Featured Network: EURIPA

European Rural and Isolated Practitioners Association

Rural? What is ‘rural’?

This is the most frequently asked question of EURIPA. Definitions vary from country to country but if you feel ‘rural’ you are welcome to join EURIPA. Rural doctors come in many shapes and sizes and, as has been said, “if you’ve been to one rural town you’ve been to one rural town”. Rurality varies hugely between and with in countries. It makes EURIPA’s work challenging and interesting.

Who we are

Rural Family Doctors from across Europe met in 1995 and 1996, and then in 1997 EURIPA was formally established. Formal recognition as a network of WONCA Europe followed.

Rural and isolated doctors are represented by EURIPA but as primary care is developing we also have members who are working in public health, other health professionals including nurses. Being remote from acute and emergency centres team working is especially important for rural doctors.

“Working in a remote and rural island setting it is easy to feel professionally isolated - but EURIPA has enabled me to connect with others, and learn from the practice of other clinicians. I have found that we have so many similar issues and can readily understand the
challenges faced by others working in different countries. We have so much in common and are so much stronger together as we tackle the issues faced by the communities we serve.”

What do we do?       

  • Publishes a quarterly newsletter – the Grapevine
  • Circulates a monthly Members update - the Grapeseed
  • Supports and collaborates with the members of the International Advisory Board from across Europe  
  • Undertakes research to understand better key rural health issues to develop the evidence base eg chronic morbidity
  • Participates in WONCA Europe conferences running workshops on topical issues
  • Holds an Annual Rural Health Forum held in different locations across Europe;  10th Forum is postponed until September 2021 in Poland.


One of the challenges for rural doctors is that they are remote not only from acute hospitals but also from centres in research and teaching excellence. Young doctors are the future of rural practice and it is essential that they are supported and encouraged to work in rural and isolated areas but also have the opportunities of their more urban colleagues. As a cross cutting network of WONCA Europe, EURIPA has developed relationships with the other 5 WE networks.

EURIPA was the first regional rural network and works with the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice (WWPRP). Last year we actively promoted the checklist for the rural pathways work on training health workers in low and middle income countries..

Euripa is organizing the First Rural Health e-Forum September 18-19, 2020

I have a dream….
Have a full forum with the two foot in your slippers
Meet friends without using plane
Submit an abstract and present your work from your home.
Share the adventure of a rural escape game with friends
Choose your table companions for a rural aperitive and a dinner
Full forum available on internet when you want.
Ask question about all the communications
Yes it’s possible!
If you dream of it, EURIPA do it for you.
Join us!

Click on: https://euripa.woncaeurope.org/content/e-forum

Jean Pierre Jacquet
EURIPA president

How Rural and Remote General Practice/Family Medicine is responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic - now and for the future

EURIPA aims for a high quality Forum and encourages new researchers to participate as well as supporting young rural doctors who can find starting out in research intimidating. EURIPA is a friendly inclusive network, uses ‘easy’ English and has worked hard to make its meetings accessible. Delegates have said:

“I noticed that the style was very informal and that it was easy to be a member of the Forum - there were not those high horses that looked down at you. It was friendly and you felt welcome.”

“I really enjoyed this Forum where we had scientific knowledge, sharing of experiences, and in a friendly atmosphere with excellent organisation.”