BMA council: vote to keep democracy healthy

by Tim Tonkin

BMA members are being encouraged to use their democratic rights to ensure the association works for them, as elections to the 2022-26 council session get under way.

Location: UK
Last reviewed: 11 January 2022

Nominations for the next session of the BMA council are now open, with those eager to represent their profession urged to put themselves forward.

As well as encouraging members to stand for BMA council, the council is stressing the importance of voting in the forthcoming election. It will start on 16 March.

Comprising 55 voting members, the BMA council is at the heart of setting the strategic direction of the association and ensuring policy passed at the annual representative meeting is enacted and is also responsible for the formulation of policy throughout the year.

Fairer process

BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul said that whether standing for election or voting, participation in the association’s democratic processes was critical to its representative function as a professional body, and its strength as trade union.

He said: ‘The BMA is the UK’s only professional association and trade union that advocates on behalf of all medical students and doctors from every part of the medical profession.

‘With that comes a considerable responsibility to ensure that, as an organisation, we are as diverse and well represented as our profession, and that responsibility lies as much with those casting their votes as it does with those seeking election.

‘I would urge both voters and prospective candidates to remember that engaging in our democratic processes is one of the most critical and important things you can do as a member of the BMA.’

Representative process

Changes have recently been implemented to the voting system, to ensure fairer representation from doctors from minority ethnic backgrounds, representational equality for different genders, and a clearer, streamlined ballot paper.

Candidates are directly elected by fellow BMA members and are drawn from across all UK regions and branches of practice to ensure council is as representative of association membership as possible.

Those wishing to stand for election to council are required to read and adhere to the association’s memorandum of understanding before submitting their nominations.

Once verified, election results are published via the online elections system and on the committee web pages.

For more information, email the BMA