Today marks the start of the 14th WONCA World Rural Health Conference, being held in Cairns, Australia.
The programme is set to contain a fantastically diverse range of research and workshops covering everything from improvements in patient care, to developing new and effective ways to collaborate across boundaries in rural health. You can follow the events on twitter using the #RuralWonca hashtag, and already there has been a huge number of comment and links
So far, the vibe at #RuralWonca has been great… benefitting from Cairns hospitality (boosted by a dynamic and helpful team from ACRRM) and a stimulating range of input from stalwart experts in rural medicine, to young, enthusiastic students and young doctors.
Thursday saw a full day of proceedings for the WONCA World Working Party for Rural Health – with the annual Council meeting held in spectacular surroundings of a seminar room looking directly onto rainforest. As well as hearing about events from the last year, and sorting out logistics for yet another busy year ahead, there was debate about how best to support member organisations and do everything possible to support the growing number of student and young doctor organisations. The highlight of 2018 is set to be the 15th World Rural Health Conference. Crumbs, we haven’t even started the 14th conference yet, but for a taster of what’s in store – in New Delhi – see the video below!
Friday brought the World Summit on Rural Generalist Medicine. The concept and importance of rural generalism in health ecosystems is reaching high levels of resonance now within Australia (where political support for recognising this is higher than ever), and much further afield in both ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ nations. It is clear that empowering rural generalism within healthcare systems has never been more important, with absolute needs to train future doctors in medical complexity, meet the demands of an ageing population and achieve the levels of health service efficiency that are often more easy to find in the generalist setting.
The Summit also saw the launch of the Japanese Rural Generalist Programme: a major achievement and indicative of the direction that other countries are likely to go too, not least through the inspiration that these developments bring.
You can follow tweets from the Summit meeting using the hashtag #RuralGeneralist
And now for the main event. This looks set to be a stimulating and busy few days ahead, bringing together an enthusiastic and dedicated group of international confreres giving the opportunity to recognise and drive forward international innovation and collaboration in rural health. We hope to feature a number of interviews and reports on RuralGP.com over the next few days, like we did with the last conference in Dubrovnik, between a very packed and interesting programme of events.
Follow the WONCA World Rural Health Conference on Twitter: