Irish Institute of Rural
The Irish Institute of Rural Health was incorporated by
Dr Jerry Cowley, Mulranny, County Mayo in December 1996 and
aims to encourage good health and standards of practice in
rural Ireland and to promote research.
Professor Andrew Murphy of University College Galway is a
Director. It is envisaged that UCG and the Irish College of
General Practitioners will continue to work closely with the
It is well recognised that rural practitioners are
different to their urban counterparts in that they must
deliver a more comprehensive service in greater isolation
from colleagues and without the same hospital back-up.
There must be adequate resources/ infrastructure to allow
that to happen successfully. Too often rural practitioners
are overworked with inadequate resources and long working
hours. Research will more fully identify the problems that
exist and help provide answers.
The Irish Institute of Rural Health is also part of an
European network linked through EURIPA (European Rural &
Isolated Practitioner's association) with the British
Institute of Rural Health and other professional groups in
other European countries.
The European Partners including the Irish Institute will
work together to form a virtual information exchange chain
and collect and disseminate information relating to rural
health. A practical application of this partnership is
through the successful application by the group for the
BIOMED Programme to the EU Commission.
The present Chairman of EURIPA is Dr John Wynne -Jones,
who is also the founder/ director of the British Institute
of Rural Health.
WONCA Dublin 1998
Rural Health is very well developed in places such as
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and
elsewhere. In 1998 the Annual Meeting of WONCA
(The World Organisation of Family Doctors) was held in
Dublin with the Irish College of General Practitioners'
As part of the WONCA Conference Wednesday 17th June was
designated 'Rural Day'. Professor Roger Strasser, Monash
Rural Centre, Australia,Chairman of the Rural WONCA Steering
Committee was the main organiser. Dr Jerry Cowley was
anchorman for 'Rural Day'
Dr. John McLeod of the Isle of North Uist organised a
post conference rural satellite meeting at Fort William on
Wednesday June 24th 1998.
As part of WONCA 1998 the Irish Institute of Rural Health
and the Irish College of GP's hosted a 'Rural Satellite
Conference ' in Westport, Co. Mayo, in association with
WONCA and EURIPA, from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st June 1998.
A very interesting programme was organised with a practical
'hands-on' component as well.