Report From WMA 160th Council Session

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The 160th Council meeting of the World Medical Association took place from October 4 to 7 in Ferney-Voltaire, France.

General Assembly

The meeting agreed that the postponed annual general assembly, due to have taken place last week in New Delhi, India, should now be held from May 3 to 6 in New Delhi next year.

President 2001/2

Dr Enrique Accorsi, president of the Chilean Medical Association, was installed as president of the WMA for the year 2001-2.


The WMA agreed to press for Taiwan to be granted observer status at the World Health Organisation. A resolution was approved declaring that Taiwan's population of 21 million people should not be excluded from the work of the WHO, although the WMA Council made it clear it was not taking a stand as to the legal status of Taiwan.

Other issues debated at the meeting that will be considered further included:

Health Databases ? proposed guidelines on the creation of central health databases are being drafted for approval next year.

Safe Injections ? a paper on the need for effective national policies on the safe and proper use of injections is being circulated to national medical associations for comment.

Sustainability of National Health Systems ? a working group was set up to consider the need for national policies to ensure the provision of basic health needs of all citizens.

Patient Safety ? the meeting agreed that consideration should be given to producing a new WMA Declaration on the safety of patients. A paper from the Japanese Medical Association called on all national medical associations to explore measures to fully protect the safety of patients.

Separate press statements were issued on:

Biological Weapons - The Declaration of Helsinki