Auspicious start for the 19th WONCA Europe Conference
Teamwork and integrated effort. That is the way to move forward, both in art and in healthcare. This was one of the most prominent ideas to come out of opening session of the 19th WONCA Europe Conference. So let us work collectively and bring our thoughts together, during the next days, in order to add value to General Practice/Family Medicine.
Just before the brilliant opening conference presented by Joana Carneiro (music director of the Berkeley Symphony and invited maestro of the Gulbenkian Orchestra) and the performance of the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, the delegates to the 19th WONCA Europe Conference were greeted with an artistic moment (courtesy of acrobats and an accordion performer who is also a member of the organizing committee). Then, national and international leaders of the health sector, namely the president of the Portuguese Association of General and Family Medicine (APMGF) and chair of the Conference, João Sequeira Carlos, and the president of WONCA Europe (Job Metsemakers) took the floor.
João Sequeira Carlos remembered the importance of this major meeting, which brings together doctors from many origins: “in this time of global communication, physical meetings like this are more important than ever”. The conference president also highlighted the fact that primary care and general practice/family medicine are the cornerstones of every successful health system: “we all know that the more a health system is based in primary care, the better results it will provide”. Job Metsemakers was particularly surprised with the participation of the youngest generation of family doctors:”of the more than 3400 delegates, more than 1000 are trainees. That is certainly an achievement!”. The secretary of State Fernando Leal da Costa was even more enthusiastic: “this is one of the highest moments of Portuguese Medicine!”.
The opening ceremony was then handed over to the domineering presence of Joana Carneiro, who in a theatrical fashion called the patient/composer Robert Schumann to stage, reincarnated in the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, to treat some of his more debilitated melodies and rhythm sections.