WONCA Rural Health Conference kicks off in Limerick

Over 500 doctors from around the world are expected to attend the event

The 22nd annual WONCA World Rural Health Conference starts today, with doctors from across the world gathering in the University of Limerick to discuss issues associated with rural health and medicine.

Dr Jerry Cowley

This is the first time the event – which coincides with the annual ICGP meeting at the same venue – has taken place in person since the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 500 people are expected to attend.

“We decided that we’d like to hold an international conference and we went to Albuquerque to bid for it” said Dr Jerry Cowley, of the Rural, Island, and Dispensing Doctors of Ireland, speaking with IMT about how the meeting came to Limerick.

“We recruited our partners, UL, as well as the ICGP to come along with us to make the presentation. That was in 2019 – little did we know that Covid would hit us and that we’d be in this situation a few years later.”

Keynote speakers include Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme; Professor John Gillies, Honorary Professor of General Practice, University of Edinburgh Co-director, University of Edinburgh Global Compassion Initiative, Global Health Academy; and Dr Anna Stavdal, WONCA World President

The conference will discuss issues around the shortage of rural doctors, as well as a ‘green agenda’. Also addressed will be needs, challenges and opportunities for the rural health sector; how community systems can be strengthened and effect change; the healthcare needs of indigenous people, as well as community nursing and pre-hospital care.

Coverage of the event will be included in the July print issue of Irish Medical Times.

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