From the CEO’s Desk: Another month, another WONCA region

Delhi and the question of 'superspecialists'

Another month and another WONCA Region. April saw me in South Asia, and a visit to Delhi to take part in the National Conference on Family Medicine and Primary Care, organised by the Academy of Family Physicians of India (AFPI).

India is moving towards Universal Health Coverage. Multi-skilled and competent primary care providers are a key part of the evolving healthcare system and family medicine is, somewhat belatedly, receiving increasing acknowledgement and support from Government of India. AFPI had arranged this two day conference and brought together many of the key health policymakers in India, together with national and international family medicine practitioners to debate and discuss family medicine, its academic foundation and its place as a specialty. As one senior Indian expert so aptly said – India is the only country in the world to refer to SUPER-specialists when in fact they should be referred to as SUB specialists, and the limitations of their practice emphasised!

Only family medicine practitioners can truly offer the comprehensive, continuing, coordinated and personal care which India so desperately requires, especially if it is going to address the many health inequities faced by its citizens. My warmest congratulations to Drs Raman Kumar, Piyush Jain, Vandana Agarwal, KS Prasanth and the rest of the AFPI team for putting together such a stimulating and challenging conference. They really are the future of family medicine in India and in the region.

World Family Doctor day

Two key events are coming up in May. On 19th May it’s World Family Doctor Day. I know I’ve mentioned this in previous columns, but it really is a great opportunity for Member Organisations throughout the world to celebrate our specialty, and to remind everyone about the excellent service we provide. At the time of writing we’ve only had a few responses so far telling us of plans, but please do let Karen Flegg (WONCA Editor on editor@wonca.net) know of any plans which YOUR organisation might have, and then write to us afterwards to tell us how it went. We’ll feature as many events as we can in future WONCA Newsletters.

World Health Assembly

The other key event in May is the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, this year starting on 20th May, and of course World Family Doctor Day was timed to coincide with this annual event. WONCA will be represented at WHA by the President, Professor Rich Roberts, President-elect, Professor Michael Kidd, the WONCA-WHO Liaison, Dr Iona Heath, and by me. More details will be included in next month’s column.

Finally a very brief reminder that early bird registration for the WONCA World Conference in Prague expires on 24th May so do make sure you register for the conference before then.

Until next month
Garth Manning