Registration for the WONCA Rural Health Conference 2022 is now open

You can now register to the WONCA World Rural Health Conference 2022. The conference, hosted by the Irish College of General Practitioners, the University of Limerick School of Medicine, and the Rural, Island and Dispensing Doctors of Ireland, will be held from 17th to 20th June 2022.

Also, we are happy to announce that the abstract submission deadline has been extended to 16th February 2022 at 23:00 UTC 

Conference Theme: Improving Health, Empowering Communities

A range of topical themes and subthemes relating to general practice and community health will be showcased at the conference. Improving Health, Empowering Communities will be central to all events and topics explored over the conference weekend. We will explore how communities can be, and are, empowered to improve their own health and the health of those around them. We will hear from experts and presenters from all over the world in various sectors, including Health, Science, Engineering, the Arts, and NGO's of all shapes and sizes.

Community Empowerment for Health goes beyond the traditional methods of information sharing and consultation.  It involves a change in power relations, and enables people to have more control and responsibility for their own health and well-being. Various sectors can reach out to communities to create empowerment opportunities to become more informed and more influential by giving them confidence, skills, resources and power to shape and influence their health.

This action-oriented conference is intended to foster a high level of meaningful dialogue and cooperation amongst stakeholders, all committed to rural health improvement.

There are seven conference subthemes:

  • Needs, challenges and opportunities for the rural health sector (including climate change)
  • Strengthening community systems and effecting change
  • Community engaged health professional education and innovations in medical education
  • Indigenous, migrant and refugee healthcare needs and social accountability
  • Roles of educational institutes in community health and empowerment
  • Emergency and pre-hospital care
  • Practice and community nursing
We have lined up some great keynote speakers, among them:

Professor Agnes Binagwaho

MD, M(Ped), PHD is the Vice Chancellor and co-founder of the University of Global Health Equity (in 2015), a Rwandan initiative of Partners in Health. She is a Rwandan pediatrician, who returned to Rwanda in the late 1990s and worked for 20 years in the public health sector, first as a clinician in public hospitals. Afterwards, she worked in various high-level government positions between 2002 and 2016. She served first as the Executive Secretary of Rwanda's National AIDS Control Commission, then as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, and lastly as the Minister of Health for five years. Professor Binagwaho also serves as Professor of Pediatrics at UGHE, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and as an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine. She is a member of multiple editorial, advisory and directors’ boards, including the Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees and the African Union Commission on African COVID-19 Response. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and the World Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. She has published over 220 peer-reviewed articles and was named among the 100 Most Influential African Women for 2020 and 2021.

Professor Dame Clare Gerada

President Elect, RCGP
Co-Chair, NHS Assembly

Having first trained in psychiatry at the Maudsely hospital, Dr Clare Gerada followed her father’s footsteps and became a general practitioner, working in her practice in South London for thirty years. Over this time, alongside her clinical practice, she has held a number of national leadership positions including in 2010, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, only the second woman in its 55-year history to hold this position.  She has led the way in reforming how drug users are managed in general practice and was awarded an MBE for his services to medicine and substance misuse in the 2000 Birthday honours. Since she has led the way in developing services for doctors and dentists with mental health problems, establishing and leading NHS Practitioner Health since 2008. This has been, not only a world first, but massively impactful, particularly on young doctors and consequently on the patients they look after and the teams in which they work.  The service was awarded Outstanding by CQC rating in March 2019.  Currently Clare not only still leads NHS Practitioner Health but has, in 2020, established a service for problem gamblers; Chairs the newly formed registered charity, Doctors in Distress, is now co-chair of the NHS Assembly. In 2020 she was made a Dame in the Queen’s birthday honours, making her the first Maltese person to be knighted.  In October 2021 she will become the President Elect at the RCGP.  She is a highly respected NHS professional, whose views are listened to by NHS professionals and patients alike.

Professor Shelley Nowlan

Acting Deputy Director-General, Clinical Excellence Queensland
Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner, Australian Government
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Queensland Health

Shelley is a people-orientated executive leader with experience in contemporary healthcare systems including clinical innovation, leadership development, strategic planning, change management, policy development at State, National and International platforms. As Clinical Excellence Queensland Acting Deputy Director-General Shelley’s leadership guides and drives the patient safety, quality improvement and clinical improvement agendas for the Queensland health system.  Shelley provides overall professional, operational and industry advice for government by identifying, monitoring and promoting improvements in the quality of health services delivered by service providers.
Shelley’s leadership has helped achieve practical outcomes within the health workforce and consumer through clinical care re-design and has led to success in developing and leading statewide Reform agendas, Covid response and clinical leadership programs. You may also know Shelley in her role as Australian Government Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner and her role as Queensland Health’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer.  Her experience within the nursing profession extends nationally and internationally.

Dr Mike Ryan

Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme

Dr Mike Ryan has been at the forefront of managing acute risks to global health for nearly 25 years. He served as Assistant Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response in WHO's Health Emergencies Programme from 2017 to 2019. Dr Ryan first joined WHO in 1996, with the newly established unit to respond to emerging and epidemic disease threats. He has worked in conflict affected countries and led many responses to high impact epidemics. He is a founding member of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), which has aided the response to hundreds of disease outbreaks around the world. He served as Coordinator of Epidemic Response (2000-2003), Operational Coordinator of WHO’s response to the SARS outbreak (2003), and as WHO’s Director of Global Alert and Response (2005-2011). He was a Senior Advisor on Polio Eradication for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative from 2013 to 2017, deploying to countries in the Middle East. He completed medical training at the National University of Ireland, Galway, a Master’s in Public Health at University College Dublin, and specialist training in communicable disease control at the Health Protection Agency in London and the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training.

Discover the Complete list of speakers here
In case you missed it, watch our conference video