WONCA Europe 2014 Lisbon: New Routes for General Practice and Family Medicine

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

Job Metsemakers
President - WONCA Europe  

João Sequeira Carlos                                    
President - APMGF  

Peter Sloane
President - VdGM