SIG Workers' Health annual report

Dr Ezequiel Lopez, convenor, SIG on Workers’ Health reports:

My father was a family doctor who also practiced occupational medicine, and in his words what we really share in this two areas of medicine, is what he used to called the same rules of engagement. And according to him those rules indicates that,
 - In medicine there are no black and white, there are all kinds of gray ranges,
 - In medicine today truths will be tomorrow’s lies,
 - In medicine there are no diseases but ill people.

In other words, we can say that we can work together fundamentally because we share the same values, we practice Prevention, we Focus on Context, we have a Broad view of Health Problems and we practice Patient centered care.

The Special Interest Group on Workers Health has achieved several things, but perhaps its greatest achievement has to do with being living proof that working together between major organizations is possible and fruitful.

WONCA, WHO and ICOH have taken the lead in demonstrating that working together is possible and fruitful between large organizations dedicated to patient centered care. The joint statement of WONCA and the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) – the first one ever made together – was released on July 3, 2014, during the WONCA Europe conference in Lisbon, Portugal. It was presented by Prof Michael Kidd, WONCA Past President, in his keynote speech and included the pledge that follows.

The World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) and the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) pledge to work with our partner organizations (including WHO and ILO) to address the gaps in services, research, and policies for the health and safety of workers and to better integrate occupational health in the primary care setting, to the benefit of all workers and their families.

As a new SIG we have set course in order to take this pledge into practice. Main activities undertaken have included aiming to provide resources and support and promote research through presentations and workshops at WONCA conferences.

The Future

We renew our commitment to work together with WHO and other organizations with the decision to generate a specific agenda and meetings for the discussion of Workers Health. We also continue to have as goals to organize a work conference on basic workers’ health care in PHC settings, trying to continue the work done by WONCA, WHO, ICOH and many other organizations during The Hague Conference in 2011.

We have developed an SIG email Group for enhancing communication between members which can be accessed through our web page. This group already comprises 25 family and occupational health specialists from different regions

We are constantly developing SIG meetings during WONCA and ICOH Congresses. We also set a special interest in identifying financial resources to support developments, and we reinforce the promotion of SIG activities through social networks.


Finally we continue to recruit and welcome new members from all WONCA regions who wish to work together to strengthen the discipline of Family Medicine with a special interest on Workers Health.

Family Doctors have passion for Primary Care