Joint statement on the occasion of the 19th WONCA Europe Conference
European Region of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic
- Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA Europe)
- Portuguese Association of General Practice and Family Medicine (APMGF)
- Vasco da Gama Movement (VdGM)
New Routes for General Practice and Family Medicine
Better Health for the Global Community
In recent decades, modern societies in most European countries have considerably developed their health systems and their citizens have achieved high standard of quality of life with an increased average life expectancy. However, nowadays, those achievements are facing severe threats and might not be sustainable in the short term due to an enduring international socioeconomic crisis and to the financial vulnerabilities of different countries.
Although a highly qualified and disseminated network of primary health care professionals in the European countries, currently covers the vast majority of the population’s health needs,there is a considerable risk that primary care services might be dismantled and severely underfunded by health budget constraints and questionable political decisions.
Policy makers and political leaders should, once and for all, respect the solid truth of the facts raised by scientific evidence and driven by the patients’ needs and expectations, made imperative by the patients’ new role as partners in healthcare. Health systems based on accessible and comprehensive primary care services, delivered by trained and qualified family doctors, are more effective, can guarantee equity as a part of their social responsibility, have a lower cost and an increased user satisfaction, when compared to health systems with weak primary care services.
Therefore, the above-named institutions exhort all European governments to implement concrete measures to promote, defend and develop stronger and more sustainable primary health care services for all citizens, based on an inter-professional and trans-generational collaborative workforce.
Primary health care is, now more than never, a basic human right in every society.
Lisbon, 5th of July 2014
President - WONCA Europe
João Sequeira Carlos
President - APMGF
President - VdGM