Limerick hosted the WONCA Rural Health Conference

During four days, the University of Limerick became the meeting point for hundreds of doctors from around the globe to discuss the challenges and experiences in rural health and medicine.

The event, hosted by the Irish College of General Practitioners, the University of Limerick School of Medicine, and the Rural, Island and Dispensing Doctors of Ireland, was the first biannual WONCA World Rural face to face since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the theme, ‘Improving Health, Empowering Communities’, the event explored how communities can be empowered to improve their own health and the health of those around them. 

Keynote speakers included Dr Anna Stavdal, WONCA World President, Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme; and Professor John Gillies, Honorary Professor of General Practice, University of Edinburgh Co-director, University of Edinburgh Global Compassion Initiative, Global Health Academy.

Issues around the limited supply of high-quality rural healthcare professionals and leaders, as well as a ‘green agenda’, were additional topics of discussion, along with the challenges and opportunities for the rural health sector and the early career chances for professionals interested in living and working in rural areas.

Besides raising awareness about global rural health, the event also promoted the Irish culture with multiple demonstrations, music, and dance typical of the region.