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Political attempts are being made to marginalise autonomy of medical profession: WMA President
Indian doctor Ketan Desai has taken over the reins of World Medical Association as its President at on Friday 21st October 2016. Dr. Desai, a former President of the Indian Medical Association, delivered his inaugural speech as President of the WMA at the Association's annual Assembly in Taiwan.
A strong warning about continued political attempts around the world to marginalise the autonomy and self-governance of the medical profession has been given by the new President of the World Medical Association.

He told delegates from more than 40 national medical associations. "In many countries like Turkey, India, and the United Kingdom, there are continued political attempts to undo or marginalise autonomy and self-governance of the medical profession, including mauling and trampling on the trinity of professional autonomy, clinical independence and self-governance."

"Yet professional autonomy is not limited to asking for the privilege to do what we want to do. It is less about physicians and more about patients' rights. It is the assurance that individual physicians have the freedom to exercise their professional judgment in the care and treatment of their patients without undue influence of any type from any quarter how so powerful and mighty they be," he added.

He said that in a democratic society, self-governance is an element of horizontal power-sharing and an important pillar of civil society and democracy itself.

Dr. Desai, a urologist and a former President of the Medical Council of India, will serve as President of the WMA for 2016/17.

"IMA National leaders and its 2.7 lakh members congratulate Dr Desai on taking over as the President of the World Medical Association. This is an extremely prestigious post and will allow key issues affecting the Indian healthcare system to be addressed at a global platform", said Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, President Elect Indian Medical Association in a statement.

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