From the CEO's desk: Season's greetings, 2019, and Oman visit

Photo: Garth Manning's first visit to Oman (more details below)

Greetings to all WONCA members from the WONCA Secretariat in Bangkok. We wish all members a very happy and successful 2019, and we hope to meet as many of you as possible at WONCA events throughout the year.

WONCA Conferences 2019

As usual at the start of each new year, we look ahead to some really great WONCA conferences. 2019 promises to be a busy year for events – and you can always find out more on our website  - but in the coming 12 months we can look forward to:

- WONCA Eastern Mediterranean Region conference in Beirut, Lebanon, from 21st to 23rd March. The theme is “Bridge Gaps and Pave the Future” of health care delivery, and details are on the conference website

- WONCA Iberoamericana-CIMF conference in Tijuana, Mexico from 1st to 4th May.

- WONCA Asia Pacific Region conference in Kyoto, Japan, from 15th to 18th May. The theme is “Medical generalists – bringing forward a brighter future”. Deadline for paper submission and for Early Bird registration is 15th January and more details are available on the website and in latest news.

- WONCA Africa Region conference in Kampala, Uganda, from 5th to 8th June. Theme is “People-centred primary care” with more details on the linked conference website and from Jane Namatovu.

- WONCA Europe Region conference in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, from 26th to 29th June. Theme is “General practice: the human side of medicine”. Deadline for Early Bird registration is 31st December and more information is on the conference website and in latest news.

- WONCA Rural Health conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA) from 11th to 15th October. More details can be found on the conference website.

- WONCA South Asia Region conference in Lahore, Pakistan, from 22nd to 24th November. The theme is “Family care: complete health care”. Deadline for abstract submission is some way off – 15th June – but you can find out more on the linked webpage.

Montegut Scholarships

Linked to WONCA conferences, a number of scholarships are available through the generosity of the American Board of Family Medicine.

The Montegut Global Scholars Program (MGSP) was established by the American Board of Family Medicine Foundation (ABFM-F) in 2010. The MGSP was named in honour of Alain Montegut, MD, a member of the Board of Directors of the ABFM from 2005-10 and WONCA North America Region President from 2007–10.

The MGSP will provide a US $2,300 scholarship for one (1) family physician selected from each of the seven (7) WONCA regions to attend their respective regional WONCA meetings in 2019. Note that the North America Award is only open to applicants from the Caribbean College of Family Physicians (CCFP).

Deadlines for applications for the 2019 awards are as follows:
- WONCA EMR; WONCA Iberoamericana-CIMF; WONCA Asia Pacific - 15th January
- WONCA Europe – 1st February (more details here)
- WONCA Africa– 19th February
- WONCA North America – 1st July
- WONCA South Asia - 26th August

For further details of eligibility criteria, and how to apply, click on the link to the WONCA website

Visit to Oman

Finally, in December I had the opportunity to visit Oman for the first time. The beauty of the country and the hospitality of the people was quite remarkable and although this was a first short visit I definitely want to return. In part the visit was to look at facilities for a possible bid from Oman for a regional WONCA conference – and even a world event in due course – and I was massively impressed at the conference centre and the whole infrastructure.

Whilst in Muscat I also had the chance to visit colleagues in the Department of Family Medicine at Sultan Qaboos University. Development of family medicine in Oman has made significant progress, and I enjoyed hearing more from Professor Abdulaziz Al Maherzi, Dr Sana Al Sumti and Dr Asma Al Shaidhani on all their exciting plans for future developments. My thanks to them for the wonderful warmth of their welcome.

Until next month
Garth Manning CEO