Wonca is made up of national colleges, academies or organizations concerned with the academic aspects of general family practice. Beginning with 18 members in 1972, there are now 120 member organizations in 99 countries. This includes 10 organizations in collaborative relations with Wonca. In all, the total membership of the member organizations of Wonca is over 250,000 general practitioners/family physicians.
Wonca represents and acts as an advocate for its constituent members at an international level where it interacts with world bodies such as the World Health Organization.
What is Wonca’s mission?
The mission of Wonca is to improve the quality of life of the peoples of the world through defining and promoting its values, and by fostering and maintaining high standards of care in general practice/family medicine by promoting personal, comprehensive and continuing care for the individual in the context of the family and the community, encouraging and supporting the development of academic organizations of general practitioners/family physicians, providing a forum for exchange of knowledge and information between member organizations of general practitioners/family physicians, and representing the educational, research and service provision activities of general practitioners/family physicians before other world organizations and forums concerned with health and medical care.
Who runs Wonca?
A Council comprising the representatives of member organizations and the officers of Wonca governs Wonca. It meets every three years at the time of Wonca world conferences. A small Executive Committee meets twice yearly to conduct the business of the organization between Council meetings. The members of Executive include the World President, President Elect, Immediate Past President, three Members at Large and Regional Presidents from each of the seven Wonca regions: Africa, North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East South Asia, Iberoamericana-CIMF and Wonca East Mediterranean Region (protem). The Wonca World Secretariat has been located in Singapore since 1 May 2001*.
What does Wonca do?
Wonca has an impact on the world of general practice/family medicine through its World Council and its Regional Councils in the seven regions. It has committees on membership, finance, bylaws, publications and communications, and working groups on the classification of problems encountered in general family practice, rural practice, quality assurance, informatics, education, communications and publications, research, health behaviour change, tobacco cessation, women and family medicine, mental health, and respiratory diseases. There are special interest groups on ethical issues in general practice and travel medicine, elderly care. These groups comprise hundreds of family doctors who meet three yearly, sometimes more often, and in between work by correspondence. Over the years they have carried out groundbreaking studies and research, and have produced a variety of important publications.
Relations with Other Bodies
Wonca has official relations with the World Health Organization as a non-governmental organization and is engaged in a number of collaborative projects