Report of activities of WONCA Working Party on Research

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WONCA World Conference at Prague 

Report of activities of WONCA
Working Party on Research

By Professor Waris Qidwai

PRAGUE: WONCA Working Party on Research (WWPR) held its meeting and conducted three workshops during the 20th WONCA World Conference held at Prague recently. The participation and enthusiasm of participation at these events was exemplary.

Some of the delegates who attended the 20th World WONCA Conference
held in Prague recently. Prof. Waris Qidwai from AKUH is seen second from left.

Three yearly meeting was held on June 24. It was chaired by Professor Waris Qidwai and Professor John Beasley, who have been selected as Chair and Co-Chair respectively of the Working Party for another term. It was attended by 27 participants, representing seven WONCA regions. A minute silence was observed in memory of late Professor Barbara Star field. A review was made of the past activities of the group and future plans for next term were discussed. Professor Felicity from New Zealand made a proposal to have panel discussions in regional meetings of representing countries to identify gaps in various aspects of primary care. It was decided to work through member organizations of WONCA to promote primary care research. It was agreed that WONCA should ask governments, policy makers and stakeholders to ensure establishment of departments of family medicine in medical colleges and provide protected funds for primary care research. It was also agreed to strive for inclusion of research training in the curriculum in medical colleges at under and postgraduate levels. Professor Michael Kidd attended the meeting and addressed the participants. Professor Christos Lionis was asked to continue as Chair, International Federation of Primary Care Research Networks and to come up with recommendations with regards to future strategies for the federation. He made a brief presentation about federation and its performance.
Three workshops were held by WWPR. Workshop on “Access to Person-Centered Care” was very successful and attended by 32 participants, representing seven WONCA regions. Status with regards to patient access to health services was discussed and barriers and challenges were identified so that a focus for future research initiatives could be based on them. A report was generated on the proceedings.
Workshop on “Primary Care Research strategies” was most successful and attended by close to 50 participants from across WONCA regions. Status, issues, barriers to primary care research were discussed and strategies formulated for work plan for WONCA and WWPR. Facilitating research, capacity building and mentoring all came under discussion. Recommendations coming out of 2003 Kingston report and paper published by Professor Beasley on primary care and global health were discussed.
Workshop on the role of primary care research networks in the age of austerity was led by Professor Christos Lionis and was very well attended. Various ways in which primary care research can continue to provide support in a period of limited resources to improve health was discussed.
WWPR meetings and workshops have brought enthusiasm and generated fresh interest in primary care research. New members are joining us and will bring new ideas and initiatives to help WONCA and WWPR to improve health of communities and families through primary care research initiatives. WWPR invites interested doctors to join us in our quest to promote primary care research globally.(PR)