WONCA President’s message on World Family Doctor Day


May 19 is World Family Doctor Day

On this day WONCA joins with our member organisations in 130 countries to celebrate the important work carried out by family doctors all around the world.

WONCA represents over 500,000 family doctors based in all regions of the world. The 500,000 family doctors represented by WONCA together have over 2 billion consultations each year with their patients.

But we need to do more. We need to work to ensure that every family doctor, every GP, every primary care doctor, joins us in our commitment to deliver high quality primary care to our patients and communities. We need to expand our commitment to the education and training of family doctors and quality care and primary care research to all nations of the world. And we need to work with the World Health Organization and our other global partners to ensure the continuing support for strong family medicine to ensure the delivery of quality primary health care and universal health coverage in every community in every country.

Over the past year I have had the opportunity to visit many dedicated family doctors in their communities in rural and urban areas and to talk about the challenges they face in ensuring the health and well-being of their patients.

(Photo: WONCA president, Michael Kidd, with enthusiastic family medicine trainees in Brazil, 2013)

As family doctors we all work hard. I know that many of you work under very difficult conditions, that the resources that you need to do your job are often not available, that the hours you work and the demands on your time can be arduous, that your resilience is tested regularly. And I know that many of you often feel unappreciated. And don't often hear the words thank you. This is why WONCA has established World Family Doctor Day, held on May 19 each year, to acknowledge the important work that you do.

So today, on behalf of the two billion people around the world who benefited from your care and support over the past year I say thank you. Thank you for your commitment to being a great family doctor. And thank you all for the important work that you do every day providing excellent health care to the people who trust you for their medical care and advice.

Michael Kidd, President, World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA)

  read about Family Doctor Day activities