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We are just over four months away from this year’s annual representative meeting taking place in Edinburgh between 21-25 June at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. You can find more information about what is happening on the BMA website.
Typically, about a quarter of attendees will be representing colleagues at this meeting for the first time and new attendees help up to be more representative. Please look at how you get a seat whether it’s for the first time or you want to come again.
The ARM is an opportunity for doctors from throughout the UK to come together and focus on the issues that matter the most to our members, and I expect that this year will be no exception. The focus this year will be on the doctor of the future with debates on such topics as delivering the best terms and conditions for our members, addressing the gender imbalance across the profession and working to secure uplifts to pay and pensions; harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence and reducing the impact of healthcare on the environment.
The closing date for motions to be submitted is 9am on Friday, 3 April, so for those attending we are yet to know all the topics we will be debating. You can find motion writing guidance and information about our checking service here.
However, the one debate we are expecting is physician-assisted dying. In ensuring the BMA has done what we resolved in Belfast last year we have surveyed members for their views on physician-assisted dying. The results won’t determine our policy, but they will be shared with representatives attending the ARM and will feed into a debate on the BMA’s position.
We want to hear from as many of our members as possible to ensure that any decision on policy can be informed by the views of the wider membership, so it’s important that you take part. You can find more information online.
But the ARM is not just about those attending in Edinburgh. It is about all our members. It is an opportunity for us to give a voice to every doctor, for the BMA to lead the debate on issues of pay and contracts, on ethical and scientific issues and on the future of our profession and of healthcare.
Over the coming weeks I will be detailing further what will be taking place at this ARM and how everyone can have an opportunity to take part.
Helena McKeown is chair of the BMA representative body