WONCA Europe Future Plan 2019-2022

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:

  1. Supporting universal health coverage and leading “state of the art” family medicine to be implemented in all of the European Region.
  2. 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.
  3. Strengthen links between GP/FM and the strategies on behalf of the Public Health.
  4. Attract and recruit new and future high quality, motivated and committed family doctors.
  5. 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.
  6. Strengthen the research base of GP/FM.
  7. Foster quality and patient safety assurance.
  8. 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.


See here for the full document. 

Last modified on 21 Sep 2023.