From the CEO's desk: looking forward to 2016

January, 2016

Greetings again from the WONCA Secretariat in Bangkok. I wish all colleagues a very Happy New Year and a successful 2016.

WONCA Executive and World Council

This year will, of course, be an extremely busy one for WONCA. It’s a World Council and World Conference year, which always means a very hectic time for the Secretariat staff and for the WONCA Executive. Executive will hold a face-to-face meeting in March in Abu Dhabi, immediately following the WONCA Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) conference in Dubai (17th to 19th March) and then will hold a further meeting in October in Brazil, just prior to the World Council. Calls have gone out to Member Organizations asking for any proposals for amendments to the WONCA bylaws and regulations and also for nominations both for WONCA offices (President-elect and Members at Large) and also WONCA awards (WONCA Fellowship and Honorary Life Direct Membership).

Speaking of amendments to WONCA bylaws and regulations, Executive has already been considering several suggestions for amendments, as put forward by the Bylaws and Regulations Committee. Considerable time was devoted to this issue during the Executive meeting in Istanbul in October, and further time will be given to the issue in March, after which the the recommendations for amendment will be sent out to all member organizations for their consideration prior to October’s World Council meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

Calls have also gone out for bids for the 2020 WONCA Worlds Conference. Council, at its 2013 meeting, opted for a two-yearly cycle, so after Korea in 2018 we will move to a two yearly world Council and conference, which will greatly help in the governance of the organization.

WONCA Awards

We have also been promoting several WONCA awards, and encouraging nominations for these WONCA bursaries. A number of awards are available, to assist members to attend the world conference. Awards include:

Montegut scholarship

The Montegut Global Scholars Program (MGSP) was established by the American Board of Family Medicine Foundation (ABFM-F) in 2010. It supports the attendance of one family physician from each of the seven regions of WONCA at their regional meetings or to the international meeting in the year when it is held. The MGSP will provide a USD3,250 scholarship for the selectee from each region to attend the WONCA world conference, in Rio, in 2016. Further details, including an application form, are available on the WONCA website here.

For WONCA Europe
- the application deadline is February 1st, 2016. Applications should be submitted directly to the WONCA Europe Secretariat, email: [email protected]

For WONCA North America - the award is limited to members of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians. Further details can be obtained from the WONCA N America Region President at [email protected]

For all other WONCA regions - the application deadline is February 29th, 2016. All applications should be submitted to the WONCA World Secretariat, email: [email protected]

WONCA Foundation Award

This award, made possible by a donation from the UK’s Royal College of GPs, enables physicians to travel to appropriate countries to instruct in general practice/family medicine or for physicians from developing countries to spend time in areas where they can develop special skills and knowledge on GP/FM. The value of the award is currently £1,500 (around $2,300)

Taiwan Family Medicine Research Award

This award, donated by the Chinese Taipei Association of Family Medicine, offers a prize of USD 1,500 each to two young family physicians for the excellence of their research and affords them the opportunity to present their research at the WONCA World Conference.

Details of both awards can be obtained from the WONCA website here

Of course there are many other activities happening which are unrelated to the world council and conference. Even in a world conference year there are a number of regional conferences, and we look forward to regional events in:

South Asia Region in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 13th &14th February, (pre-conference: 11th & 12th February)
Eastern Mediterranean Region conference in Dubai, from 17th to 19th March
Mesoamerican conference in San Jose, Costa Rica, from 14th to 17th April
Europe Region conference in Copenhagen, from 15th to 18th June

As ever, full details of all WONCA conferences and events can be found on the WONCA website.

Meeting attendance

Finally for this month just time to tell you that WONCA has, as ever, represented you at the WHO Executive Board meeting held in late January. Our President, Michael Kidd, our President-elect, Amanda Howe, and our WONCA-WHO Liaison, Luisa Pettigrew, attended a busy schedule of meetings with our key WHO colleagues, and will report back in due course. Amanda Howe and I also attended the Prince Mahidol Award Conference, a prestigious annual medical conference in Bangkok in late January. This year’s theme was “Priority setting for Universal Health Coverage (UHC)” and Amanda participated in one session on “Stakeholder dynamics in UHC priority setting”, organised by WHO. Again, we will report back on this conference in a future WONCA News.

Until next month.
Garth Manning, CEO