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BMA marks a decade of championing fair medical trade

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Doctors can become agents for change by championing ethical practices in medicine, the BMA has said.

As part of NHS Sustainability Day today, the BMA is celebrating a decade of work in its fair medical trade campaign.

The campaign, which has seen the association conduct in-depth investigations and lobby politicians on policy, has helped set the agenda and bring about positive reform in a number of key areas.

These include the Modern Slavery Act, which aims to increase transparency around ethical practices and treatment of workforce in medical supply chains worldwide.

The BMA has been instrumental in drawing attention to abuses in industries such as the manufacture of uniforms, instruments and medical gloves, revealing how many workers in developing countries are exposed to unsafe working conditions and denied basic rights.

In highlighting injustices, the BMA has also helped to draw up practical guidelines designed to inform and support leaders in healthcare on best practice and the reform of workplace standards.

In a blog published today, BMA head of international and immigration Arthy Santhakumar hailed the work of the past ten years, while reiterating the need for the medical community to continue to speak out.

She said: ‘There is an opportunity for all doctors to become agents for change. Small changes at local levels can have a big impact, especially when shared and implemented at scale.

‘Over the past 10 years, we have sent a clear signal that this is not business as usual – and that healthcare organisations around the world want the goods they use not to come at a cost to basic human rights and wellbeing.’

A national day of action across the whole of the health service, NHS Sustainability Day aims to encourage everyone from doctors and trusts to CCGs to take an active role in promoting greater sustainability in healthcare.

This can be achieved by helping to raise awareness of the issues among colleagues, and lobbying your employer to adopt and implement the recommendations in the BMA’s ethical procurement for health workbook.

Find out more about NHS Sustainability Day

Read more about the BMA’s work on fair medical trade

Read the BMA’s latest parliamentary briefings

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