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Dear members and friends of MANSAG, we are approaching the end of 2016 with a sense of achievement and hope for the future of MANSAG. Our congratulations to the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), ably chaired by Mr Alex Oboh for organising our well attended and highly successful 27th Annual Scientific Meeting and AGM in Hull from 21-23 October 2016. Distinguished Senator Olanrewaju Tejuoso, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Nigerian National Assembly, officially opened the meeting and gave the keynote address. He gave an illuminating speech laced with a historical perspective of the intertwining of Nigeria’s ethnic groups’ cultural and traditional beliefs with traditional medical practices. He opined that at the core of both orthodox and Nigerian traditional medicine is the desire for good health and a health system that diagnoses and treats patients appropriately without causing harm. However, he advocated a significant cultural shift in Nigeria so as not to be left behind the rest of the world or be deprived of the benefits of modern medicine with its technologies.
In keeping with our spirit of collaboration with other Diaspora Medical and Allied Healthcare Associations, we invited the Nigerian Medical Association, Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas and The Canadian Association of Nigerian Physicians and Dentists. We also invited the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Cameroun Doctors United Kingdom, The Sudanese Medical Association (UK & Ireland), East African Healthcare Forum and Nigerian Radiographers in Diaspora. They were well represented by their leaders and contributed immensely to the richness
and diversity of the conference delegates and proceedings.
We have continued our advocacy work through engagement with the GMC’s BME Doctor Forum and other activities. The president attended the Forum’s meeting with Sir Keith Pearson on 15 September 2016, to discuss and make him aware of, the fundamental issues of equality and fairness in Revalidation. The discussion included the roles of the GMC, local regulation, responsible officers as well his review of revalidation.
Following the British Prime Minister’s statements to the BBC Breakfast programme on 04 October 2016 describing overseas doctors as ‘interim staff’, MANSAG joined other BME medical organisations in publishing a protest letter addressed to the UK general public, in Pulse magazine:
The president also attended the Forum’s meeting on 08 November 2016. The agenda items discussed included the 2016 data on exams and progression in medical education and training, BME doctors and international medical graduates in the GMC’s fitness to practise procedures; statistics
and trends and the findings of the Workforce Experience survey of SAS doctors. There was also a closed session exclusively for Forum members to discuss emerging developments and other issues.
We have improved our Social and Welfare procedures and do commiserate officially with our members and their families whenever we receive notice of the death of a member or a member of their family.
Our engagement with the federal and state governments and our commitment to help improve the provision of healthcare and raise healthcare standards in Nigeria continue unabated. We were pleased to be invited, along with allied health care professionals, to meet with the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Diaspora and NonGovernmental Organisations, Senator Dr Rose O.Oko and her delegation at the Nigeria High Commission
on Sunday 20 November 2016. Her delegation was pleased and honoured to engage this critical segment (with over 5000 members) and deliberate on our involvement in the development of the Nigerian health sector and economy. She mentioned that the 8th Nigerian Senate believes that the Diaspora community needs to be structured and mainstreamed into the National development agenda. Hence, she felt that this meeting offered a platform to feel the pulse of the doctors and allied healthcare professionals and identify the gaps and challenges hamstringing the efforts of this sector towards the development of our dear nation.
The meeting was well attended, productive and provided the delegation with much food for thought. The future of MANSAG rests on attracting and retaining a significant number of the younger generation.
Towards this end, we held a well-attended MANSAG NEW GENERATION networking event in London on Saturday 03 December 2016.
Happy New Year to you all
Babatunde A. Gbolade