World Medical Association General Assembly

(28.09.2012) Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre, Bangkok: 10-13 October 2012

Physician leaders from some 50 national medical associations will gather in Bangkok, Thailand next month (October 10-13) for the World Medical Association's annual General Assembly. More than 300 delegates are expected at the meeting to debate policy on several key areas affecting doctors, including violence in the health sector by patients, organ donation and procurement, the sale of electronic cigarettes, ethical issues on physicians and capital punishment and the protection of health personnel in armed conflict.

In addition, the health problems facing four of the world's busiest cities will be examined during the Assembly's Scientific Session on ‘Mega Cities - Mega Health'. Leading speakers from Bangkok, Chicago, Tokyo and São Paulo will address the conference on the measures being taken in these cities to develop healthier lives for their citizens. M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra, the Governor of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, will speak about Bangkok's plans to become a healthier city and Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, will talk about the Healthy Chicago agenda, the first city-wide comprehensive public health agenda in the United States, that calls for all Chicagoans to work together on making Chicago the healthiest city in the US. Prof. Yasuhide Nakamura, Professor of International Collaboration at the Department of Global Human Sciences, Osaka University, will speak about Tokyo, where the metropolitan city has a population of 13 million and the greater Tokyo area, the biggest urban conglomeration in the world, a total population of 36 million. Finally Dr. José Bonamigo, an internist and haematologist at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in São Paulo, Brazil, will talk about plans for improving the health of São Paulo's population.

Among the key WMA policy decisions to be discussed at the four-day Assembly will be how healthcare institutions should tackle the growing problem of violence and aggressive behavior towards healthcare staff by patients and their relatives, the risks facing smokers from the use of new electronic cigarettes and revised guidance to physicians that they should play no role in capital punishment. The meeting will also debate advice to physicians who become involved in caring for people caught up in armed conflict and new ethical guidance on the donation and procurement of organs.

During the Assembly, Dr. Cecil Wilson, former President of the American Medical Association and an internist from Florida, will be installed as President of the WMA for 2012/13.

Anyone wishing to attend the meeting or interview Dr. Wilson, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, Chair of the WMA, or other delegates, should contact Nigel Duncan.

Nigel Duncan, WMA Public Relations Consultant
+ 44 (0) 20 8997 3653 (work)
+ 44 (0) 7984 944 403 (mobile)