Rural Round-up: Bruce Chater on World Rural Health Conference 2020

Conference website
We would like to welcome members of WONCA and WONCA Direct Members to our conference in Bangladesh from 15th to 18th April

This year is the 25th Anniversary of official establishment of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice and the launch of the WONCA policy on Training for Rural Practice,

Professor Roger Strasser who wrote the WONCA policy on Training for Rural Practice, is a keynote at the conference. Retaining health professionals longer in rural areas, even for relatively short times, can make an enormous difference to the quality of care and continuity of care. Prof Strasser is a world authority on this and is a key author of the important Artic study which is now being replicated in Columbia.

Please put in a workshop or scientific presentation of your own. Abstracts close on February 23rd .


Thanks to the generosity of donors, registration support is available for some of those that need it – you must have submitted an abstract to be considered. All those who wish to apply for the scholarship. Please fill this form  (Please share it among your groups). Those who have already registered may also apply for the same. They may use the funds for travel or accommodation.


We have some excellent workshops already that you might like to join or build on.

- Our keynote Prof Roger Strasser is running a workshop on Rural workforce retention.

- Young doctor Shannon Nott will grapple with the vexed question of Digital health AI and telehealth – improving, not worsening access.

- Dr Pratyush Kumar, Rural Wonca secretary, will convene a group to discuss Climate change and especially its implications for rural communities and health.

- Our immediate past chair, Dr John Wynn Jones is convening, with Joyce Kenkre, 3 workshops on Rural Nursing , Rural Research and Rural Entrepreneurship

- Our wonderful Rural Seeds led by Dr Mayara Floss, Dr Veronika Rasic and Dr Amber Wheatley will be holding another Rural Café - Supporting young health professional – with Dr Sankha Randenikumara from Sri Lanka leading the local team.

- As Chair I will be convening a discussion on Rural training pathways/pipelines - key elements and issues – building on a key piece of work we are undertaking with WHO

But there’s more  😊

From Africa we have Jana Muller – a colleague of our Treasurer Ian Couper. Many rural settings are initially are poorly equipped for teaching but have wonderful teachers ready to be developed and are wonderful learning environments. Jana will run a workshop to explore how this opportunity can be maximised and developed – Learning in Rural Settings.

The Australian Rural Medical Generalist Program, which started with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), is the subject of a workshop being developed by our Council member and Australian Rural Health Commissioner – Professor Paul Worley. Paul is unable to attend Dhaka as he is heavily involved in the Australian program and advice to WHO. In his stead we have an equally prestigious “deputy”, leading the workshop in Dhaka – Assoc Prof Ewen McPhee – President of ACRRM.

Dr Bikash Gauchan from Nepal and his high performing (and high altitude) team will lead discussion on High performing rural teams and Fit for Purpose Rural Workforce design – getting the balance right – Just have a look at this link to see how well he has done at that

Dr Raman Kumar, a keynote speaker at the conference, will convene a workshop Establishing Family Medicine in Low and Middle income countries – he has track record in India and it will be a great opportunity to learn from his experience. Prof Val Wass will also provide her extensive expertise on this subject, running workshops with local participants.

Prof Jim Rourke is leading preconference discussion on - Family Medicine – Role in Rural – based on the landmark rural framework in Canada. Unfortunately, because of the close proximity to the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada Conference, he can’t be with us but Prof Tarun Sen Gupta will lead the workshop on this.

Please join us for these great discussions.

We look forward to seeing you in Bangladesh.

Assoc Prof Bruce Chater
WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice