WONCA E-Update 2020

Friday 31st July 2020

WONCA News – July 2020


The July WONCA News is now available online. Access it now here 

 

Statement of Support for WHO


WHO has come under attack from various quarters of late, linked to its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. WONCA, like many other global organizations, accepts that it has not got everything right, but also believes that there is an overwhelming need for one strong global agency to be responsible for health. In this light, WONCA was pleased to issue a statement in support of WHO, which can be read online.

Friday 24th July 2020

WONCA News – July 2020
 

The July WONCA News is now available online. Access it now here 

From the President: Postponement of WONCA Abu Dhabi 2020
 

This month Dr Donald Li explains the background to the decision to postpone our planned WONCA World Council and conference in Abu Dhabi by 12 months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his article he pays tribute to the support received from our Member Organizations – not just on this issue but for their ongoing support and collegiality throughout the years.

Friday 3rd July 2020

WONCA News – June 2020


The June WONCA News is still available online. Access here  

URGENT: Abu Dhabi Council and conference postponed by 12 months
After significant discussions with key players, and after consultation with Executive, Member Organizations and others, Executive have reluctantly had to take the decision to POSTPONE the Abu Dhabi Council and conference by 12 months. The event will now take place in November 2021. Linked to this, the Sydney Council and conference has also been postponed from 2022 to 2023. Further details can be found here.

Friday 19th June 2020

WONCA News – June 2020
 

The June WONCA News is now available online. Access here 

 

From the President: June 2020
 

“The WONCA Executive usually meets face to face twice a year, with monthly teleconferences in between each meeting. While the virtual meetings are useful to process normal business, we rely on the face to face meetings to discuss bigger, broader, issues of more complexity. Especially when some of those on Executive sit for only one two-year term, the face to face meetings are crucial to build understanding of the organization and of each other’s regions”.


Read more from our President, Dr Donald Li, in his June column at this link

Friday 5th June 2020

WONCA News – May 2020


The May WONCA News is still available online pending arrival of the June edition (June 12th). Access on line

Dr Donald Li – interview with BJGP Open


Our President, Dr Donald Li, was interviewed recently by Professor Domhnall MacAuley, Editor of the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP). Donald, a practicing GP, talks about the current situation in Hong Kong and the challenges ahead. There have been almost no new cases, excluding imported disease, in recent weeks but 14-day quarantine on arrival in country remains in place. He also discusses the wider “mission” for primary care and family doctors worldwide.

Postponement of Council and Conference

WONCA Member Organizations

4th June 2020

Dear Colleagues

WONCA AND ABU DHABI

These are extraordinary and exceptional times, and I’m quite sure that you will have been wondering what effects COVID-19 might have on the Abu Dhabi Council and conference. As you can imagine, it has been a challenging time for the WONCA Executive as they battle with a whole series of options regarding Abu Dhabi in November. We thought that we should now consult our Member Organizations (MOs) and seek YOUR views on the best way to proceed, to ensure continuing good governance of the organization whist still protecting our individual members.  

President, President elect, CEO-designate and I have been in regular contact with both the Host Organizing Committee (HOC) and the Professional Conference Organizers (PCO) for Abu Dhabi. UAE went into significant lockdown for a time, but plans continued for a great WONCA conference, and there were also regular meetings of the Scientific Committee to finalise the programme. UAE is now starting to return to a degree of normality, and the government is keen to get tourism started again, so flights are re-commencing, and hotels opening, from mid-June.

However that – inevitably – is not the whole story. As I write, many countries still have significant restrictions, and few flights are operating. Many institutions have barred their staff from international travel for the rest of 2020. And even if people were able to leave their home countries, they then face a period of quarantine on their return. Thus, we must assume that many members will decline to travel, at least for the foreseeable future. In fact, Executive, at its recent meeting, discussed this very issue and the majority of Executive indicated they would NOT be in a position to travel to Abu Dhabi.

To meet its quorum, WONCA Council requires over half of the Executive (at least 7) to be present in person, and 2/3 of the MOs either present in person or represented by a proxy. Thus at least 40 MOs would have to be present, each holding no more than the permitted one proxy. I have to tell you that Executive has therefore reluctantly had to conclude that it may NOT be possible to run a Council in November which would have the attendance necessary to meet the quorum eligibility. 

The conference is a slightly different issue. One of the many joys of WONCA events is the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones, and to network with members of our global community. Sadly, for now that will not be an option for most, and we are having to consider a number of different options, including a virtual event. After discussion with the HOC and PCO for the Abu Dhabi event the shared recommendation is to POSTPONE both Council and conference until October or November 2021.

Essentially we have come down to two main options:

1.  We can proceed on schedule for November 2020 with a hybrid in-person and virtual council and conference:

a.   Rationale – no change in schedule and allows officer elections to take place.
b.  Implications – challenging to arrange; no guarantee of a quorum, thus any decisions made may not be eligible; danger of disenfranchising MOs who might not be able to take part for a variety of reasons (poor internet connectivity; time zone anomalies etc); elections difficult to oversee and scrutinize for probity and validity. Virtual conference may well not be attractive to many potential delegates.

2.   Postponing Abu Dhabi for up to 12 months, with both Council and conference taking place in October or November 2021. This option has been bolstered by a conversation with Royal Australian College of GPs (organizers of Sydney 2022) who have indicated that they would be willing to postpone until October 2023. 

a.   Rationale – a deferral of everything for 12 months, but after that the normal two-year cycle can be re-established (2021; 2023; 2025 etc). Council can be held with conference (in accordance with Bylaw Article 10.1.3). Opportunity to conduct business with all (or nearly all) members present. Elections can be held in an open and secure and robust manner. Region Councils can choose whether to extend their current president (if he/she is eligible) or to give the new incumbent a three-year cycle. All other officers can serve a full two-year term.
b.   Implications – 

i.   Region Councils can choose whether to extend the term of their current president (if he/she is eligible) to 2021 or to give the new incumbent a three-year cycle (i.e., from 2020 to 2023). The decision of each region can be ratified by Executive.  
ii.   Members at Large and YDM rep would have to decide whether to extend their time on Executive for a third year (i.e. until 2021) or whether to resign and open up the positions for one year under Bylaw Article 12.8.2.
iii.  All other officers, who will be elected in 2021, can serve the full two-year term in an ordinary manner until 2023.

We would, at this stage, greatly value the views of our MOs as to what they consider best. Would you and your delegates and members be prepared to travel to Abu Dhabi in November 2020? Should Council go ahead, in whatever form we can manage, with the risk of not achieving a quorum, or is postponement a better option? What are your thoughts on a hybrid conference – would that be attractive to you and your members? I really would be grateful to receive your thoughts, opinions – and even suggestions, most especially on the issues of:

  • Option 1 - Proceed on schedule in November 2020 with hybrid virtual Council and conference (for most)

  • Option 2 - Postponement of Council and conference to October/November 2021 in Abu Dhabi, with postponement of 2022 event in Sydney by 12 months to October 2023.

Deadline for submissions is Monday 15th June; we thank you for your consideration of these issues. Executive will meet again to consider your responses and if indicated we may come back with further consultations. 


With best regards,


Dr Garth Manning
Chief Executive Officer

Friday 29th May 2020

WONCA News – May 2020

 

The May WONCA News has now been published and can be accessed online

Prof Michael Boland: An appreciation
 

We recently sadly reported the death of WONCA’s Past President, Professor Michael Boland of Ireland. RCGP have just posted an appreciation for Michael with contributions from Michael Kidd and Chris van Weel., which we commend to you.

Friday 22nd May 2020

World Family Doctor Day


Although World Family Doctor Day has now passed for this year (19th May) there is still time to view the messages from the WONAC Executive too all our members. WONCA Europe also posted a YouTube message and both can be viewed here 

Friday 15th May 2020

From the President: May 2020


In his column this month, Dr Donald Li reflects on the “new normal” in terms of how we communicate with each other and how our consulting patterns and methods have changed – possibly forever.

As one conference or meeting after another is cancelled or postponed in each of our regions and for many of our Member Organisations, we are looking for – and finding - new and innovative ways of keeping in touch, keeping informed, providing each other with care and support. We have always understood the importance of conferences and meetings to facilitate the sharing of information, of good practice, of ideas and possibilities in an open and friendly environment. Our members from across the globe use these opportunities to renew friendships, to build new interest groups and to increase their knowledge about particular issues and topics. Conferences and Member Organisation meetings are an important facet of our WONCA lives.

World Family Doctor Day 2020
 

Friday 8th May 2020

WONCA Webinar on PHC-UHC
 

This week’s WONCA webinar will take place as usual at 1300 GMT/UTC on Sunday 10th May. This week’s topic is PHC-UHC. It will be moderated by our President-elect, Dr Anna Stavdal, with a prestigious panel including:
Dr Bente Mikkelsen, Director of NCD Department at WHO HQ
Dr Ed Kelley, Director of Integrated Health Services at WHO HQ
Dr Vivi Martinez Bianchi, WONCA’s WHO Liaison

Friday 01st May 2020

WONCA webinars relating to COVID-19
 

Many WONCA conferences have had to be postponed or cancelled. However in an effort to unite the WONCA communities across the globe we have organised a series of WONCA webinars on a variety of topics, to be held each Sunday at 1300 GMT. Last Sunday’s session (26th April) on Education and Training was very well attended and greatly appreciated by participants. For those who were unable to attend the webinars they can all be viewed on YouTube or on Youku 

 

In coming weeks sessions have been arranged for: 

  • Sunday 3rd May - family violence

  • Sunday 10th May - PHC-UHC

  • Sunday 17th May (1000GMT) - Rural issues

  • Sunday 24th May - Quality and Safety

  • Sunday 31st May (1000GMT) - Research 

 

See the link in the title above or the banner at the foot of the page for how to register for the latest webinar.

Friday 17th April 2020

WONCA News – April 2020


The latest WONCA News (April 2020) has now been published and can be accessed online

 

Professor Michael Boland – a life remembered


It is with huge sadness that we report the death of Professor Michael Boland of Ireland, WONCA President from 2001 to 2004. As our current President, Dr Donald Li, has written in the obituary, Michael was a true visionary and an inspirational leader in family medicine, both nationally and globally. Many tributes have been paid to him. On the WONCA website you can find some words of praise from another Past President, Professor Michael Kidd, as well as a link to a profile of Michael Boland, published in 2009 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Irish College of GPs, in which Michael was pivotal.

Friday 3rd April 2020

WONCA News – April 2020


The latest WONCA News (March 2020) has just been published and can be accessed at https://www.wonca.net/News.aspx

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