Annual Report 2010

Chairman’s Report to Annual General Meeting, 13th July 2010

 Since the last Annual General Meeting, the Association has been involved in a wide range of charitable activities in pursuit of our charitable aims:

Dr Nicholas Naftalin, in a Presidential address, told the Association about his experience in reorganisation and reconfiguration of UK health services in order to improve patient care.

Nine elective bursaries were awarded to medical students for electives, many of which were for periods of study in Israel, but also including placements in Mumbai (India) and Australia.

Two Israeli medical students did electives at Newham Hospital (Barts and the London Medical School) in summer 2009, and four Israeli medical students will be taking part in this scheme in summer 2010.

An intensive medical student Israel experience tour took a group from the north (Western Galilee Hospital, Nahariya) to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and then south (Yeroucham and Ben Gurion University / Soroka Hospital).

Dr John Cookson delivered the first Sam Cohen Memorial Lecture, told us about his work in Liaison Psychiatry, following in the traditions of the late Prof Cohen, and about how the subject had developed in recent years.

Dr Masad Barhoum, Director of the Western Galilee Hospital, and the first Israeli Arab to be appointed to such a position, spoke to a meeting about his experiences running a 650 bed hospital, and his future plans for the Nahariyah medical campus.

Ten Israeli colorectal surgeons visited the UK for a training course, and took part in a JMA meeting addressed by Prof Irving Taylor on the topical subject of how UK doctors will be revalidated for medical practice in the future.

Dr Shai Dar from Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem spoke to a meeting about his experiences as part of the Israeli Emergency team that went to Haiti to participate in disaster relief.

Mr Alec Nacamuli from the Nebi Daniel Foundation spoke to a meeting about the topic “Jews from Arab Countries” and described the recent restoration of synagogues in Egypt.

Prof Howard Cedar from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, delivered a Joffe Memorial lecture about his current work on silencing of genes, highlighting how epigenetics is likely to influence cancer research in the future.

Medical students have held Freshers events in both London and Birmingham, promotion of Tay Sachs screening in Birmingham, a ski vacation, and regular social events

The first “Student Jewish Medical Association UK conference” took place in London, with participants from the UK, Italy and the Netherlands. Speakers were Jonathan Sacks (medical student from Barts and the London) on surrogacy in Jewish Law; Dr Michael Coren on Jewish aspects of paediatric practice; Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz about assessment of risk in Jewish Law; Prof Michael Baum about the anti-scientific nature of “alternative medicine”; and Prof David Katz and Mr Benjamin Pogrund about the inaccurate analogy that is made between Israeli medicine and medicine under the apartheid regime in South Africa.

The tenth Jakobovits Lecture in Jewish Medical Ethics was delivered by Rabbi Prof Michael Broyde. Sadly this lecture took place during the week of shiva for Lady Jakobovits z”l , an outstanding personality in the Jewish world, and a strong supporter and patron of our activities.

The Annual Dinner took place on 29th April 2010. The guest speaker was the Israeli Ambassador, His Excellency Ron Prosor, who has agreed to become one of our patrons.

Prof Sir John Bell, Henry Cohen Visiting Professor for 2010, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford and President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, visited Israel in May June 2010, and met with biomedical scientists, clinical academics and the heads of several Universities and Institutes. He visited Hadassah / Hebrew University, Weizmann Institute, Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Ben Gurion University, Sheba Medical Centre and the Technion. Accompanied by his wife and children, Prof Bell also had an opportunity to see historical and cultural sites in Israel; and at the home of British Ambassador he met inter alia with the newly appointed Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Health and with the President of the Israel Medical Association.

In addition Jewish Medical Association (UK) members have continued to provide expert advice to the Board of Deputies and other Jewish organisations about professional issues on many occasions during the year.  Unfortunately this has once again included countering attempts to damage the links between British and Israeli medicine within the UK medical press.


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