The massive range of challenges facing the medical profession, the health service and, indeed, the country have perhaps never been more profound than they are now.
In order for the BMA to remain best placed to identify, reflect and enact the needs of doctors and the patients they care for, we continually strive to examine how we do things and, where possible, refine and improve them.
At the 2015 and 2016 annual representative meetings, doctors made clear that efforts to further enhance the BMA’s ability to represent and engage with members locally were key priorities.
In responding to these concerns, the association last year undertook a major organisational wide review of how the BMA represents its members and its structure – the MVDS (member voice and democratic structures) and Your Voice, Your BMA projects.
Today, BMA council has approved measures that promise to fundamentally change its future composition and, consequently the level of representation employed by the BMA when deciding on its policies and priorities.
Under these proposals there will be clearly defined numbers of representatives elected from the home nations and English regions and branches of practice
In future we will see four representatives for London, two each for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and two each for nine English regions directly elected by members in those areas.
We will also see our medical branches of practice more clearly represented with a number of seats for each, voted for by members in that branch of practice.
There will also be up to 20 new seats in a UK-wide constituency, which will be open to candidates from all parts of the country.
This decision means that voting membership of the BMA’s council will now stand at between 65 and 70 – a level which I believe will provide the size and balance needed to adequately represent our organisation.
Final approval of this vision will take place at this year’s ARM, but with today’s vote of confidence, I believe that as a profession and as a representative organisation, we can together move forward to meet the many challenges of the future.
Andrew Dearden is BMA treasurer
We all respect democracy; election of members from the majority and exclusion of minority representations. This is OK for the British Parliament where there is an opposition party ; no matter how weak, every MP gets a pay. This system is NOT really appropriate for the British Medical Association, where the members from minority backgrounds have more job - related problems. A Trade Union is not a Parliament; where MPs elect only the Prime Minister who then appoints all ministers, advisers and ambassadors, without being called a dictator. I suggest a proportional representation would be a fairer system; at least one member from every background should be selected after an internal election by votes in each group of job category and ethnicity. In this way the BMA would represent all its members. The members from minority background would not have to resign from the BMA because their calls always fall on deaf ears. The Government will not have to care for them directly and side line the BMA. I have examples for unfairness in this democratic election system in the BMA which is unintentional. I shall only tell them who would want to hear it. Criticism is a positive activity in politics and science. I am being positive indeed. Dr Bashir Qureshi, Life Member of the BMA since 2014 and its devoted supporter since 1964.
If we are going down the line that only people of certain minority groups are able to understand or represent the issues affecting that group, then doctors are shouldn't treat patients outside of their own ethnicity. This is a reductionist argument that only sees race and not people.
I agree that the BMA does not represent locum doctors well, nor disabled doctors well, and probably there are other groups I just have not met yet who are also not represented well, but I don't think a caste since is the solution
My apologies for the mess auto correct made of the grammar my above comment!
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I am a minority doctor whose represetation by the BMA has been so applaling, that in the end to peserve my mental state on the advice of my GP and occupational health, I was advised to resign from my post. This is after wasting my time with the BMA for two years, watching things go from bad to worse as my workplace bahaved worse and worse towards me, while my BMA rep looked on and said nothing to my workplace. I see the BMA as a complete waste of time and has just asked to relinquish my membership. Having spoken to other doctors, I realise that poor representation is relatively universal.
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