WONCA launches the Seoul Declaration


Launched at the WONCA World conference in Seoul on October 18, 2018:

Seoul Declaration of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) on Primary Health Care Strengthening

Family Doctors meeting at the WONCA World conference in Seoul confirm the global importance of the renewal of international commitment to strengthening Primary Health Care to achieve universal health coverage – as expressed in the World Health Organization’s ‘Astana Declaration’ 2018.

Strong Primary Health Care (PHC) has been recognized as the essential cornerstone to achieve health equity. We fully endorse the inclusion of Family Doctors in the Astana Declaration and we hope that this Declaration leads to lasting benefits for the peoples of the world.

We urge all governments and health systems to prioritize the health needs of the most vulnerable - especially ensuring access to affordable and effective care for people in rural areas, women, children, the elderly, the disabled, ethnic minorities and migrants, all of whom are often disadvantaged in the health system.

The WONCA Seoul conference reminds the world of the importance of Family Doctors, who are trained to give comprehensive care across the lifecycle in a person-centered way. Our specialty is cost-effective because Family Doctors can address the emerging needs of ageing populations and the increase of non-communicable diseases at the PHC level. They can also lead and guide other members of the PHC team with their diagnostic and management skills.

We commit ourselves as Family Doctors to play our full part in the implementation of the Astana Declaration. We have a passionate interest and a key role to play in the delivery of effective, competent, affordable and personalized primary health care. We are central to the achievement of the goals of the Declaration.

WONCA urges countries to invest in the training of skilled Family Doctors through the development of academic capacity starting at the medical school level, effective recruitment and retention policies, postgraduate training programs and continuous professional development. This investment will need to be matched by support for training of all the members of the primary health care workforce; primary health care reform to aim for high quality and safe clinical services; and relevant research and new technologies which will underpin high quality clinical care. Working conditions, including remuneration, must also be made attractive for family doctors and their teams.

Based on the evidence, WONCA reaffirms that investment of resources in the Primary Health Care sector will achieve comprehensive personalized primary care that responds effectively to people’s health needs in every community in the world.

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