INTRODUCTION: The Medical Association of South Africa was re-admitted to the World Medical Association during the organisation's general assembly which opened in Lisbon on Monday (28 September).
GV World Medical Association meeting, nations flags. 0.06
SV Delegates seated. (2 SHOTS) 0.18
CU President Eanes speaks to Delegates in Portuguese. 1.01
SV Delegates applauding. 1.04
SV Delegates listening to speakers. (3 SHOTS) 1.14
SV Delegates voting. (2 SHOTS) 1.28
SV Chairman announces results to delegates. 1.34
Background: LISBON, PORTUGAL
INTRODUCTION: The Medical Association of South Africa was re-admitted to the World Medical Association during the organisation's general assembly which opened in Lisbon on Monday (28 September). The debate prior to the voting was heated and black African delegates walked out of the conference hall immediately after the vote was taken.
SYNOPSIS: The South Africans had withdrawn from the organisation in 1976, on the grounds that it was becoming too politicised. The question of their re-admission led to the main debate at the world association's 34th general assembly.
President Eanes of Portugal welcomed delegates who soon became embroiled in the major issue. The motion to re-admit the South African Association was resisted by several West European and third world countries. It was said that the South Africans played a role in racial discrimination against black and coloured people in the white-ruled Republic. The case of Steve Biko, who died in detention without medical treatment was central to the debate. The british Medical Association called for a fact-finding mission to South Africa before a decision was taken, but this motion was blocked by Brazil, the United States, Japan and West Germany. Delegates at the assembly voted according to the number of doctors each national organisation represented.
The ballot was taken and the assembly voted by 77 votes to 10, with 8 abstentions, to re-admit the Medical Association of South Africa. The head of the South African delegation said afterwards that it was a victory for the medical profession.
Source: REUTERS - AFONSO PINTO