The Commonwealth Medical Association
The Commonwealth Medical Association was established in 1962. The Association, also known as the CMA, is a non-governmental organization and its main objective is to assist and strengthen the capacities of national medical associations (NMAs) of countries within the Commonwealth to improve the health, well-being and human rights of their countries and communities.
This broad objective is set out to be achieved through the following defined initiatives:
- providing technical advice and cooperation to national medical associations in the Commonwealth, especially developing countries;
- enabling NMAs to participate and cooperate with other appropriate organizations and among themselves in projects designed to improve the health and welfare of their communities;
- assisting NMAs to formulate and to enforce principles of medical ethics with special reference to the protection of human rights;
- cooperating with NMAs in the provision of continuing professional development for doctors especially those deprived of such opportunities;
- communicating with member associations regularly on news and information about developments in the field of health with special emphasis on developing countries within Commonwealth;
- cooperating with the work of the Commonwealth Health Ministers and with relevant programmes of the United Nations; and
- establishing a trust and/or such appropriate body for the purposes of enhancing the goals and objectives set out above.
The Association is also committed to the values of the Commonwealth as expressed primarily in the Singapore and Harare Declarations, as well as other declarations by the Commonwealth Heads of Government.
Constitution and Structure
The CMA is a well institutionalised organization based on core democratic principles.
It has been regulated by a constitution since its establishment. In 2004 when the Association held its 20th triennial conference in Ghana, its constitution was extensively revised as a way of strengthening its structures and governance.
The international headquaters is located at the international department in the British Medical Association building at Tavistock Square in London. The secretariat which is managed by a liaison officer coordinates all activities and linkages with the member national member associations.
An annual report is issued by the secretariat to all NMAs and other stakeholders. The association’s accounts is audited by a UK certified company which is appointed every three years by the council.
The Council of the Association is the highest decision making body and it includes the CMA Executive and leaders (Presidents / Chairmen) of all the member national medical associations. It meets at least once every three years at its major conference designated as the triennial conference. At this meeting elections are also held to elect officers for the subsequent triennium.
Whenever necessary a council meeting could be called as stipulated in the constitution of the association.
The Executive executes the programmes and decisions of the council. In between the triennial and/or council meetings, the may deliberate and take decisions on crucial matters affecting the association and such decisions and actions may be reviewed for ratification by a subsequent council meeting.
The Executive Committee meets regularly and most of the times by teleconference, email or other less costly means to conduct its business. The Executive comprise of the President, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Treasurer and six regional Vice-Presidents.