Having shouldered the responsibilities of the IMPA for last 10 months I think I should recap and reflect on the following matters for the benefit of our membership and the association in general.
I think it is hightime we need to make an active attempt to change the mental stereotypes regarding the IMPA as an organization. This can be achieved by several means :
1. Special interest groups SIGs – mental health, diabetes, respiratory disorders, primary care and private medical care in sri lanka
2. Membership drive and foreign medical graduates
3. Research output
4. Relationship with Ministry of Health (MOH)
Creation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) is a widespread activity in many medical organizations. The rationale probably is to create an environment for team work and to let wide and varied competencies and skills of individual members to be expressed in organizational activity and performance. For a start
I would like to propose diabetes, respiratory diseases, mental health as some important topics around which we can formulate some important activities. All these should have their outcome formulated in terms of patient centered themes. This will ensure that we will honor the mandate of our constitution by :
a. Organizing ourselves for the purpose of rendering humanitarian service and service to the profession
b. Maintaining professional and ethical standards of the medical profession, particularly relating to the science of medicine, surgery and medical clinical research. And also it cannot be overemphasized the importance of research more so in the field of primary care in Sri Lanka which will be served by these SIGs
We are also in an overdrive mode for our membership recruitment program. We are actively canvassing private sector hospitals, nursing homes and clinics to refer their medical officers to our office for further action. I think in this regard we should actively think of designing and maintaining a website for this purpose and also for our CPD activities. Because in our membership drive a common request is for promotional materials. I think in this regard too this website would be of immense help. I would also like to solicit the help of our members to find an give us a sponsor for our proposed website which would serve us to carry our programs uninterrupted.
IMPA must be in the forefront of the research in primary care in Sri Lanka for the simple reason there are only a very few academic organizations to carry out this important activity for the benefit of the doctors and patients alike. And none of these organizations are known to produce any research output on a consistent and regular basis. I personally feel this is an important area the IMPA should focus on and a another Newsletter president’s message will focus on this. In addition our constitution has given us a mandate to go ahead with research activity for the benefit of society in general and also to our members.
Finally in our membership we have come across the phenomenon of foreign medical graduates and particularly the undergraduate. In fact currently most of the foreign medical graduates are absorbed into the private health care services in Sri Lanka. Therefore it is obvious that there is a pool of potential membership for us there for grabs.