WICC annual report

Prof Thomas Kuehlein, WONCA International Classification Committee (WICC) reports:

Chair: Thomas Kuehlein -Germany
Deputy Chair: Kees van Boven -Netherlands
Executive Member: Jean-Karl Soler -Malta
Executive Member: Olawunmi Olagundoye -Nigeria
Executive Member: Laurent Letrillart -France
Governance Committee: Diego Schrans -Belgium
Governance Committee: Preben Larsen -Denmark
Governance Committee: Julie Gordon: -Australia

The main achievement is that mainly Kees van Boven managed to obtain money from different countries interested in the use of ICPC and willing to fund the development of ICPC-3 via a Consortium (http://www.icpc-3.info/ ). At the moment the Consortium consists of WONCA World, WONCA Europe, Radboud University Nijmegen and an increasing number of participating countries. The ICPC-3 Project started January 2018 and runs for a period of three and half years.

The annual WONCA International Classification Committee (WICC) meeting in 2018 was held from 25-31 August in Lviv, Ukraine. There were 26 members and observers participating. The main topic was the development of ICPC-3 under organisational leadership of a Consortium under the lead of Kees van Boven at the University of Nijmegen/Netherlands. Another important topic was the development of a primary care version (linearisation) of ICD-11 in collaboration with WHO.

WICC was represented by its members at many 2018 WONCA Region Conferences and the WONCA World Conference in Seoul, Korea presenting posters or holding workshops on classification topics such as, ICPC and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).

Activity in collaboration with WHO

At the WHO-Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) Network mid-year meeting and at the last annual meeting in Seoul/Korea (22-26 October 2018) there were discussions about the current state of the primary care version of ICD-11.

The main change from ICD-10 to ICD-11 will be a switch from the former big book to a software based version published as a searchable database to be incorporated in other software systems. Another change will be that a so called foundation layer has been created, containing all concepts of the domain of medicine in a defined manner with semantic linkages (is part of…, relates to…) in all possible directions (so called multi-parenting). Classifications are built on this foundation layer which is why they are called linearizations. One of these linearizations is the Joint Linearization for Morbidity and Mortality Statistics (JLMMS) which has been released as a version for preparing implementation in member states, including translations at 18. June 2018.

In the beginning an independent primary care linearization both for the high and a low resource setting in a telescopic structure, based directly on the foundation layer was planned (ICD-11 PC Linearization). Up to now only a simple pick-list from JLMMS as a short version for primary care has been achieved in a preliminary version. This is disappointing but was to be expected as nobody was willing or capable of investing into sufficient work force to achieve the original goal.

At the WHO-FIC annual conference Seoul/South-Korea Thomas Kühlein the current chair of WICC pointed at the deficiencies of the ICD-11 PC Linearization and the progress of ICPC-3. As a classification is a kind of standard and as the good thing about a standard is that there is one and not two of them, Thomas Kühlein proposed to finish the development of ICPC-3, include its concepts into the foundation layer retrospectively and make it the official primary care classification in the WHO-FIC. The proposal raised some discussions on technical feasibility which could not be solved. A subjective impression is that the problem is less technical feasibility than political will. Although the overarching topic of Seoul WHO-FIC Conference was the anniversary of the declaration of Alma-Ata, again the needs of primary health care played a minor role.

Our work

The WICC executive committee and the WICC decided to now put all energy into the development of ICPC-3..

In the meantime the ICPC-3 Consortium took up its work which can be followed at the Consortium website. Another website informing about the work of WICC is the PH3C-website. This web-site was developed and maintained under the leadership of Marc Jamoulle (Belgium) who, in Lviv, handed it over to Heinz Bhend (Switzerland).

This year’s meeting of WICC will be held in Crete in Greece from 22 -26 September 2019. Anybody interested in the work of WICC will be welcome.
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