17th MASEAN Conference (Thailand)

The 17th Medical Association of South East Asian Nations (MASEAN) Conference was held from 11 to 12 May 2016 at Dusit Thani Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand. This year’s meeting was hosted by the Medical Association of Thailand and attended by delegates from all ten ASEAN medical associations: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 

Opening Ceremony and Handover of Chairmanship

The meeting commenced with the opening remarks delivered by Dr Wong Tien Hua, welcoming the delegates and thanking the Medical Association of Thailand for hosting this year’s conference. Having been the chairperson of MASEAN for the past two years, he thanked members of MASEAN for their support and in particular, the Brunei Medical Association for hosting the 16th MASEAN Mid-term Meeting in 2016. 

After which, Prof Saranatra Waikakul, president of the Medical Association of Thailand, was installed as the new chairperson of MASEAN. After receiving the customary MASEAN gold medallion from Dr Wong, Prof Saranatra delivered his welcome address and thanked Dr Wong for his leadership as the chairperson for the past two years. He also expressed gratitude to Dr Lee Yik Voon and SMA for being the secretariat of MASEAN. With the recent advancement of medicine, he highlighted the importance of relying on the medical community and sharing of knowledge, which links to this year’s topic of “How to Boost the Collaboration of our Medical Journals: Basic, Offers, Needs”. 

The highlight of the  pening ceremony was the 4th Dr MK Rajakumar Memorial Oration, delivered by Prof Somsri Pausawasdi, chief executive officer of the Medical Association of Thailand, titled “Creating a Successful Inter-professional Collaborative Organisation”.

Conference Highlights

The conference proper started on Day One afternoon, chaired by the MASEAN secretary general, Dr Lee Yik Voon. Each of the national medical associations (NMAs) presented their country report, which highlighted the important issues that each of them face. There were issues shared which were relatable to that of the other NMAs, such as medical education, indemnity and the doctor-patient relationship. 

The scientific symposium on “How to Boost the Collaboration of our Medical Journals: Basic, Offers, Needs” started on the morning of Day Two. This year, the session was a round-table discussion, moderated by Prof Saranatra Waikakul and Dr Wonchat Subhachaturas, past president and senior advisor of the Medical Association of Thailand. An Agreement of Cooperation was signed by all NMAs to strengthen the academic exchange and educational cooperation in the development of medical journals in terms of the sharing of articles, peer reviewers, journal assessment and citations. 

Following the scientific symposium was the business meeting, where the minutes and position statement of the 16th MASEAN Mid-term Meeting, held last year, were both confirmed. The newly revamped MASEAN website (http://masean.net) was also presented.

Next MASEAN Meeting

We would like to thank the Medical Association of Thailand for hosting this event and we look forward to the next meeting — the 17th MASEAN Mid-term Meeting to be held in Malaysia in 2017.


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