WONCA EMR 2022; Where Opportunity Meets Action

The 7th edition of the WONCA East Mediterranean Region Family Medicine Congress 2022 was held from 10th – 12th November 2022 in Muscat – Oman.

The event was organised by WONCA EMR, addressing the theme of "where opportunity meets action". The congress vision was to facilitate an enabling environment to encourage and support the development of academic organisations and general practitioners/ family physicians. The conference provided an outstanding opportunity for everyone to benefit from the interactive format of top peer educators in the fast-paced sessions, clinical workshops providing evidence-based answers, advanced healthcare solutions and technologies in the modern world aiding healthcare systems ensuring the highest quality patient outcomes.

Dr Abdulaziz Al-Mahrezi, Congress president, President of the Oman Family Medicine Society and President-Elect of WONCA EMR, hosted the opening ceremony, highlighting the definition and the importance of family medicine implantation in the region. 

The ceremony was also preceded by Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean of the World Health Organization, who emphasised that “Strengthening primary health care through a family practice-based model of care is essential to achieve universal health coverage UHC and the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs.”  

WONCA EMR President, Prof. Taghreed Farahat, also took part in the opening ceremony remotely, with a speech shared by the WONCA EMR Secretary. Her message underlined the voice of WONCA, inviting participants to join the WONCA working parties or special interest groups activities. Prof Farahat also acknowledged with standing ovations the work of the previous WONCA and WONCA EMR leaders for their achievements in growing family medicine in the region.

Over three days, the conference witnessed participants from 22 countries attend through multiple keynote sessions, parallel sessions and abstract presentations. The conference offered 15 scientific sessions in parallel with 13 workshops hosted by 50 faculty members.

Young Doctors' Movement - Al Razi Pre-Conference

Al Razi, the regional Young Doctors' Movement, hosted the Pre-Conference with four scheduled workshops. 

Al Razi YDM Preconference opening workshops were down by WONCA EMR elect chair Dr Abdelaziz Al-Mahrezi, WONCA EMR honorary Secretary Nagwa Nashat, YDM world representative Sankha and AlRazi YDM chair Anas Almohtaseb. 

Conference Recommendations

1. Strengthen cooperation with the World Organization of Family Physicians (WONCA) and explore the possibility of hosting the World Conference of the Organization in the Sultanate of Oman

2. Support the establishment of a Gulf Society of Family Medicine in coordination with the Gulf Societies and Associations of Family Medicine to enhance the role of this specialty in the Gulf health system

3. Promote the concepts and principles of Family Medicine as an essential part of the Primary Health Care system to the decision-makers and the community

4. Develop strategies to improve the services provided by Family Doctors to facilitate the patient's access to health services and enable Family Doctors to provide sustainable and comprehensive care

5. Enable access to all diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in Primary Health Care institutes for all common diseases, especially chronic diseases 

6. Develop a strategic plan to achieve the required balance between the number of Family Doctors in each country and the actual need to improve the health services provided

7. Strengthen the relations between the Oman Society of Family Medicine and the Family Medicine societies and associations in the countries of the region to invest in scientific research and other fields related to Family Medicine and provide a stimulating environment for research work 

8. Encourage the utilisation of modern technologies to improve the services provided by Family Doctorsps hosted by 50 faculty members.