Rural Practice Rendez-Vous 2012 keynote speaker

April, 2012

Rendez-Vous 2012 co-chairs, Sue Berry and Kaat De Backer welcome the recent news that Dr Timothy G Evans has graciously accepted the invitation as key note speaker at our upcoming conference. His inspirational delivery will open the conference and be sure to stimulate thoughts and generate discussions throughout the days.

Dr Evans

A dual national of Canada and the United States, Dr Evans is the Dean at the James P Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.

From 1995 to 1997, he was an Assistant Professor, International Health Econoics at Harvard School of Public Health, as well as an attending physician, General Internal Medicine, at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In 2003, he joined the World Health Organization as an Assistant Director General with responsibility for Evidence, Information, Research and Policy. He is currently a Commissioner on the Commission on Health Professional Leadership in the 21st Century, a member of the Board of the Public Health Foundation of India, and serves as a scientific advisor to the Institute of Population and Public Health of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Register Now!

The WONCA Rural Working Party is greatly looking forward to the combined conference, Rendez-Vous 2012, hosted by the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Thunder Bay, Northern Ontario, Canada, on October 9-14, 2012.

Rendez-Vous 2012 is now accepting registrations. The early bird deadline to register is July 3, 2012. For more information regarding registration fees, tickets to the cocktail reception and gala. To register online, please visit:

History of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice

The WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice was formed at the World WONCA Conference in Vancouver in 1992, when like-minded rural doctors joined together to focus on raising the needs in rural health around the world. This led to the First International Conference on Rural Medicine in Shanghai, China in 1996, followed by the second World Rural Health Conference in Durban, South Africa in 1997. The working party has representation from all the WHO regions, and has a vision of health for rural people around the world. The WONCA Rural Working Party mostly holds conferences two years in every three, the third year being the full World WONCA meeting and conference.

Other conferences have been in Kuching (Malaysia), Calgary (Canada), Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Seattle (USA), Melbourne (Australia), Calabar (Nigeria) and Cebu (Philippines), the latter being combined with the WONCA Asia-Pacific Regional Conference.

The mission of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice is “Rural doctors reaching towards rural health in partnership with like-minded groups, through repositioning and relationships, education, activism, conferencing and communication, and a vision of Health for All Rural People”. The working party has produced a number of guidelines and policy documents to support this mission.

Reflections from the 2009 WONCA Rural Health World Conference

In June 2009, more than 600 participants gathered for one of the most important events of the year in Crete. The 9th WONCA Rural Health Conference was hosted by the Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Crete, in conjunction with the practice-based research rural network of Crete and the European Rural and Isolated Practitioners Association (EURIPA).

The conference’s main theme, Health Inequalities, was explored through the three core subjects: technology suitable for rural settings, island medicine, and health services for immigrants. Each day of the conference started with a plenary session, the main themes focusing on Primary Health Care (PHC) as a tool in providing equitable care, appropriate technologies adapted to rural environment, the challenges and possibilities of research and improvements in Island medicine.

In total, 39 workshops, 92 oral presentations, and 136 posters contributed to the scientific program’s success and variety, enhancing the opportunity of sharing experiences and knowledge after each session. Topics such as retention and recruitment, research and education, new technologies, migration, interdisciplinary collaboration, effective practice management in rural settings were thoroughly discussed during the conference. Speakers at the opening plenary pinpointed the importance of recognizing and meeting the needs of the local community and challenges to access and innovation in resource poor settings. The speakers in the closing session focused on future solutions and providing equity and quality in care for rural people.

The wonderful location, the warm feel of the event, the outstanding organization and strong key messages made this conference a real value and unforgettable experience.

WONCA News is certain the 2012 conference will be a similarly unforgettable event. For more information: