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Life is busy enough for us doctors and work-life balance can be an issue. So, I understand when people question why anyone would put themselves forward for four additional meetings a year and the possibility of more.
The simple answer is to try to make a difference. Sitting on BMA Welsh Council means you can, because you will be listened to.
How it works
Welsh Council is large enough to cover the various crafts but not so large that it’s overwhelming. The current chair, Dr Phil Banfield, has a clear direction of inclusion and allowing opportunity to voice your views, contribute to policy and develop areas of interest or expertise. It's welcoming and friendly and you rapidly get to know everyone. I'm very confident this approach will continue under future chairmanship.
Access to the Welsh Council email forum and the support of the BMA secretariat mean you can debate, inform, ask for advice, contribute to BMA consultations and if you wish, develop your BMA role further.
Quarterly meetings are held in Cardiff; the agendas are balanced and never onerous or overwhelming. Contribution is welcomed and encouraged and the atmosphere naturally facilitates open views and discussion.
Expenses are paid, including locum expense as per BMA policy, and secretariat will advise on how and what is claimable.
I stood as a GP primarily involved in the GPC and LMC aspects of medical politics, and for me, the three-year membership in Welsh Council broadened my understanding of BMA structure and function and encouraged me to attend the annual ARM conference on more than one occasion.
So, if you are considering getting involved in Welsh medical politics and getting to know more about the BMA in Wales and representation across the board, stand for BMA Welsh Council – you just never know where it might lead.
Welsh Council elections open on Monday 5th June. For more information, please contact Sarah Ellmes on 029 2047 4606 or email us.
Please feel free to comment and include your experiences of BMA Welsh Council.
Pete is a GP Partner in rural mid Wales and member of BMA Welsh Council