When we chose the title of our Autumn Meeting a year ago, 'Patients' and Doctors' Safety: Can Women Change the Culture of the NHS?', we could not possibly have known how topical it would be. Patient Safety has never left the headlines in the recent lambasting of doctors and the NHS. Our speakers, including Dame Fiona Caldicott, Vivienne Nathanson and Vicky Osgood, were inspirational and generated lively discussion. Kim Peters and Michelle Ryan discussed their work from Exeter University on Role Models and the need for role models at all levels, not just the ones at the top of the profession who might not seem attainable. We had about 100 delegates, ranging from medical students to professors, so opportunities for talking and networking were ideal.
MWIA 29th International Congress Seoul, South Korea, July 31st to August 3rd 2013, Dr Helen Goodyear, Past President of MWF
Six MWF members attended: past presidents myself and Clarissa Fabre, MWIA joint national co-ordinators, Julie Rutter and Sue Overal, Amanda Owen and Elizabeth Youngs. The Korean organising committee had put an immense amount of effort into this event and this certainly paid off.
I attended the World Health Assembly in Geneva earlier this year. Dr Margaret Chan, the
Director General of WHO is truly inspiring. As one speaker said 'When Dr Chan speaks, the world listens.' Progress has been made on the Millenium Development Goals (see below), but much remains to be done, especially in reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. 'Universal Health Coverage' is the new buzz-word, and many speakers referred to this – healthcare for everyone independent of the ability to pay, a blurring of the boundaries between the roles of different types of health professionals, and the effective deployment of community health workers. Non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and the obesity epidemic are WHO priorities for the future.
The sun is shining on a clear crisp day here in Auckland. Daffodils are out and native plants are coming into bloom at the suggestion of early Spring. The citrus trees are laden and I love the novelty of picking a fresh juicy lemon straight off the tree. My taste buds have become accustomed to both the tamarillo and vegemite.