The BCMA responds

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Dr Zafar Essak’s letter regarding the BCMA Board.

I am troubled by Dr Essak’s assertion that the BCMA Board does not operate in a manner that is in the best interest of all the members. This is a claim he has made before and one that I believe is inaccurate.

I can assure Dr Essak and all BCMA members that every Board member does their best to make decisions that will benefit the profession as a whole and to enhance our ability to care for our patients. All of us share this objective. Frankly, if we didn’t there would be no reason to spend the countless hours away from our families to serve on the Board.

It is simply wrong to say that Board members can’t provide information to their constituents about individual issues. There is an expectation that such communication will be accurate and not inflammatory. This has not always been the case.

At the 2006 AGM issues were raised about the need to improve the communication of the Board’s business and its decisions. The Board members supported the motions because they completely support open accountability to the membership. We took this issue to heart and have since provided the membership with more information. As Dr Essak knows, resolutions passed at each Board meeting are posted on the BCMA web site and the chair of the Board writes a report highlighting the issues at the meeting. This report is sent to the whole membership.

No one on the BCMA Board or on the BCMA staff would ever suggest there aren’t ways in which we can improve how we serve the membership. And we are specifically focused on improving member communications.

I take great exception to the doctor’s allegations that membership survey material is manipulated by BCMA staff and that this material is withheld from the Board. Dr Essak’s source of information is simply wrong. The Board always receives a full presentation of any research that has been conducted by the BCMA. In almost all cases the research results are presented by the firm that was engaged to do the research. This assault on BCMA staff is unfounded and frankly totally out of line. I suggest Dr Essak retract these claims and apologize to the BCMA staff.

I take exception to Dr Essak’s claim that candidates were elected solely based on a platform of promising greater transparency and understanding of fiduciary responsibilities. This is either naive or intentionally disingenuous. There is no evidence to support this statement. Presumably the membership votes for their Board representatives because they feel confident they will represent their interests in a fair and honorable fashion.

I don’t believe the claims that he has made about the way in which Board meetings are conducted are accurate. As Dr Essak is not a Board member, the information he cites is at best third-hand.

—Geoffrey Appleton, MB
BCMA President

Geoffrey Appleton, MB,. The BCMA responds. BCMJ, Vol. 49, No. 9, November, 2007, Page(s) 475 - Letters.

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