11th EURIPA Rural Health Forum held in Catania, Sicily 6- 8/10/2022

The 11th EURIPA Rural Health Forum was held in Catania, Sicily from 6 to 8 October 2022. The title of the conference was "What have we learned in rural practice to prepare for the next crisis?" and was organized
under the patronage of the Municipality of Catania, the University of Catania and the association of young Italian family doctors, the Giotto Movement.

It was a success in terms of both participation and scientific content. One hundred and twenty delegates from 25 European countries attended, 54 abstracts were presented and published in the international indexed journal "Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine" (I.F.1.736) which also endorsed the event https://advances.umw.edu.pl/en/abstract-book-2022-euripa. The Forum took place in the splendid rooms of the Diocesan Museum, next to the Cathedral of Sant-Agata, in the lively and pulsating historic center of Catania.

There were two parallel sessions which included oral presentations, workshops and posters. Dr. Oleg Kravtchenko, current President of EURIPA, Prof. Shlomo Vinker President of WONCA Europe and Prof. Carlos Martins, President of EUROPREV (European Network for Prevention and Health Promotion in Family Medicine) all participated in the meeting.

In the opening ceremony we had the privilege of hearing from Australia the greeting and presentation of Prof. Karen Flegg, WONCA World President elect. Subsequently, Prof. Pietro Castellino, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Catania delivered his keynote lecture on: "Management of renal failure in an outpatient setting". On the morning of the second day Theadora Swift-Koller from the headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva presented, by remote link, on the results of an intervention commissioned by the WHO on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the rural areas of the world.

The issues addressed in the forum ranged from the effects of COVID-19 on the organisation of general practice, to its effects on health personnel and on the general population, to more traditional issues such as the management of arterial hypertension, atrial fibrillation and cardiovascular risk, always with an emphasis on the rural setting. Emerging issues were also addressed such as the consequences of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the consequent massive migration to Poland with enormous repercussions on the health service of that country. Obviously, very hot topics in Italy were also dealt with, such as the growing scarcity of general practitioners in rural areas.

On the last day, in small groups, the delegates visited some family doctors; clinics in Catania, Paternò and Belpasso, at the end of which they received a welcome from the mayors and local administrators of the communities visited.