Address by Dr Kenneth Grech, President, Malta Association of Public Health Medicine
It is with a sense of pride and satisfaction that I launch MAPHM’s website. Thanks to the entrepreneurial vigour of a few of our newest (and younger) members on the team, MAPHM has finally embraced the digital age.
The development and launch of this website, together with our new Facebook and Twitter accounts, now allows us to communicate and exchange our ideas, views and messages in a more efficient and timely manner, reaching wider audiences, both locally and abroad. This marks an important step in our mission to increase our advocacy for public health.
It comes at an opportune time as public health needs to make its voice heard and have its contribution acknowledged. Towards this aim, the new Executive Committee has placed advocacy and media relations as one of its foremost priorities and a sub-committee for advocacy has already been established.
The new Executive Committee comprises a healthy mix of both young and experienced members. There are those of us who have been involved with MAPHM since its inception before 1999 and those who have either returned or are participating in its leadership for the first time. A sense of vitality and novelty was immediately apparent in our first meeting, with many new ideas and projects coming to mind. One of the first issues that we discussed was the development of a strategic plan for the committee to follow over the next two years. This would give the Executive a clear mandate and targets to reach. It is important for everyone to participate in the process of drawing up this plan, and so I encourage everyone to provide input to enrich this debate.
Another matter that has been given priority is the drawing up of the new specialist training programme. A draft has been produced and is currently being discussed within the Public Health Training Committee. I am sure that this endeavour will serve to continue to place the public health training programme as a highly sought specialisation amongst young doctors in the years to come. Besides the Advocacy sub-committee, the new Continued Professional Development sub-committee is already active in planning for CPD events, which we are certain will generate a renewed interest in attending and participating, especially with the advent of the new regulations on mandatory CPD in Malta.
The next two years will bring significant challenges. The new sectoral agreement for the medical class will be up for renegotiation and Malta of course hosts the EU Presidency next year, in which many public health practitioners are directly involved. Such events serve as an opportunity to continue improving the quality of public health research and practice in Malta and to improve, through our small but important contribution, the health of our population. I augur that we remain united and continue to build on our previous successes, to further consolidate public health in Malta.
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