World Medical Association Council meeting

The 212th WMA Council meeting was held in Santiago, Chile (April 25-27) and was attended by 200 delegates from almost 40 national medical associations.

The meeting agreed a number of proposals which will be forwarded to the WMA’s General Assembly for adoption in October:

Antimicrobial Resistance

A warning was given about the growing threat to global public health from antimicrobial resistance and urgent measures were suggested to prevent the world from entering a post antibiotic era.

Access to Healthcare

Delegates criticised the lack of access to healthcare information as a major contributor to disease and death around the world. Proposals were put forward for access to relevant, reliable, unbiased, up-to-date and evidence-based healthcare information for all.

The meeting also debated the specific problem facing women and children in obtaining access to health care, and proposed ways for tackling the effects of years of gender discrimination.

Female Foeticide

Grave concern was expressed that female foeticide and sex selection abortion are being commonly practiced in certain countries, and proposals were debated for dealing with the practice.

Medical Age Assessment of Unaccompanied Minor Asylum Seekers

Delegates debated the ethical issues surrounding assessing the age of young refugee asylum seekers and proposed guidance to physicians on the medical methods to be used.

Excessive Sugar and Salt

Proposals to reduce the consumption of salt and free sugar were debated, and the meeting agreed to put forward new policies to the General Assembly in October to reduce their intake.

It was agreed that policy work should continue on physician assisted suicide, augmented intelligence, violence against healthcare professionals and the patient-physician relationship.

Separate press releases were agreed on Medical Ethics in Sports Medicine, Universal Health Coverage and Vaccinations


Dr. Frank Ulrich Montgomery (Germany) was elected Chair of Council.

Dr. Mari Michinaga (Japan) was elected Vice Chair of Council.

Dr. Ravindra Sitaram Wankhedkar (India) was elected Treasurer.

Dr. Jung Yul Park (Korea) was elected Chair of the Finance and Planning Committee.

Dr. Andreas Rudkoebing (Denmark) was elected Chair of the Medical Ethics Committee.

Dr. Osahon Enabulele (Nigeria) was elected Chair of the Socio Medical Affairs Committee.

General Assembly

The WMA’s next Council meeting and annual General Assembly will be held in Tbilisi, Georgia from October 23-26.