News from Iberoamericana – the April 2014 V Summit

WONCA  Iberoamericana CIMF region President, Maria Inez Padula Anderson reports.

Besides other initiatives, the most important event we are focused on is organizing the V Family Medicine Summit (V Cumbre Iberoamericana de Medicina Familiar), that will be held in Quito, April, 11 and 12, 2014. Among the main activities of CIMF there are the regional conferences and the summits of family medicine. They are held, each, every 3 years. We have had four summits since 2002. The first, in Madrid (2002), later in Santiago de Chile (2005), Ceará, Brazil (2008), Asuncion-Paraguay (2011).

The summits are a political but, also, a technical event. Through the exchange of experiences and participatory activities, with strategic representatives of health, education and research areas, the summits search for solutions for problems in the organization, assistance, training and/or research of the Iberoamerican health systems, especially those concerned with primary health care and family medicine.

A lot of work and energy is needed to organise a Summit with these purposes, but we think the summits have an important role: for the improvement and growth of Family Medicine; for the maturing of our family medicine associations, especially in the skills we have to develop as WONCA CIMF to deal with governmental and non governmental institutions which establish or are interested in health and educational policies.

The decision to define the Andean region and the city of Quito, in Ecuador to host the V Summit, considered the firmness with which the Ecuadorian Government is pushing a reform based on primary health care. This decision implies a recognition and support for a strategy that it is necessary to deepen throughout the region.

The main theme of the V Summit is: Universal Coverage, Family Medicine and Social Participation. Universal coverage and primary health care are, today, a central theme of the WHO. We think that the Summit can be a relevant contribution which WONCA Iberoamericana can make, to the WHO World Assembly to be held in May 2014, one month after our event.

Other issues of the Summit and subjects of the working groups are: FM/PHC, communication and social participation; current state (quantity quality) of training programs on FM in Iberoamerica; certification and accreditation for FM; FM/PHC, research and knowledge in Iberoamerica.

Searching for financial and political support to carry out the Summit, I was in Ecuador for five days in early October. There, I had several meetings with representatives of the Government of Ecuador, PAHO, universities, residents of Family Medicine, and colleagues of the Ecuadorian Society of Family Medicine (SEMF).

Accompanied by Dr Edgar Leon, the president of SEMF, I had a meeting with various dignitaries including: Dr Miguel Malo, Vice-Minister of Health; Dr Augusto Barrera, Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Quito; Dr Manuel Peña, representative of PAHO/WHO in Ecuador; Dr Cecilia Acuña , secretariat of PAHO; Mr Carlos Andres Emanuel, Director of international relations and cooperation of the Presidency of Ecuador; Dr Edison Chavez, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the Pontifical University Catholic of Ecuador (PUCE); Dr Susana Alvear, Coordinator of Postgraduate Medicine of PUCE; Dr Rodrigo Díaz, Director of postgraduate family medicine of PUCE-MSP; the Dean and other representatives of the Universidad Técnica de Loja; with family medicine residents and colleagues of SEMF. Also, I had the opportunity of share information about the Summit with the media and give interviews for TV and radio.

We are sure that the Summit will be a successful event, but we know we have to work hard, especially to have financial support. In the last week of November, Luis Aguilera, CEO of CIMF, is to go to Quito to retry the attaining of financial support and, also, to give continuity to the process of organising the Summit.

With the change of dates of the WONCA Rural Health conference in Gramado, Brazil, to April, 5-6, 2014, and with the Summit being held on April 11 -12, it would be a good opportunity to attend both events and meet, between one and another, beautiful places of Brazil, Ecuador or any other south American country. It would be four days of good scientific and politics activities with a little rest between them.

For more information on the Summit visit

Maria Inez Padula Anderson
President – WONCA Iberoamericana CIMF