From the Headquarters: July 2021

In the previous issue of WONCA News, we announced that the World Conference will turn into a virtual one. It is very unfortunate that our global community will not be able to meet in person in Abu Dhabi. At the same time, we all acknowledge the efforts of the colleagues of the Emirates Family Medicine Society, as well as of the East Mediterranean Region, and share their disappointment.

We know that there is a growing need to share knowledge and experiences, especially those regarding the effect of the pandemic on family medicine, the patients, and health systems. The Host Organizing and Scientific Committees are working to develop an excellent programme, while employing technologies that can allow wider access. We would like to invite you to check the updated Conference website, which now includes revised information on different matters, such as registration, dates and sessions.

In June, we also announced that the Meeting of the Council will be virtual this year: it will take place between 19 and 21 November 2021. In a few days, the focal points of contact of the Member Organizations will receive the forms of participation to the Council. We are working closely with the Organizing Committee and partners to ensure accessibility, as well as optimal user experience. More information will be provided in the coming months.

In addition to the World Conference, there are other meetings taking place these months. At the time of publication of the July issue of WONCA News, the WONCA Europe Conference will be broadcasting live from Amsterdam, while the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice will be holding its 18th World Conference from Kampala. Furthermore, in a few weeks our colleagues from WONCA Iberoamericana will be holding their Regional Conference virtually from Brazil, which will also include the first Planetary Health Conference. Although I am sure that we all feel the need to meet in person and sit together in the same room—escaping from the seemingly endless number of Zoom calls and webinars—we all wish to congratulate our community for their perseverance to organise virtual events and to share knowledge during these most challenging circumstances.

Until the next time, stay safe!

Dr Harris Lygidakis,