UEMO featured in Health Europe publication

19/03/2021 News Europe , News UEMO 415 Views

UEMO Vice President Dr Mary McCarthy explores the burden of COVID-19, resource inequity and vaccine hesitancy on General Practitioners and family doctors.

The Union Européenne des Médecins Omnipraticiens (UEMO) is the European Union of General Practitioners/Family Doctors. It was established more than 50 years ago in Paris, and aims to promote the highest standard of training, practice and patient care within the field of general practice and family medicine throughout Europe and to defend the role of general practitioners (GPs) and family physicians in the healthcare system.

Membership of UEMO is extended to any country which is geographically within Europe; and therefore the membership of the UK has been unaffected by the Brexit negotiations. It holds General Assemblies twice a year to determine the common views of member nations, represented by their delegations, and to present them, through the appropriate channels, to the proper European authorities. It works with other European medical organisations to strengthen professional status and to search for common criteria for professional medical practice in Europe.

General practice is a complex discipline which not only involves a broad knowledge base, encompassing all medical specialities, but which also operates in a holistic manner. It places the patient at the centre, not the disease that the patient happens to have, and considers socioeconomic, psychological and familial aspects of the disease as well as the physical signs and symptoms. As William Osler (1849-1919) said: “The good doctor treats the disease, the great doctor treats the patient”. UEMO is therefore involved in other European organisations and contributes to their debates and discussions. It has been more deeply embedded in the European Medicines Agency since a Joint Statement was signed in 2019 and is also a stakeholder in Health Technology Assessment (HTA).

Its recent policy papers cover topics including Brexit, COVID-19, eHealth policy, childhood obesity, and antimicrobial resistance (It is a member of the EU-JAMRAI project on AMR). It takes part in and is a contributor to EU vaccine policies, the TELL ME project (promoting transparent communication in epidemics), the SMART Project (to measure the use of ICT and eHealth applications) and ENS4Care Project (advocating evidence-based guidelines for nurses and social care workers). It is involved in broad policy discussions in many European health groups and is constantly being asked for advice or participation in special interest groups.

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