WONCA Environmental Working Party
On Friday, 4th July (05:00 p.m.), the WONCA Environmental Working Party will organize a debate session at the 19th WONCA Europe Conference, specially dedicated to the presentation and official launching of a book developed by that WONCA Group, called “Family Doctors In The Field – Environmental Stories From Across The Globe”. Authors of several chapters of this book will be present, to exchange ideas with the audience using as a starting point this rich array of narratives written by family doctors, health professionals who live and work in different parts of the world but share many of their inspirations and operational methods. As the WONCA Environmental Working Party chair (the Australian family doctor Grant Blashki) explained to us, the debate session has a main purpose, the world launching of a book in which “family doctors from vastly differing contexts have described their efforts in promoting environmental sustainability. Some have done so through their day-to-day actions in their lives or in their clinics to reduce energy use, waste and water use. Others have been involved by advocating for environmentally friendly policies within their countries. Some of the doctors have been using their professional voice to educate the community about environmental issues”.
Grant Blashki further details the kind of stories contained in this innovative book that is going to be revealed, for the first time, in Lisbon and that might stimulate a interesting debate session: “some of the doctors describe their work dealing with the health implications of environmental threats, for example responding to floods in Pakistan, or ensuring clean water in Kenya. Other presentations are of a more philosophical nature and explore the relationship of human health to environmental sustainability”.
According to the WONCA Environmental Working Party chair, although modern times and globalization have triggered similar approaches to problems from health professionals of every region of the world, “the local context is always critical for the family doctor, both at a macro level, in terms of the culture and environment in which the doctor is working, and also at a micro level, in terms of the patient expectations of their doctor. Notwithstanding, there are common values that pervade our profession and the notions of prevention and social determinants of health have led many family doctors to realise that environmental sustainability issues cannot be ignored”.