Newsletter 05
Dear GP/FM colleagues,
We are delighted to invite you to the
24th WONCA Europe Conference that will be held in Bratislava, Slovakia on June 26 - 29, 2019.

Abstract Submission Deadline Extended!

HAVE YOU ALREADY SUBMITTED YOUR ABSTRACT? Due to a high level of interest from participants, we are pleased to announce that the abstract submission deadline has been extended until January 31, 2019!

Submit now


We would like to thank to those of you who have already registered for the early registrarion fee! For those who have not yet registered, there is still opportunity to register for a discounted regular registration fee.

Register now


GUARANT International has been appointed as the official hotel accommodation agent for the 24th WONCA Europe Conference and will handle all related arrangements.

We strongly advise all participants not to work with any unauthorized vendors/companies who may offer you hotel reservation services by phone / e-mail with "discounted meeting rates" and try to obtain your personal data including credit card details.

List of Hotels

Programme at a Glance

Programme at a glance is available.

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5x5 questions for Host Organizing Committee

MUDr. Peter Makara
Host Organizing Committee Chairperson

Today, general practitioners from all over Europe meet in Bratislava. How, as the President of the Slovak Society of General Practice, do you view the position of GPs in Slovakia in comparison with their colleagues from other European countries?

According to our information and based on our conversations with our colleagues from abroad, the position of GPs in Slovakia is one of the weakest. In spite of that, according to unofficial surveys, GPs in Slovakia enjoy a great deal of trust from their patients. Our aim is to convince politicians to turn their declaratory support to primary care to real acts.

What may inspire our GPs at the WONCA conference and how in turn may our general medicine serve as an inspiration to WONCA foreign participants?

To our physicians, WONCA has given an opportunity to participate in a European congress of GPs on home grounds and learn/confront themselves firsthand with how GPs around the world operate. Foreign participants will get the opportunity to visit our practices.
An unofficial survey (a recent survey) has shown that GPs in Slovakia enjoy an 80 – 90% trust from their patients. This is a really high number which, on the one hand, represents a commitment and, on the other hand, significantly improves the doctor – patient communication. (The hidden question is why it is important to build trust with the patient). Only doctors who won trust can best help their patients. This trust must be built constantly.

A family doctor, a general practitioner, a medical practitioner – the name of a professional providing primary care varies in different parts of Europe. How important is it for the patient? (Don´t patients trust more the concept of a family doctor?)

The name is a result of a historical development and, in many countries, the general practitioner (GP) looks after the entire families, the children, pregnancies, parents and grandparents. Historically, in Slovakia, children have been looked after by paediatricians and an adequate network of paediatric offices has also been built. Therefore, GPs in Slovakia take over the patients only after they reached adulthood. In view of this, we do not want to change this system but we believe that a patient should register with a general medical practitioner as soon as possible after reaching adulthood.

According to the findings of the World Bank, in Slovakia, GPs are involved in the management of the patient in 70% of cases and 30% are referred to a specialist. However, the standard abroad is up to 90%. Is the achievement of this figure in Slovakia realistic and desirable (aren´t the GPs already quite overburdened?)?

n my opinion, it is realistic to significantly reduce the percentage of referrals to specialists by removing barriers in patient care. In Slovakia, the prescription of a large number of medicines, medical devices, biochemical tests, CT scans, MRI scans can only be obtained through a referral to a specialist. I am convinced that by removing these barriers, the burden on doctors will not increase and it might even decrease. On the other hand, in the current situation, we are not able to assume all the responsibilities as in some countries, such as paediatric care, care of the pregnant women, performance of “minor” surgical procedures in our offices because we are not equipped or trained for this at all.

Why is the enforcement of the requirements that improve position of general medicine not only in the interest of health professionals in doctors’ offices but especially in the interest of patients?

By organizing this conference, we want to draw the attention of the media, the politicians and the Ministry to the need to build primary care and improve the working conditions of GPs because primary care provides accessible and high-quality health care for all, in particular in the context of an ageing population and an epidemic non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc.

What does the human aspect of medicine mean to you personally?

In recent years, the administrative burden and the introduction of new duties have been increasing constantly in Slovakia; they steal time which the doctor could devote to their patients. The human aspect of primary care medicine also includes the time to talk and listen to the patients, to prepare tailor-made plans for examinations, treatments or lifestyle changes and not only to measure physiological functions, prescribe medicines and report/charge the services to the health insurance company.

Bratislava Highlights - Volume 4

Primate´s Palace
A Classicist palace built in the 18th century in which the Peace of Pressburg was signed after Napoleon’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz between the representatives of the French and Austrian emperors. The Palace houses a gallery depositing a unique collection of six English tapestries from the 17th century and also serves as the seat of the Mayor of Bratislava.

Conference Secretariat

GUARANT International spol. s r.o.
Na Pankraci 17, 140 21 Prague 4, Czech Republic

Phone: +420 284 001 444
Fax: +420 284 001 448
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