The latest WONCA News (June 2017) is accessible via the WONCA website, with lots of WONCA news, views and events.

From the CEO’s Desk – conferences in Pattaya and Seoul
This month our CEO, Dr Garth Manning, reports on some conference planning meetings for the WONCA Asia Pacific conference in Pattaya,Thailand (1st to 4th November 2017) and some of the additional planning work taking place for the next world conference in Seoul, Korea, in October 2018. There are also some dates for your diary for Seoul, including the plans for regional and Council meetings.

Mental Health Matters: Caring for the Patients with Severe Mental Illness (SMI)
There is extensive evidence of the increased mortality and morbidity of people with severe mental illness, mainly due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Patients with severe mental illness die over 20 years earlier than they would have done, had they not had a severe mental illness.

Now, a task group of WONCA’s Working Party for Mental Health, led by Alan Cohen (UK) and Kim Griswold (USA) has developed guidance to enable family doctors to care more effectively for their patients with severe mental illness. It first provides an overview of general principles, followed by fact sheets on diabetes, smoking and respiratory disease, alcohol and substance misuse, and cardiovascular disease. All documents are freely available via the WONCA website:

UN Special Report on the Right to Health – Mental Health
Also on mental health, a reminder that our colleagues at WHO have notified us that the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health has presented his visionary report on mental health to the Human Rights Council. The report provides an important framework and road map for mental health that responds to people’s needs, respects their rights and ensures that the dignity of every person is respected. This links with the work being undertaken by WONCA’s Working Party on Mental Health about physical disease in patients with serious mental illness, and the Working Party will be reporting on their work at future WONCA events. Meantime the UN report can be accessed, in several languages, at: .

WHO launches video courses on outbreaks and emergencies
WHO has launched a series of video courses on epidemics, pandemics and health emergencies. Geared for those working in emergencies, the courses are also accessible to the public. The courses – which are on a platform called OpenWHO – transform complex scientific knowledge into easy-to-understand introductory video lessons, using a smaller bandwidth so that people in any country can access them.

The content can be accessed here:

Goodfellow Gems
Goodfellow Gems are chosen by the Goodfellow Unit director Dr Bruce Arroll to be either practice changing or practice maintaining. The information is educational and not clinical advice. The Goodfellow Unit (University of Auckland, New Zealand) owns the copyright of the Gems. Recent Gems posted on the WONCA website include:

  • Freezing is better than acid for common warts, but the same for plantar warts.
  • Depression and isotretinoin – another case for low dose
  • Stop using topical antibiotics
  • Great patient decision aid for primary prevention of CVD

These and many other Gems can be accessed via the WONCA website.