WONCA Special Interest Group: Ageing and Health

Ageing and Health

The WONCA Special Interest Group on Ageing and Health (formerly Elderly Care) was established in October 2007 and revamped in 2018. It serves as a focus for the development of elderly care issues for WONCA worldwide.

Membership of the SIG is open to interested family doctors.

Convenor / Chair

Prof Dimity Pond (Australia)

email convenor

Dimity Pond is Professor of General Practice, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Australia. She is also a GP in clinical practice. She conducts research in the areas of mental health and particularly dementia, focusing mainly on GP identification and management. Projects have included GP guidelines for management of dementia (currently being revised), a randomised controlled trial of GP education in dementia identification, a nurse practitioner project, and several studies exploring the role of the GP practice nurse in dementia identification and management. She has had over $20 million in research funds, and has published over 150 papers in peer reviewed journals.


Co-Convenor or other office bearers

Executive Members

Membership Open?

Vision and Mission of WONCA SIG on Ageing and Health

Objectives of the WONCA SIG on Ageing and Health

The aims of the WONCA SIG on Ageing and Health

The SIG aims to improve elderly care in primary care in all countries by developing new primary care models for the elderly; advocating the implementation of undergraduate and postgraduate family physician training in elderly care; promoting research in elderly care in family practice; integrating care of elderly in primary health care services.

Its specific objectives are:

  • To stimulate and promote standards of excellence in primary care to empower high standard evidence based elderly care.
  • To promote the concept of trans-generational well-being and active aging.
  • To promote and develop research on elderly care in primary care.
  • To organize scientific meetings, during WONCA and relevant conferences
  • To promote the discipline of elderly care in primary care world-wide through working within WONCA, international organisations and agencies, NGO’s, government organisations, patient groups & other medical colleges.

Why we need a SIG on Ageing and Health

The greying of nations is a common observation which will have impact on health systems. Rising health care costs and the need for care to be more rehabilitation and care-oriented, than curative, will be the challenges for the near future.

Chronic health conditions are among the most common causes of mortality and morbidity in all countries around the world. Developing countries are expecting to suffer increasingly from these conditions. In aging populations, we can assume a accumulation of different chronic conditions, which lead to co-morbidity, polypharmacy, and increased health expenditures. The family physician needs to deal with this new problem.

The proportion of study in medical school and family practice residency relating to ageing is still low. The availability of age-friendly services and the provision of social and care giving services in the community is often scarce. Difficulties involved in the provision of elderly care in the family practice setting include: the volume of older patients, lower reimbursement, the duration and quality of doctor-patient relationship, the level of physician training, medical complexity, patient vulnerability, administrative burden, communication barriers, family support, ethical issues, and time pressure.

The SIG on Ageing and Health has a vision to see a universal gold standard of care for elderly care by primary care in collaboration with all interested disciplines and stakeholders involved.



GeroFam aims to publish original research and review articles of relevance to primary health care practitioners, family medicine specialists and academics from both the developing and developed worlds, public sector and private practice with a focus in gerontological sciences. Papers are peer reviewed to ensure that the contents are understandable, valid, important, interesting and enjoyed. All manuscripts must be submitted per e-mail.


Relevant Resources


WHO Resources