The role of the BMA International Committee has been mentioned in previous blogs
The latest meeting took place at BMA House on 18th October . Attendance included representatives of Junior Doctors, European Junior Doctor Chair, UEMO Chair, UEMS chair, Academic Committee Chair, Ethics Committee Rep, UKCC rep amongst others
The following are notes of the meeting
There was a discussion on
- Maintaining the profile of the committee.
- The recent BMA Book Awards included a prize for the WHO Cultural contexts of health: the use of narrative research .
- Meetings with Migration Matters in July . Their co chairs are Barbara Roche a Labour ex-MP and Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi and Liberal Democrat Lord Navnit Dholakia. Migration Matters is seen generally as a counter weight to Migrationwatch.
- The Nuffield Trust report on Brexit Preparing for the unpredictable be prepared Social Care is likely to suffer more than healthcare with loss of staff but if this is the case this would have a negative impact on the NHS.
- The BMA Board of Science Meeting . Items included How to increase the Boards profile and Ethical procurement. There was a focus on strategic issue “Where what and how”. How the BMA functions, How to revitalise the committee.
- Review of ARM resolutions 2017 and workplan
- General discussions of keeping the public healthy and valuing current and future doctors.
- International trends and health security,
- Health needs of refuges (there is a scoping review),
- Support for International Medical Graduates, International GP recruitment programm
- Global Health priorities,
- Ill treatment of prisoners ( medical ethics and Forensic and Secure Environments Committee are also involved)
Brexit An update on Brexit was given. There is Parliamentary focus on the Bill, the Irish Border and Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications. The prospects of no deal scenario would be catastrophic (sic) and would profoundly affect healthcare. A BMA briefing is coming out (see link below)
BMA key asks are
- Permanent residence for EU doctors and medical researchers currently in the UK
- A flexible immigration system which supports UK health and medical research
- Mutual recognition of professional qualifications and measures which protect patient safety
- Ongoing access to EU research programmes and research funding
- Consideration of the unique impact Brexit may have on Northern Ireland’s health service
The brexit briefing can be found at
European and International Meetings The European Junior Doctors Permanent Working Group (EJD) autumn meeting will take place in Malmo on 27 – 28 October 2017. A report EJD policy activity was given with leading on work in Brussels on post graduate training and leadership.
CPME (Standing Committee of European Doctors) CPME is the umbrella body for the whole profession at European Union level, and aims to promote the highest standards of medical training and medical practice in order to achieve the highest quality of health care for all patients in Europe.. The CPME statutes required a country to be in the EU, EEA or a signatory to free movement to become a member, but there was some ambiguity about asking a country to leave. An update on CPME policy activities was givenConcerns
- The proportionality directive impinging on the ability of national regulators
- Information sharing and confidentiality regarding e-health.
- A harder Brexit is more likely to challenge the UK’s membership of CPME.
- The use of off-label pharmaceuticals was discussed,
UEMS addresses the quality of specialist care and represents the interests of medical specialists. It has two parts, the Management Council (with representation from the BMA and Royal Colleges) and the Specialist Sections and Boards (with representation from the Royal Colleges.)
Points discussed :-
- The UK’s future membership of UEMS was a similar position to CPME.
- The current statutes would not allow the UK to join after Brexit, but it was unclear how to remove a member. It would likely require a majority to remove the UK.
- The secretary general wanted the UK to remain a full member, but there appeared to be split views amongst other national associations.
- Changes to the UEMS statues would need to be proposed, at either the spring or autumn meetings in 2018, and the focus at the moment was on building support for these proposals.
- Membership of UEMS and other European medical organisations would be important in any transition period from 2019 onwards
- Membership of these bodies would help to secure access to the EU and the continued representation of the medical profession.
UEMO (European Union of General Practitioners) represents the interests of GPs at the European level. The BMA and Royal College of GPs represent the UK. An update was given on UEMO matters. UEMO membership did not require EU membership. There was a hope that a memorandum of understanding could be agreed at the board meeting before the next general assembly.
Points mentioned :-
- UEMO had met at BMA House in May.
- Chaand Nagpaul had given a successful speech, saying that there were stresses across Europe.
- A cross-border care working group had been established.
- A statement from UEMO had been sent to Michel Barnier on cross border care, calling on the EU to ensure co-operation on the safe provision of care, the free movement of patients across the border, recognition of qualifications across borders in Ireland and clarification of funding for joint initiatives.
World Medical Association (WMA) is a confederation of national medical associations worldwide. It promotes co-operation and consensus on professional and ethical issues with meetings held every six months. The general assembly meeting took place in Chicago on 11 – 14 October 2017. A number of policies had been passed and the BMA had managed considerable input.
- New wording had been agreed for the declaration of Geneva.
- Policies such as those on therapeutic abortion, health and climate change, medical tourism, and telemedicine would be going to further consultation.
- Policies on child abuse and neglect and the paper fair medical trade had been accepted
- There had been a breakout session on ethics and professionalism, which provided an opportunity to highlight the BMA’s ELCPAD work
- Other issues covered were undergraduate education, with common themes emerging around insufficient resources, pressure on academics and ensuring quality.
- Work by the WMA could be promoted to BMA members.
Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA)
The CMA is a confederation of national medical associations within the Commonwealth. It aims to assist and strengthen the capacity of its membership to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities and countries. Meetings are held triennially, with the next meeting taking place in 2019. The BMA was looking to engage with the CMA on policy issues. There would be a Commonwealth heads of government meeting taking place in 2018 which would provide opportunities for engagement. More information would be available at the January committee meeting.
European Legislation and Initiatives
There was an Update from BMA European Office. It was highlighted the importance of lobbying as the European medical profession. The EU was amending the carcinogens directive and it had come to light that this had the potential to include formaldehyde. The European Office are working to avoid this being written down and this appeared to be going well, but they were retaining a watching brief. In particular was noted the Joint statement on use of Formaldehyde and Note the European Chemical Agencies report of March 2017 FORMALDEHYDE AND FORMALDEHYDE RELEASERS . Brexit was taking up most of their time. Issues included transfats, junk food and alcohol labelling.
Immigration Policy, Lobbying and Advice
Included updates on immigration policy and lobbying work, and what the BMA is doing to support international medical graduates (IMGs). Current immigration policy and lobbying activities was discussed
Included updates on
- refugee doctors initiative
- refugee doctors and dentists liaison group
what the BMA is going to support this group.
Fair Medical Trade The International Department leads on the campaign to promote ethical procurement in the NHS and other health systems around the world. An update on fair medical trade activities was given
Global health challenges The BMA is involved in a number of activities that fall under the heading of ‘global health challenges’ these include environment, governance, health promotion, and health security. An update report on current activities was given
European Brief go to this link for full information