BMA UK council has approved measures aimed at improving the representation of its members.
Council members have today endorsed measures that would see the overall size of council increase to between 65 and 70 voting members – there are currently 34 – drawn from across all four UK home nations and branches of practice.
Under the proposals, representatives for London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as for nine English regions will be directly elected by members from those areas, with representatives for different branches of practice being voted for by members from those respective groups.
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.
The proposed changes will now go before this year’s annual representative meeting for final approval and implementation.
Moves to change the representative structures of the association result from recommendations drawn up from the BMA’s MVDS (member voice and democratic structures) and YVYB (your voice, your BMA) projects.
Conducted over the course of last year, these the two wide-ranging initiatives were established in response to calls made at the 2015 and 2016 ARMs to increase the level of representation of individual home nations and regions.
BMA treasurer Andrew Dearden, who led the MVDS and joint-chaired the YVYB projects, welcomed the council’s decision, adding that he hoped the changes would pave the way for a more representative BMA.
He said: ‘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.
‘For the BMA to remain best placed to identify, reflect and deliver in response to 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.
‘With today’s vote of confidence [by the BMA council], I believe that as a profession and as a representative organisation, we can together move forward to meet the many challenges of the future.’
Read Dr Dearden's blog
Find out more about BMA democratic structures
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