February 21, 2024

Erstwhile WMA President, Enabulele, calls for ethical governance of health systems

Commonwealth doctors call for adherence to COVID-19 guidelines in New Year

Dr Osahon Enabulele

By Chioma Obinna

The Immediate Past President of the World Medical Association, WMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, has called for ethical governance of health systems as part of strategies to promote global health.

Enabulele who made the call in his presentation entitled: “Ethical Governance and Global Health”  as a Guest at the 2024 Conference of the South African Medical Association, SAMA held at Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Giving insight into what Ethical Governance entails, he cited numerous challenges with ethical questions facing health systems and global health, including new and emerging technologies, and the widening health disparities in the face of constricting resources as imperatives for effective and efficient deployment of ethical governance principles.

Applauding the WMA for its leadership in the ethical governance of health systems, Enabulele called on leaders of health systems to leverage the ethical policy documents of the WMA such as the WMA Declaration of Helsinki, the WMA Declaration of Taipei, the International Code of Medical Ethics, the WMA Declaration of Berlin on Racism in Medicine, and the WMA Declaration of Oslo on the Social Determinants of Health, amongst others.

Going further, he stressed the need to institutionalise a culture of ethical governance in the governance of health systems, and governance in general.

He also urged leaders at all levels to move from mere declarations to expressing greater commitment to ethical governance and its processes.

He said: “Leaders of health systems at all levels must be ethically conscious and selected based on merit, their knowledge of ethical governance principles, and capacity for ethical governance of health systems.”

Enabulele also advocated a more concrete address of the social determinants of health, creating more enabling and secure working conditions and workplace environments, better integration of citizens and Civil Society Organizations in the governance of health systems, and the emplacement of better regulatory frameworks and regulatory oversight.

The 2024 SAMA Conference was attended by several participants, including the South African Minister of Health, Dr. Mathume Joe Phaahla, other dignitaries and International Guests, industry players, Physicians, and other health professionals.