Suggestions presented at PHL GB meeting by Dr. Bilal Mohyuddin to uphold Professional Ethics

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Organizing medical conferences, academic activities
Suggestions presented at PHL GB
meeting by Dr. Bilal Mohyuddin to
uphold Professional Ethics

PESHAWAR: Medical Conferences, Seminars, Symposia and all such academic activities all over the world are mostly sponsored by the pharmaceutical trade and industry but while overseas there is some strict monitoring and accountability, no such system exists in Pakistan. The result is that lot of unethical practices are witnessed at such occasions. This has tarnished the image of the medical profession in the society to a great extent. Some conscious healthcare professionals have time and again emphasized the importance of upholding professional ethics without much success.

National Bioethics Committee has also come up with a set of comprehensive Guidelines on Physicians interaction with the Pharma Trade and Industry which were approved by the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council as well as the Federal Government but as usual they await implementation. Such unethical practices are witnessed at all the professional specialty organization’s meeting and Pakistan Hypertension League is no exception. Taking note of such unethical practices which came under severe criticism at the PHL meetings, late Dr. Maqbool H. Jafary was entrusted the responsibility to prepare a code of ethics for the organizers of PHL meeting which he did but again it never got implemented in letter and spirit. However, one did see some positive developments. At least now one do not see the company or drug banners in the halls where the scientific meeting is taking place, there are no so called Lucky Draws during the scientific sessions but still such measures fall too short of the expectations.


Dr. Bilal S. Mohyuddin 

Once again a sincere effort is being made by Prof. Saulat Siddique the current President of PHL. On his initiative, Dr. Bilal S. Mohyuddin from Punjab Institute of Cardiology speaking at the General Body Meeting of PHL held here on March 7th presented a comprehensive set of suggestions. The salient features of these suggestions are as under:

  1. Venue of the next meeting must be decided well in advance.
  2. Those who wish to organize the conference will provide details about the logistics, accommodation and other facilities needed to organize a major conference.
  3. Organizers will also take into consideration the seasonal variations while deciding the dates of the conference besides looking at flight schedules and other travel facilities to ensure that conference has maximum participation. If no satisfactory logistic facilities are available, no meeting will be held at such venues.
  4. Theme and the proposed dates of the conference will be communicated to the sister organizations to ensure there is no clash of dates.
  5. Venue of the next meeting will be decided at the conference.
  6. The host will present the details of facilities available and support from the pharma trade and industry.
  7. All speakers will declare their conflict of interest in the very first slide of their presentation.
  8. All company sponsored events will be declared.
  9. Time management will be strict. Efforts will be made to start the session on time and finish on time.
  10. Speakers will be asked to stick to the allotted time so that there is enough time for discussion.
  11. There will be no change in the scientific programme. Scientific Committee will look into the programme carefully and select presentations.
  12. Healthy Food will be served at the meeting.
  13. Only registered delegates will be allowed to participate.
  14. Conference Bags won’t be expensive the limit fixed should be upto Rs. 500/-
  15. Physical activity should be introduced at the conference.
  16. All entertainment activities at the conference will be discouraged.
  17. Profit sharing from the conference between the organizers and the Centre will be based on the efforts made.
  18. There will be no shield, memento presentation at the conference for the delegate, speakers except the Chief Guest or Guest of Honour.
  19. One Day conferences will be planned at small cities, towns in the provinces.

Prof. Saulat Siddique President of PHL has asked the members to look into these suggestions and give their feedback before they are finalized and implemented.