From the CEO's desk: looking forward to Rio & Istanbul

July, 2015

Hello again

August already – where does time go to? Those of you in the northern hemisphere will be thinking of holidays, whilst many in the southern hemisphere are having to cope with the winter cold. That being said, I’m just back from Brazil where it was a very pleasant 32 degrees in Natal and around 30 degrees in Rio de Janeiro – it makes me wonder how hot it will be by November next year, as their summer approaches and when we hold our next WONCA world conference!


As I mentioned last month, the latest meeting of the WONCA 2016 World Conference Planning Committee (CPC) took place in Brazil on 12th and 13th July, with Dr Dan Ostergaard and I staying on for additional meetings until 16th July. We, together with Professor Michael Kidd and Dr Bohumil Seifert, had been invited to attend the national conference of the Brazilian Society of Family and Community Medicine (SBFMC) in Natal, a three hour flight north of Rio and it was terrific to meet up with many friends and colleagues from all over Iberoamericana and not just Brazil. There was a great turnout of young doctors from the Waynakay Movement too.

The two days of the CPC meeting were really useful, as we heard from Dr Gustavo Gusso (Chair of the Rio Host Organizing Committee - HOC) about HOC activities since our last visit in October last year. Whilst there is still much to be done, huge progress has been made, and plans for abstract submission are almost complete. There will be up to eight plenaries throughout the conference, with careful attention to gender and geographical equity, and we look forward to presentations from colleagues such as Amanda Howe (UK), Katherine Rouleau (Canada) and Peter Gotzsche (Denmark). The remaining keynote speakers have been chosen, but have not yet confirmed their availability, but they will all bring something special to the conference. We also hope to have senior WHO representatives present, further strengthening the collaboration between our organizations.

Early bird registration continues to November this year, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to register for a bargain price. In addition, the Rio HOC are offering particularly generous discounts for all WONCA Direct Members, so if you haven’t already signed up for Direct Membership then there is now an extra incentive. Click here for more details of WONCA Direct Membership.

For further details of the conference, and also the hotels, social activities and tours being arranged, keep an eye on the conference website or you can always access full details through the WONCA website .

I also thought it might be helpful to give you all some dates for your diaries around Rio conference time. The diary is starting to look like this:

Monday 24th &
Tuesday 25th October 2016 
WONCA Executive gather in Rio de Janeiro and travel to Paraty. 
Wednesday 26th to
lunchtime Friday 28th October
WONCA Executive meeting in Paraty
Saturday 29th October WONCA Regional meetings at Windsor Hotel, Barra di Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Evening welcome reception for Council delegates
Sunday 30th October to
Tuesday 1st November lunchtime
WONCA World Council at Windsor Hotel, Barra di Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Tuesday 1st November afternoon New WONCA Executive meets at Windsor Hotel.
Some WPs and SIGs may also arrange to meet.
Wednesday 2nd November WONCA WPs and SIGs meet at RioCentro (the conference centre)
Wednesday 2nd November Conference opening ceremony at 6pm, followed by welcome reception.
Thursday 3rd to
Sunday 6th November
WONCA World Conference at RioCentro.
Closing ceremony at lunchtime on Sunday 6th.


Of course we still have the WONCA Europe conference to look forward to in Istanbul from 22nd to 25th October. It’s particularly exciting that we are managing to bring together the leads of all seven of our young doctor movements, to take part in the Vasco da Gama pre-conference and also to meet with the WONCA leaders. More details about the Istanbul conference are available at

2016 regional conferences

And as well as looking forward to Rio in November 2016, before that we have a number of regional conferences to look forward to in 2016:

  • South Asia Region conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 13th and 14th February. See for further details.
  • Eastern Mediterranean Region conference in March in Dubai (dates to be confirmed)
  • Iberoamericana-CIMF Summit in Costa Rica on 11th and 12th April, with Mesoamerican Conference 14th to 17th April
  • Europe Region conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 15th to 18th June. See for more details.

WONCA Annual Report

I mentioned the WONCA Annual Report in my column last month, but I just want to send out a brief reminder to all Regional Presidents, and Chairs of WONCA Working Parties and Special Interest Groups, to get their contributions to us as soon as they can. It’s a great way to promote the activities in your region or group, and to let members know what is happening, so we hope very much to be inundated with contributions.

Until next month.

Dr Garth Manning