Press release: One year in pandemic

10/06/2021 News UEMO , Press 400 Views
Press release: One year in pandemic

UEMO Press release One year in pandemic

Press release 10 June 2021

Exactly one year ago, UEMO  attracted attention through the Statement on COVID-19, adopted in the General Assembly of 11-12 June 2020, on the need to protect medical staff engaged in the fight against the pandemic, as well as the socioeconomically disadvantaged population groups. After a year of this pandemic, we find that too few measures have been taken to recognize and reward the work of medical professionals, an exception however being the recognition of COVID as an occupational disease.

We consider our Statement to be fully current:

UEMO Statement on COVID-19

Adopted on 11 June 2020

UEMO, the European Union of General Practitioners, states the following facts:

The Covid-19 pandemic is causing significant impacts upon and damage to:

  • Public health
  • Premature death rates
  • Economic activity both within member states and between them

The consequences of these impacts vary in different countries, but the over-riding principles remain the same.

Health policies must be directed towards

  • the prevention and management of the infection
  • the protection and safety of the population
  • The protection and safety of health care professionals
  • Consistent availability and adequate re-supply of materials and equipment, particularly PPE. This should be sourced within Europe and of accredited European standard
  • the finance and resources sufficient to accomplish these policies

We acknowledge the loss of life that has occurred in our countries and mourn our professional colleagues who have died while providing health care to our populations.

We demand recognition of Covid-19 as an Occupational Disease in all European and other member countries in order to protect our colleagues and their families. General Practitioners are in the frontline of this pandemic and are suffering accordingly. They are and will be the first contact for almost all infected patients and bear the risk of that position.

We seek acknowledgement of the speed at which general practice is transforming its consulting modes into a remote telemedicine service while endeavoring to maintain the continuity of care that is its significant characteristic, and we ask for substantial help in supporting these changes.

We demand sufficient and appropriate protective equipment for family doctors and their staff so that they may continue their important work in safety.  Without the support of GP staff, general practice would not have been able to function as it has.

We expect and demand, of governments and society at large, recognition that the most vulnerable people and the socio-economically disadvantaged groups in our societies have suffered the most and that public health measures must not make access to care more difficult.

General Practitioners/Family Physicians are the only medical group who know their patients and their families from cradle to grave and who treat not only the disease in a person, but also the person with the disease. General Practitioner/Family Physician presence and expertise is essential in all health care planning and we demand the inclusion of General Practitioners in all policy-making and organisational health care committees so that they can inform health care policies.

We demand consideration of the needs of family doctors and recognition of the impact of managing this outbreak has on their physical and mental wellbeing. This relates both to their unremitting workload and to the distress they suffer over the illness and deaths of their colleagues and their patients.

It is entirely unacceptable in civilized society that doctors have been abused by some members of the public and stigmatized, by higher insurance costs, by the financial services industry.

We demand from governments financial recognition to compensate for the significant reduction in income of many GPs during this pandemic at a time when family physicians are to continuing to provide a more intense service to patients and that we expect that family physicians should be treated as least as equally as other businesses and individuals who have suffered financially. As a Minimum we demand those excess costs of operation, since many GPs had to purchase their own PPE and meet other expenses, must be met.


For more information, please contact:

Gindrovel Dumitra

UEMO Secretary General

e-mail: secretariat


The European Union of General Practitioners (UEMO) is an organization of the most representative national, nongovernmental, independent organizations representing general practitioners in the countries of Europe to promote the highest standard of training, practice and patient care within the field of general practice throughout Europe.

UEMO represents more than 500 000 GPs from 25 countries.

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