World Organization of Family Doctors

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144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.5.3 Preparation for the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on universal health coverage

WONCA represents half a million family medicine doctors in more than 150 countries working at the frontline of primary health care. To the doctors we represent, and the people we care for, the outcomes of the UN high-level meeting on universal health coverage are of the outmost importance.
Strong Primary Health Care (PHC) has been recognized as an essential cornerstone to achieve health equity. We urge all governments and health systems to prioritize the health needs of the most vulnerable - especially ensuring access to affordable and effective care for people in rural areas, women, children, the elderly, the disabled, ethnic minorities & migrants, all of whom are often disadvantaged in the health system.
WONCA reminds the world of the importance of Family Doctors, who are trained to give comprehensive person-centered care across the lifecycle. Our specialty is cost-effective 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.
WONCA urges countries to invest in the training of skilled family doctors through the development of academic capacity starting at the medical school level, effective recruitment and retention policies, postgraduate training programs and continuous professional development. This investment will need to be matched by support for training of all the members of the primary health care workforce; PHC reform to aim for high quality and safe clinical services; and relevant research and new technologies which will underpin high-quality clinical care. Working conditions, including remuneration, must also be made attractive for family doctors and their teams.
Based on the evidence, WONCA reaffirms that investment of resources in the PHC sector will achieve comprehensive care that responds effectively to people’s health needs in every community in the world