Letters to the Editor
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THE 9TH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF ASEAN (MASEAN) CONFERENCE, 29 – 31 OCTOBER 99, HANOI, VIETNAM
SMA retains MASEAN secretariat in Singapore!
MASEAN is the umbrella body of national medical organisations of ASEAN countries. Term conferences are held once every two years. As it was Vietnam’s turn to take over the chairmanship of MASEAN, this year’s conference was held in the tranquil and scenic capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi.
The Singapore delegation consisted of 6 members led by President Goh Lee Gan. The other members of the delegation were 2nd Vice-President Tan Kok Soo, Honorary Secretary Wong Chiang Yin, Assistant Honorary Secretary Tan Sze Wee, Honorary Treasurer Yue Wai Mun and Council Member Cheong Pak Yean, who is also the MASEAN Secretary General.
This year’s conference was hosted by the Vietnam General Association of Medicine and Pharmacy (VGAMP) and took place in Daewoo Hotel. The conference was declared open by the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam on 29 Oct 99. The themes discussed during the conference included integration of traditional medicine and Western medicine as well as health care financing.
This year’s conference saw Cambodia Medical Association admitted to MASEAN as a full member. The number of full members in MASEAN now stands at eight, with Laos and Brunei as observer-members as the two countries have yet to form their own national medical associations.
The MASEAN conference in Hanoi was an especially memorable one for SMA. This is because SMA has been the host of the secretariat of MASEAN since 1995. After a four-year term of office, the host MASEAN secretariat was up for re-election again in Hanoi. Amid some stiff competition, SMA is indeed honoured to once again be bestowed the privilege of hosting the MASEAN secretariat for another four years. This privilege underscores the fact that SMA is a trusted member of the MASEAN family. We have thus been able to gain the confidence and support of our colleagues in MASEAN to retain the secretariat in Singapore. Dr Cheong Pak Yean was also again appointed as MASEAN Secretary General. Prof Goh Lee Gan and Dr Yue Wai Mun were appointed as MASEAN Council Members. SMA as MASEAN secretariat host will continue to strive to be the information and communications hub for the national medical associations of ASEAN countries, in line with Singapore’s national agenda of being the information and medical hub of the region.
The next MASEAN term conference will most probably be held in Cambodia in 2001. A mid-term conference has also been scheduled to be held in Yangon, Myanmar next year.