The coverage of family doctors (FD) in the European region is still not universal.
General Practice / Family Medicine (GP/FM) is still not fully recognised or fledged in all countries: there is a wide range of diversity in understanding and practicing the profession, and a need for strengthening its proper educational content, research and evidence base.
The current landscape of the European Region faces an increasing pool of challenges:
- Inequality with severe implications for access to care and health outcomes.
- Migration of population in Europe and from outside Europe.
- An ageing population with special and complex needs.
- A marked increase in “multimorbidity” and polypharmacy in GP/FM
- A growth in demand and supply for alternative medical services.
- Governmental policies causing devaluation of physician value
- Increasing violence towards health professionals.
- Impact of innovative technology providing immense possibilities, while commercialization and medicalisation of societies on health care raising serious economic and ethical challenges.
- Changes in patients’ behaviour.
- While prompt and accurate diagnosis and treatment are still critical challenges for primary health care, there is an increasing trend of overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
- Insufficient recruitment of health professionals, both in rural areas and in some metropolitan urban areas, with limited resources.
- A raising issue to optimize task shifting and competency sharing, role of GP/FP and other health professions in primary health care.
- A robust primary health care with the family doctor in key role is essential to meet these challenges.
- Migration of health professionals.
Our vision is that everyone shall have timely access to a highly skilled family doctor throughout the course of life unconditionally.
Our mission is to lead the development of GP/FM discipline in the Region Europe by putting in action our core values; addressing the current challenges of health and healthcare; and improving the ability of our organisation to react towards change in a prompt and appropriate way.
The WONCA Europe Definition of General Practice / Family Medicine is the core document for all our actions.
Our current strategic objectives are:
- Supporting universal health coverage and leading “state of the art” family medicine to be implemented in all of the European Region.
- Working on integrated care in PHC to be implemented, horizontally among primary health care stakeholders where the GP/FD is in pivot point as the leader and vertically among the different levels of health care.
- Strengthen links between GP/FM and the strategies on behalf of the Public Health.
- Attract and recruit new and future high quality, motivated and committed family doctors.
- Support the development of a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum with GP/FM concepts in each Medical School in Europe, and support the postgraduate contextualized specialty training in GP/FM in each European country tailored to the population needs and educational resources.
- Strengthen the research base of GP/FM.
- Foster quality and patient safety assurance.
- Lay a path to establish standards in GP/FM. Create content, tools, methodology and the networking environment between members to accomplish the above mentioned activities.