18th MASEAN Conference 2018

Nurul Faizzah Mohd Azmi

The 18th Medical Association of South East Asian Nations (MASEAN) Conference was held from 2 to 5 May 2018 at the Hilton Hanoi Opera in Hanoi, Vietnam. This year's meeting, hosted by the Vietnam Medical Association (VMA), was attended by delegates from the national medical associations (NMAs) of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The SMA delegation comprised Dr Lee Yik Voon (Secretary General, MASEAN), Dr Tammy Chan (Treasurer, MASEAN), Dr Wong Tien Hua, A/Prof Mahesh Choolani (Secretary General, MASEAN Group of Journals [GoJ]) and the secretariat team.

Handover of chairmanship

The highlight of the Conference was the opening ceremony, which was graced by Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and World Medical Association President Dr Yoshitake Yokokura. After two years of serving as the MASEAN Chairman, Prof Saranatra Waikakul of the Medical Association of Thailand handed the MASEAN Medallion over to VMA President Prof Nguyen Thi Xuyen, symbolising the handover of chairmanship.

Improving quality of ASEAN medical journals

The MASEAN GoJ held their third business meeting, during which the representatives from the journals discussed plans to increase journal visibility and improve the quality of the reviewers' work, in order to boost citations and better the overall quality and standing of MASEAN journals. VMA also hosted a half-day medical writing and peer-reviewing workshop endorsed by the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors, which was attended by approximately 100 participants.

Conference highlights

There were two topics for this year's scientific symposium. SMA and a few other NMAs presented on the first topic: "Impact of Third-Party Administrators on Healthcare Practices in Your Home Country", and discussed strategies to deal with issues arising from managed care schemes. The remaining NMAs looked into the regulations of medical registration in their respective countries and proposed improvements to their current licencing practices.

Next MASEAN meeting

We thank the VMA for hosting this event and look forward to the 18th MASEAN Mid-Term Meeting, to be held in the Philippines in 2019.