Health care systems throughout Europe are struggling to provide adequate services because of the challenges created by an ageing population, increasing multi morbidity and constrained financial resources. This makes the role of primary care ever more important in the delivery of cost-effective national health systems, and further emphasises the important role that the ESPCG now has in providing a voice for general practice and in contributing to the evidence base for the central role of primary care clinicians in future health systems.
The Society also has a strong track record of providing expert advice to the pharmaceutical industry on the development and introduction of new medicines for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.
We already have good links with the United European Gastroenterology Federation, through participation in its scientific and educational committees and representation on its Faculty. These need to be strengthened, as do links with WONCA Europe, where representation on its Council is a further important function of the ESPCG in ensuring that appropriate attention is paid to primary care gastroenterology.