KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 – The council of the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) has elected MMA president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai to head CMA as its new president.
It has been 21 years since a Malaysian doctor was elected as president of CMA. Dr P. Krishnan had served as president of CMA from 2001 to 2004. Dr Muruga Raj’s two-year term as president of CMA began yesterday.
Two other MMA exco members were also elected to leadership positions in CMA. MMA’s honorary general secretary Dr Thirunavukarasu Rajoo was elected CMA regional vice president for Southeast Asia, while MMA’s immediate past president Dr Koh Kar Chai was elected CMA treasurer.
Outgoing CMA president and current World Medical Association (WMA) president Dr Osahon Enabulele from Nigeria handed over CMA’s top leadership role to Dr Muruga Raj at an installation ceremony held on November 5, 2022. as part of CMA’s 26th Triennial Conference and Council Meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
In 2021, MMA won the bid to host the 2022 Triennial Meeting after presenting its two-year plan for CMA. Among the ideas included in its plan was to include medical students from the 54 nations of the Commonwealth as associate members.
“It is indeed a great honour to be chosen to lead one of the largest and most established multinational medical associations. I look forward to working with heads of the medical associations from the Commonwealth nations on the many global issues on health we are facing today,” Dr Muruga said in his acceptance speech.
“Access to health care, the global increase in cases of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), mental health, ageing populations and climate change are some of the issues I will be focusing on during my term as CMA president.
“CMA has a wide network of 54 medical associations from the 54 commonwealth nations. I am looking forward to meeting regularly with heads of the national medical associations on addressing these global health issues and for knowledge sharing,” he added.
“Knowledge sharing among healthcare colleagues around the world is an encouraged practice in our profession that has significantly contributed to many medical breakthroughs and improvements to the standards of healthcare delivery globally.
“Knowledge sharing will be an area I will be giving emphasis to during my term through meetings, conferences and the development of a CMA digital app to encourage networking among our Commonwealth colleagues.
“I will also be working towards improving and enhancing medical student exchange programmes between the Commonwealth countries in line with these efforts” he explained.
The CMA was established in 1952 and is a non-governmental organisation whose main objective is to assist and strengthen the capacities of national medical associations of countries within the Commonwealth to improve the health, wellbeing, and human rights of their respective countries and communities.