World Organization of Family Doctors

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Primary health care towards universal health coverage

The World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) would like to thank the Director General’s report on Primary Health Care towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
To the doctors we represent, and the people we care for, the outcomes of the Astana Declaration are of the utmost importance, strong UHC will mean better health for all.
The political will to achieve Universal Health Coverage will need to be nurtured and advocated for. The advocacy is less likely to gain traction or success without WHO specifically identifying the members and competencies of the primary care teams necessary to deliver the services to ensure every person has access to appropriate, affordable, integrated, and comprehensive primary health care. Our Member Organisations were disappointed at the absence from the text of the report of any mention of family doctors or of any other members of the primary healthcare team.
Family doctors are essential to implementing Health For All and the health-related SDGs. They are trained to work in interdisciplinary teams and give comprehensive care across the lifecycle in a person-centered way. Emphasize prevention as well as diagnosis and treatment at first point of care. Our specialty is cost-effective partly because family doctors can address the emerging needs of ageing populations and the increase of non-communicable diseases at the PHC level. They can also lead and guide other members of the PHC team with their diagnostic and management skills. We urge WHO to take the lead in advocating for the establishment of an academic department of Family Medicine in every medical school, in every country, in every region of the world, to build the cadre of professionals necessary to effectively implement the global goals.
WONCA will continue to engage actively with our technical counterparts within WHO and to advocate at regional policy level for the changes needed globally to make good on the promises of Astana and the means to achieve those promises.