From the CEO’s Desk - Membership, Meetings and Money!

Greetings again from Bangkok; it’s hard to believe that yet another month has slipped by.
 
With Prague still fresh in our memories it may seem premature to start thinking about other conferences and meetings, but plans are already well advanced for a series of events in 2014.
 
In May 2014 the Asia Pacific Region will hold its regional conference in Kuching, Malaysia from 21 to 24 May. This promises to be an exciting and busy conference, in what is WONCA’s biggest region geographically – it extends from the southern tips of New Zealand and Australia right up to the northernmost point of China. There are huge developments in family medicine in the region, not least in China, and Michael Kidd, Donald Li and I witnessed this first hand when we attended meetings and round table discussions in Shanghai in July. Michael has already reported on this in a recent blog.
 
Our colleagues in the rural groups are also busy and their next major meeting is scheduled for Gramado, Brazil from 21 to 25 May. Rather unfortunately, this clashes with the Asia Pacific conference, and our hope is that dates future conferences and events can be coordinated rather more effectively, to try to promote better attendances for everyone.
 
Finally – for now at least – the WONCA Europe conference is scheduled for Lisbon, from 2 to 5 July. I know that João Carlos and the Host Organising Committee have put together a stimulating programme, so we hope that lots of people turn up.
 
More details about these and other WONCA conferences
can be found on the website.
 
As ever, a limited number of scholarships and bursaries will be available to assist several doctors to attend these meetings. One such scholarship is the Montegut Scholarship Programme (MGSP) established by a generous donation from Dr Alain Montegut who was North America Regional President from 2007 to 2010. Funds are available to support one doctor from each region to attend their regional meeting each year – or, if their own region is not holding a meeting in that year, to attend a meeting in another region. More details are on the website, but in coming weeks each region will be deciding on selection criteria and confirming application process for their own region, so keep looking out for that.
 
more about the Montegut Scholar Award

 
Finally this month I’d like to return to the topic of Direct Membership of WONCA. This is a way for individuals to join and support WONCA and its activities directly, rather than more indirectly through their Member Organisation. WONCA World Council, at its Prague meeting in June, agreed to a simplification of the application and fee process and also endorsed the establishment of a new category of membership – Life Direct Membership - where for a one-off fee individuals can support the work of WONCA with a waiver of all other Direct Member payments. Direct Membership is especially relevant since I’ve been talking about WONCA meetings and conferences, as Direct Members benefit from discounts on conference registration, which is a very popular benefit. I’ll write more about membership categories and opportunities in next month’s news.
 
Until next month the Secretariat staff and I send our greetings to all of the WONCA family.

Dr Garth Manning
CEO