WONCA Europe 2014 Lisbon Declaration



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  standards  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

Job Metsemakers
President - WONCA Europe  

João Sequeira Carlos                                    
President - APMGF  

Peter Sloane
President - VdGM