Congratulations Israeli Medical Association

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Wilson_edited-1 (20.12.12) In my previous blog I described the activities associated with the 100 year Anniversary Celebration of the Israeli Medical Association last week. At the opening ceremony I brought greetings and congratulations from the World Medical Association representing millions of physicians worldwide. The following is a copy of my remarks.

                  Israeli Medical Association
                  100-Year Anniversary
                  World Fellowship Conference
                  Tel Aviv, Israel
                  December 11, 2012

                  Cecil Wilson, MD, MACP
                  World Medical Association

It is an honor for me to come bringing greetings and congratulations from the World Medical Association on the occasion of this 100-year anniversary celebration of the Israeli Medical Association and Israel's health system.

The World Medical Association is a global federation of 102 national medical associations representing millions of physicians worldwide.

Acting on behalf of patients and physicians the WMA endeavors to achieve the highest possible standards of medical care, ethics, education and health-related rights for all people.

The Israeli Medical Association is one of the leading members of the World Medical Association, serving not only in the General Assembly but also on the WMA Council.

Over the years the World Medical Association has benefited from IMA's strong constructive involvement in policy making.

In addition, you have provided the WMA with wise, effective leaders such as your former president Yoram Blacher who was WMA president in 2007.

We are fortunate to have your current president Leonid Eidelman bring his expertise as chair of the WMA Finance Committee.

And we always benefit from the wisdom and good judgment of your Secretary-General Leah Wapner.

So, my thanks to you the members of the Israeli Medical Association for your participation in the World Medical Association.

You are important to us.

As I travel around the world this year speaking for the World Medical Association my focus is on three causes that I believe are of utmost importance to physicians and the patients we serve.

First - the moral imperative of ethics in medicine.

We as physicians are most credible when we speak from a platform based on principle and ethics.

Second - the challenge of noncommunicable diseases, the leading cause of death and disability worldwide in developed and in developing countries.

They are largely preventable, caused by unhealthy behavior - smoking, alcohol abuse, sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition.

And we know that unhealthy behavior is effected by the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age - the so-called social determinants of health.

Third - the threat of climate change.

Global warming with its accompanying climate change, and its extremes of weather is already having and will continue to have significant health effects.

How we respond to those three worthy causes, will test and define us as a profession seeking to serve our patients.

As physicians, we are bound in our response by a common heritage of caring for the sick and the suffering.

Through the centuries, individual physicians have fulfilled this obligation by applying their skills and knowledge - competently, selflessly and at times - heroically.

I was reminded of  heroism recently when Dr. Eidelman reported in a letter on the recent conflict here in your country.

He wrote and I quote:

"With regards to the medical situation, our Arab and Jewish doctors continue to work together to treat both Israeli and Gazan patients.

The IMA is working to ensure that there are a sufficient number of doctors in hospitals in the south of the country.

It is heartwarming to see that during such conditions people still smile and try to keep to their routine."  End of quote.

As physicians, we are joined by our common contract with humanity.

We reach out to the sick, the disabled and the chronically ill.

Suffering knows no language and easing pain, finding treatments, developing cures - know no borders.

Together, we can open new doors, share new insights, find new cures, head off disease and help our patients the world over live healthier, happier, longer more productive lives.

Together we are stronger.

Congratulations again on this celebration.

Thank you.


WMA President Cecil. B. Wilson, MD travels around the world talking about the WMA's work representing the millions of physicians worldwide. Acting on behalf of patients and physicians, the WMA endeavors to achieve the highest possible standards of medical care, ethics, education and health related human rights for all people. This blog will chronicle these travels and important issues.