(2018-2019)Friends, it is an absolute honour and privilege to stand before you on this graceful occasion and utter the most awaited words “Yes, I accept to be the President of CMAAO for the year 2018-2019”, an organisation with a proud past and an exciting future. A single head achieves nothing, so I am counting on your support to achieve the growth and goals of CMAAO. This is truly a moment to be honoured and cherished. I accept this appointment with pride and will give my best efforts to make you proud. With the grace of god and the cooperation of fellow members, I will devote my time and myself to the obligations and duties of this post.
Currently comprised of 19-member National Medical Associations (NMAs), the Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) has more than 50 years of history. Its establishment was proposed in 1956 by Dr. Rodolfo P. Gonzalez, then President of the Philippine Medical Association at the third meeting of the Southeast Asian Medical Confederation. In 1959, CMAAO was inaugurated at the first Congress and Council Meeting held at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. There were 11-member NMAs at the time of inauguration, of which 6 were present at the first congress.
The Secretariat, which was originally in the Philippine Medical Association, moved to Malaysia (1993), Thailand (1997), New Zealand (1999), and since 2000 it has been in Japan. The role of CMAAO Secretary General was also passed to the JMA.
This is a history that should never be forgotten, and we the current generation of members owe it to all the organisation’s past members to keep this great organisation strong and vibrant as we face the challenges of the medical profession that confront us now and into the future.
Over the next one year we will continue to build on our strengths, but also take on new directions.
We will continue our programs that strengthen our professionalism. We will also retain our commitment to solidarity, ensuring that our members that are less resourced can have more opportunities and assistance to be part of this organisation and promoting exchange of information and activities aimed at improving the health of all in the Asia Pacific region. To ensure that all of us can perform our critical role and be a part of:
CMAAO Resolution on Ensuring Food Safety
CMAAO Resolution on Ethical Frameworks for Health Databases and Health genetic databases
CMAAO Delhi Resolution on the Prevention of Child Abuse
CMAAO Taipei Resolution on Strengthening of Primary Healthcare in Asia and Oceania
CMAAO Statement on Task Shifting
CMAAO Resolution in Economic Crisis and Health
CMAAO Declaration on Tobacco Control in Asia and Oceania
And this year in this General Assembly, the Malaysia Statement on Pathway to Universal Health Coverage.
For the first time this year, we have organised a concurrent JDN meeting whereby a discussion on Bullying at Workplace and Sexual Harassment will be deliberated by the Junior Doctors. This will be presented as the JDN-SCHOMOS-MMA Penang Declaration to the Ministry of Health, Malaysia and the World Medical Association.
But let’s not forget we are an organisation – united by our values and rich with talent. If each of us puts in what we can, we will become an organisation to be reckoned with and secure a place of recognition in the world.
I have noted that I will be the 36th President of CMAAO over this 59-year period, an amazing statistic that further highlights to me the great responsibility I have taken on. For those who know me well, you will know that I will always do the very best I can for the organisation and will hopefully lead the team to continue the great work done by the people before me. I will always strive to continue the development of CMAAO, through leadership, co-operation and hard work.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing President Dr Yoshitake Yokokura for his immense contribution to CMAAO.
*Immediate Past President of the Malaysia Medical Association. This inaugural address was made at the 33rd CMAAO General Assembly in Penang, Malaysia on September 12, 2018.