pre-conference which preceded it on 1st and 2nd July. I’ll also report on the WONCA Executive meeting on 2nd July just prior to the conference, and on the launch of the book by WONCA’s Working Party on the Environment – “Family doctors in the field: Environmental stories from across the globe”.

More from Sarawak

Michael Kidd reported last month on the Asia Pacific Region conference in Kuching, Malaysia. Karen Flegg has followed on from that with an article about her visit to some rural health clinics in Sarawak and the great people she met. I always find articles like this fascinating, as they give us at least a little insight into our colleagues and how they practice in a very different – and sometimes very challenging – environment. I strongly recommend it to you. View online now

World Health Assembly 2014

This month also features a great article from Luisa Pettigrew, WONCA’s WHO Liaison, about the WONCA delegation’s attendance at this year’s World Health Assembly in Geneva. The annual visit to Geneva is immensely important for us, as an Organization in Collaborative Relationship (OCR), as it gives us an unmissable opportunity to meet with current and future WHO colleagues. As Luisa’s report highlights, it was an extremely busy schedule, and on several occasions we had to separate to attend the many meetings which Luisa had organized, but it was very productive and reinforces the ever-stronger relationship between WONCA and WHO which our recent WHO Liaisons have helped to foster.

Links with Shanghai

Linked to this, Michael Kidd and I had to leave Lisbon slightly early, so that we could fly to Shanghai to attend an important conference of the Shanghai Medical Association. This event was important for several reasons, not least as Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO, was also there, and it gave Michael and me a chance to meet again with her and to update her on the ongoing activities between WONCA and WHO. It was also a significant occasion for Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, as they received their certificate confirming accreditation of their training programme by WONCA, following an accreditation visit earlier this year. We will report more fully on all of these events in next month’s news.

New members of the WONCA Family

I’d also like to acknowledge and welcome two new members to the WONCA Family – both of whom joined, rather appropriately, on World Family Doctor Day on 19th May.

Firstly we welcome the TOBAGO Chapter of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians (CCFP), which is the newest Chapter to be formed within CCFP.

Secondly we welcome POLARIS – the Young Doctors Movement for the WONCA North America Region. POLARIS was launched with key support from the Caribbean, American, and Canadian professional family physician associations as well as the WONCA North America Regional President, Dr Ruth Wilson. The name was chosen as it represents the brightest stellar body in the celestial sky seen by all those within the Northern Hemisphere. This star has served to lead travelers and seafarers during their journeys for centuries.

Anyone interested in finding out more about POLARIS can go to the link above or contact Dr Kyle Hoedebecke on [email protected]

And that’s about it for this month. There is lots going on in WONCA around the world, so please do keep Karen Flegg, the WONCA Editor, informed of all your activities. I’ll have much more to report next month – and of course we will be looking forward to the WONCA South Asia conference in Chennai on 16th and 17th August. Best wishes from all at the Secretariat for now.

Dr Garth Manning