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Doctors oppose IMA meeting scheduled for Thai resort

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h6503 (Published 01 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6503
  1. Cheryl Travasso
  1. 1Mumbai

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has postponed its upcoming meeting in the coastal town of Pattaya in Thailand, saying it will be rescheduled at a later date.

Marthanda Pillai, president of the IMA, told The BMJ that the national executive meeting, which was due to take place in November, had been postponed for logistical and internal reasons.

On 22 November doctors from the Punjab Medical Council protested about the decision to hold the meeting in Thailand, saying that it would have been more appropriate to hold the meeting in India.

In their letter to the IMA, GS Grewal, president of the Punjab Medical Council, and Arun Mitra, former senior vice president of the Punjab branch of the IMA, questioned the choice of location as this was not an international meeting or an inter-affiliate meeting with the Thailand Medical Association.

The letter said that the medical profession in India was already in crisis and under scrutiny and it appealed for a change in location. Grewal and Mitra said that the meeting in Thailand would add further doubts to the minds of the public about the objectives of the profession.

“The national executive is the highest body of the IMA, which should hold serious discussions on several problems concerning the medical profession in India and healthcare issues of our country. For this there are an ample number of places in the country, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and from Kachh to Kohima, which have beautiful resorts in the mountains and beaches to give serene atmosphere for discussion,” said the letter.

The IMA said that the meeting would be rescheduled but that the date and location had not been decided. Pillai told The BMJ that because the association’s national conference was due to take place in New Delhi on 27 and 28 December, there had not yet been time to plan when the national executive meeting would take place.

The IMA is a voluntary, national organisation made up of over 250 000 doctors and 1650 local branches.

Pillai said that he was surprised at the attention the arrangements of the meeting had generated. The IMA holds a number of different meetings, on various occasions, some of which are arranged in local destinations while others are arranged in international locations, he said.

Grewal pointed out that IMA meetings had been held at Pattaya before. He told The BMJ that he did not understand the logic of holding the meeting at a location that was neither academic nor associated with any specific medical body linked to the IMA.

Notes

Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6503

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