Global Network For Physicians Should Be Developed, Says WMA

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A global communication network for physicians to convey more effectively to individual physicians information about SARS and other communicable diseases was called for today by the World Medical Association.

At its Council meeting in Divonne-les-Bains, the WMA called on the World Health Organization, other intergovernmental agencies and governments to help it and national medical associations develop such a global network.

The meeting passed a resolution noting that the current SARS epidemic had caused alarmingly high levels of morbidity and mortality worldwide and calling on WHO to share with medical associations the lessons learned during the epidemic. The resolution said that these lessons should include the most effective preventive measures, communication techniques, diagnostic and therapeutic methods and travel advice, using an evidence-based approach.

Commenting on the resolution, Dr Yoram Blachar, chairman of the WMA Council, said:

"SARS taught us that individual physicians needed to receive information on the disease within hours, not days or months. Using modern communication technology to deliver this information speedily can and will save lives".