SIG on Health Equity annual report

Dr Kim Yu, Convenor, SIG on Health Equity reports:

The WONCA SIG on Health Equity was formed in 2014 and since that time has grown to include over 250 members representing trainees and practising family doctors from all regions of the world. It is our hope to highlight the work of family physicians in Health Equity and to advance the agenda of better health for all despite the difficulties with racism, gender inequality and other “isms” that prevent health equity.

Our most recent meeting was held in Seoul, Korea in October 2018 in conjunction with the WONCA world conference. Please see our minutes below.

Highlights to now:
In Rio, we had our first Health Equity Across Nations lecture with representatives from India, UK and New Zealand. This expanded in Seoul to two lectures with nine family doctor speakers:
Julie Wood (USA)
William Wong (Hong Kong, China)
Nagwa Nashat (Egypt)
Kenneth Yakubu (Nigeria)
Viviana Martinez Bianchi (USA/WONCA WHO liaison)
Edgar Leon (Ecuador)
Liliana Arias Castillo (Columbia)
Raman Kumar (India)
Ana Barata Nunes (Portugal)

These lectures were well received and also highlighted the tremendous work done by family physicians around the world especially as it pertains to health equity.

We plan to write a paper on “Health Equity across Nations” and publish this as a goal before the next World WONCA meeting in Abu Dhabi. Authors have been identified and we are excited at this collaborative project.

At our meeting in Seoul, we identified the need to increase our collaboration with young physicians, and were happy to extend a welcome to WONCA Polaris member, Viviane Sachs, MD, to our executive committee. We hope that having Dr Sachs will increase involvement to more from the YDMs around the world and we invite participation from more YDMs. We also will be rolling out a new role for residents in Family Medicine from each country who are interested in Health Equity. It is our hope that by WONCA World 2020, we will have identified one from each region.

We elected a new convener in Seoul, Kim Yu, to take over the role as William Wong stepped down from the position. Veronica Svetas was elected as secretary.

Thanks to an invitation from Dr Donald Li, Dr Kim Yu presented at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (HKAM), Jan 10th 2019 and was part of a Health Equity panel that addressed the challenges of global health equity from a territory-wide level to an individual physician level, and its association with rapid climate change and disaster preparedness. The session was very well received and even had a legislator in attendance to answer questions on Hong Kong’s response to health equity. Thank you Dr Li and HKAM for convening such a wonderful event!

Topics and speakers at this event were: Dr Donald Li, (moderator). Challenges to Attain Global Health Equity by Dr Kim Yu; Addressing Health Inequality in Hong Kong/ China: Is It a Problem?
Dr William C. W. Wong; Climate Change and Preparedness by Dr Chow Yu-fat
It is our hope that we can continue to have further presentations in other countries around the world and to continue the conversation on Health Equity.

Social Media:

With the help and use of #FMHealthEquity, the number of members of the SIG has grown to more than 250 with representation from all around the world. We hope to increase our social media via facebook and twitter to help amplify our health equity voice.

Further planning is underway for the PreConference on Health Equity, at AAFP’s Global Health Summit, October 2019, in Alburqueque, New Mexico. We look forward and invite all to join us there for more robust discussion on furthering Global Health Equity.

We hope to also introduce EHE awards – “Excellence in Health Equity” Awards which will be discussed further at our next SIG exec meeting. These will promote and recognize countries that have led the way in Health Equity and will serve to advance our cause.

Thank you to all for participating in our SIG, and we look forward and invite all in WONCA executive and everyone in WONCA to join us in this fight for global health equity.

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