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History Of Indian Medical Association

India’s first ever society of medical professionals was founded in Mumbai - the Bombay Medical Union. It was formed on 22nd December 1883 at a meeting held at the Great Western Hotel, Bombay. In the year 1895 the All India Body of Medical Men was formed in Calcutta. During 1895-1900 two medical conferences were held; one each in Bombay and Calcutta & provincial associations were formed in many cities.

It was at the 5th All India Medical Conference held at Calcutta on 28th December 1928 under the Presidentship of Dr. G. V. Deshmukh of Bombay a resolution was adopted forming an All India Medical Association with the objects of promotion and advancement of medical and allied sciences in their different branches, improvement of public health and medical education in India and maintenance of honour and dignity of the medical profession. In year 1930, the All India Medical Association was renamed as the Indian Medical Association and the body was duly registered under the Societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860.

The Association had come into being at a time of political unrest and the country was passing through a big turmoil. Yet it was a matter of great satisfaction that the stalwarts of the medical profession in those days like, Dr. K. S. Ray, Sir Nil Ratan Sircar, Dr. B. C. Roy, Dr. M. A. Ansari, Col. Bholanath. Major M. G. Naidu, Dr. B. N. Vyas. Dr. D. Silva, Dr. N. A. Ghosh, Dr. D. A. Chakravarthi, Dr. Vishwanathan and Capt. B. V. Mukharjee actively participated in the promotion of the Association.
Some of these stalwarts were also active in the Indian National Congress and had their terms in the jail for participating in the struggle for Independence of the country.

The Headquarters Office of IMA was originally located at Calcutta. At the suggestion of Dr. S. C. Sen supported by Dr. B. V. Mulay, Dr. Chamanlal C. Mehta and Maj. General Amirchand, the IMA Headquarters was shifted to Delhi in January 1949 after the attainment of Independence. The Journal of IMA continued to be published from Calcutta. Dr. S. C. Sen obtained a plot of land in Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi at a concessional rate from the Government and the project of construction of IMA Building was undertaken. The Foundation Stone of IMA House was laid by the First President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 19th September 1958, under supervision of Dr. P. C. Bhatia and with his untiring efforts, the building was completed and opened on 6th September 1964 by the President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.

During the British Rule, some selected members of the profession were members the British Medical Association which had branches in India. The stalwarts of IMA succeeded in reaching an agreement with British Medical Association that they would have no branches in India and get mutually affiliated, which relationship continues till today. In the year 1946, IMA helped in the organization of the world body viz. the World Medical Association and thus became its Founder Member through the efforts of Dr. S. C. Sen. Dr. R. V. Sathe, the then President of IMA held the chair of President of WMA when they met in New Delhi in 1962. Another illustrious Past President, Dr. A. K. N. Sinha also held the office of WMA. However, due to admission of the Medical Association of South Africa in the World Medical Association, IMA withdrew from its membership in 1985 because of South Africa’s policy of apartheid. Later Indian Medical Association, after consideration of all aspects of the matter decided in February 1993 to again become a member of the World Medical Association. In pursuance of the above, 45th General Assembly of the World Medical Association at its meeting held on 25th October 1993 approved IMA’s membership of WMA. Past President of IMA Headquarters, Dr. Ketan Desai is the President of WMA at present (2009). IMA has continued to play an important role in the affairs of Commonwealth Medical Association and hosted the 3rd World Conference on Medical Education under the joint auspices of WMA and IMA, at New Delhi in 1966.

Over the period of 81 years, IMA while maintaining its glorious tradition has secured a place of pride in the community through its over 1700 branches with a total membership of over 2.5 lakhs throughout the country.

The Indian Medical Association is managed by the elected members of the Central Council and the Working Committee, which lay down the policies and deliberate on the day-to-day activities of the Association.

The Indian Medical Association has adopted a constitution to function on a democratic pattern, with clearly defined objective laid down in the memorandum of the Association, as under:
1. To promote and advance medical and allied sciences in all their different branches and to promote the improvement of public health and medical education in India
2. To maintain the honour and dignity and to uphold the interests of the medical profession and to promote co-operation amongst the members there and
3. To work for the abolition of compartmentalism in medical education, medical service and registration in the country and thus to achieve equality among all members of the profession.

The membership of the Association is open to all persons qualified in the modern system of medicine and registered under the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 as amended. Today, It has more than 2.5 lakhs members on its roll through 1700 branches controlled and managed by 28 states, territorial and direct branches throughout the country. Besides, there are about 86 overseas members who have either temporarily gone abroad for study and employment or permanently settled there. These members are kept in touch with the affairs of the Association through the monthly publication namely the “IMA News” and “Journal of the Indian Medical Association”.

The branches of the Association organize regular scientific and clinical meetings and elect their respective office bearers once a year. Every state branch has a State Council on which local branches under its jurisdiction have representations. These State Councils and their working committees meet as often as necessary to transact business concerning their multifarious activities in the field of health care, community services etc. and various problems facing the medical profession. All state branches organize their State Conference every year during which, besides discussing organizational matters, hold scientific sessions for the benefit of their members from different areas.

All local branches have representations in the Central Council of IMA which necessarily meet at least twice a year to take stock of the working during the year, lay down policies for the ensuing year, adopt the accounts, pass the budget for next year and elect office bearers of the Association at Headquarters and its journal office and other publication at the annual meeting of the Central Council.

The Association’s day to day working at the headquarters office is carried out as per policies and directives of the Central Council under the supervision and guidance of the Working Committee which meets three times a year. The Working Committee has representatives from all states and it deliberates over the current issues. Particular problems are studies by the expert Standing Committees on different subjects prior to consideration by the working committee. There are 20 such Standing Committees and a Special Committee for Action to take action on matters of importance to the profession in general. The continuity of these standing committee are maintained by electing one third members every year. The retiring members are however, eligible for re-election. Definite terms of reference are laid down for these committees.

For carrying out the academic activities and continuing medical education programmes for its members, IMA has established two academic wings namely, the “IMA Collage of General Practitioners” (IMA CGP) and “IMA Academy of Medical Specialities” (IMA AMS). IMA CGP has been conducting regular examinations twice a year and the successful candidates become eligible for the award of a Fellowship (FCGP). IMA AMS also awards Fellowships every year to selected highly distinguished specialists.

Beside the Journal of IMA, IMA News, Continuing Medical Education Bulletin and Annuals Quarterly of IMA AMS, IMA also publish two journal namely, ‘Your Health’ in English from Calcutta and ‘Apka Swasthya’ in Hindi from Varanasi for imparting health education to lay public. Both these publications are playing an useful role in promoting healthy living among the masses.

IMA has the unique distinction of sending its nominees to Government and semi Government bodies at the State, the Centre and also to various other national institutions to actively participate in the process of decision making on the health care of the country, including drug policy.

To encourage talent, community service and research, IMA has instituted several awards which are given away every year for which endowments have been created by certain donors of the Association.

Leaders of the profession did not lose sight of the need of having a fund to help some of its indigent members and their families in times of need or calamity. To meet this, a Benevolent Fund was created by allocating a small amount out of the annual subscription which has over the years grown into a sizeable sum. Out of the interest of this fund, loans/grants are given to deserving and needy members after due consideration by the management committee of the fund on recommendation of state branches concerned.

IMA in the year 1964, helped in the organization of the world body namely, World Medical Association (WMA) and became its founder member. Besides, IMA is a member of the Commonwealth Medical Association and Confederation of Medical Associations and the Nepal Medical Association. The IMA CGP is the founder member of WONCA (World Organization of National Colleges & Academies). The 3rd Conference on General Practice was hosted by IMA in the year 1968. It is a matter of pride that the first ever Fellowship of the World Organization was conferred on one of our illustrious past presidents, Dr. P. C. Bhatia. IMA has also played a pivotal role in the formation of South Asian Medical Association (SAMA), a common forum of national medical associations of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with representative from Bhutan and Maldives.
Over the period of 81 years, IMA while maintaining its glorious tradition has been rendering yeoman’s service in the field of health care delivery, disease control and eradication. Its services to the community during natural calamities like earthquakes, droughts, floods, famines and epidemics in the pre and post Independence periods, have been highly lauded. It has been involved in the formulation and implementation of National Health Programmes e.g. Family Welfare, Maternal and Child Health, Universal Immunisation, Oral Rehydration Therapy, promotion of Oral Contraceptive Pill, Pulse Polio, etc. and its role has received recognition by the Central and State Governments. Its branches have established Family Welfare Clinics, Immunization Centres, Ambulance Service, Blood Banks etc. IMA’s rapport with Government has been the result of hard and selfless efforts of many of its pioneering honorary workers.

The Association has enormous tasks before it for the future to provide the nation with adequate medical care through methods that are in consonance with the needs of the population and confirm to modern standards. It has to carry a crusade of reforms into the areas of medical education and fulfilling the gigantic task of providing continuing medical education. Its history is being continuously written by those stepping into the shoes of the pioneers whose names are now a legend and there is no doubt that many more chapters of more memorable achievements of the Association shall be written in the years to come.

History Of Indian Medical Association Mumbai Branch

Bombay (now Mumbai) enjoys a unique distinction in India for having the foundation of first ever society of medicos - the Bombay Medical Union. It was formed on 22nd December in 1883, at a meeting held in Great Western Hotel. Bombay was also host of one of the two medical conferences held in India before 1900, the other city being Calcutta.

The first All India Medical Conference was held at Calcutta in 1917 under Presidentship of Lt. Col. Raghuvendra Rao from Bombay. It was only in 1928, during the 5th All India Medical Conference held at Calcutta on 28th December, the Indian Medical Association was founded under Presidentship of Dr. G. V. Deshmukh from Bombay. Dr. Jivraj Mehta was All India President in 1930-31. The 10th All India Medical Conference was held in Bombay at Seth G. S. Medical College. Dr. G. V. Deshmukh was the Chairman of the Reception Committee and Dr. D. D. Sathye, the Organizing Secretary. Dr. Jivraj Mehta was the Dean of Seth G. S. Medical College. It was decided to form the Bombay Branch of Indian Medical Association in 1934. It was on 6th May 1935 at a meeting held at the rooms of Bombay Medical Union, the firm formation of the branch was laid.

The meeting elected executive committee of the following: President - Dr. Jivraj Mehta, Vice-President - Dr. D. D. Sathye, Hon. Secretaries - Dr. Chamanlal Mehta and Dr. F. N. Tarapore. The other eight elected members were; Dr. G. V. Deshmukh, Dr. A. S. Erulkar, Dr. P. T. Patel, Dr. U. B. Narayan Rao, Dr. Coelho, Dr. S. S. Rao, Dr. M. D. Joshi and Dr. M. B. Thakore. This meeting was also attended by Raibahadur Dr. J. P. Modi and Dr. R. Tarargiri.

There was a separate North Bombay Medical Association also existing since 1934. It merged with Bombay branch of Indian Medical Association. On 9th October 1938 at a meeting held in G. S. Medical College, Dr. M. C. Bilpodiwala was elected as a President of the branch.

In 1937, Dr. Narayan Rao proposed the Bombay branch of IMA to be given a status of provincial branch. Dr. M D Gilder became Health Minister in Govt. of Bombay and Dr. P. Bharucha became the Sheriff of Bombay. The Medical Practitioner Act was passed in 1938 to curb quackery.

Dr. Jivraj Mehta was again elected as a National President in 1944-45. He was followed by Dr. Chamanlal Mehta in 1949-50. The other national presidents from Bombay branch are, Dr. C. S. Thakker (1955-57) , Dr. R. V. Sathe (1961-62) , Dr. Shantilal C. Sheth (1965-66), Dr. R. K. Menda (1979-80) and Dr. (Mrs.) Lalitha Rao (1984-85).

It was during the 22nd All India Medical Conference in 1945, the Bombay branch was ¬given a status of Provincial Branch. The 24th All India Medical Conference, the first year of ¬Independent India was held in December 1947 at J. J. Hospital along with 7 Speciality Conference. Dr. Chamanlal Mehta was Chairman of the Reception Committee. Dr. Jivraj Mehta was then Director General of Health Services and Secretary to the Health Ministry of Govt. of India. Dr. A. J. Shelat was in charge of volunteers as a General Secretary of GMC Students’ Association.

The Bombay Branch was trying to have a building since 1949. There came about a fortuitous combination of circumstances. Shri Y. B. Chavan was the Chief Minister after the break up of the Bombay State and Dr. Jivraj Mehta, the Finance Minister in 59-60. Shri Gaurishankar D. Daftary the first Indian to be the Chief Engineer P.W.D. in then Bombay province had retired but was still serving the State Govt. in some honorary capacity. He channelled the information through Dr. Daftary that a Plot No. 16 at Haji Ali Park could be made available if the State Govt. so desired. Dr. C. L. Jhaveri was the President and Dr. A. D. Daftary one of the secretaries. The Bombay Collector by this letter dated: 23rd May 1960 sanctioned the lease of the plot of 1570 sq. yds., on a nominal lease and deposit. Dr. N. N.Kailas, Dr. R. V. Sathe, Dr. C. S. Thakar. Dr. Suresh C. Sathe, Dr. Arvind M. Shah, Dr. (Mrs.) Lalita Rao, Dr. S. V. Oak Dr. D. S. Munagekar, Dr. R.K. Menda, Dr. J. J. Merchant, Dr. N. N. Shah, Dr. K. M. Thaker, Dr. M. A. Panwala and others worked hard as a team. Dr. R. N. Cooper, Dr. B. B. Yodh, Dr Shantilal C. Sheth, Dr. G. D. Purandare were amongst the Vice-Chairmen. It was an example of great determination and successful team work. Shri LaIchand Hirachand and Shri Ramprasad ¬Khandelwal were the President and Chief Guest respectively at a fund raising programme of M/s. Vyjayanthimala with the music of Ravishanker, decor of M.R. Acharekar in Tagore’s Dance-Drama 'CHANDALIKA'. The Foundation stone was laid by Shri Madhukar D. Choudhari, Minister for Public Health, Government of Maharashtra on 25th January 1963 and the building was inaugurated by Shri Y.B. Chavan, Union Home Minister on 8th January 1967. The office was shifted from Dr. Chamanlal's rooms to the present building on the same day.
Dr. A. D. Daftary was the first General Practitioner to be the Branch President. Branch invited the working committee to hold its meeting at Bombay when ¬Dr. D. S. Munagekar was the Branch President and conducted the working committee meeting wonderfully.

The Branch took over the management of the building with the concurrence of the building committee in year 1981-82. A Guest Room was started on a small scale. Dr. R.B. Sawardekar took lots of pain in attending to the repair works. Till 1990 the financial position of IMA Mumbai Branch was in bad shape. It was only after the efforts of Dr. H. M. Trivedi in the year 1991, in getting the permission of the Collector of Mumbai, allowing social functions and marriages to be held in our open space that the financial condition improved. The lease deed of the plot was registered and signed in the year 1996 with the Collector of Mumbai.

The 1st Annual Conference of the Mumbai Branch was held on 27th March 1964 at Birla Kirda Kendra under the Presidentship of Dr. D. N. Pai. There was a net saving of Rs. 3,000/- from this conference. The Silver Jubilee year conference was held at Y. B. Chavan Auditorium and for the 1st time an entertainment programme was clubbed with the conference under the Presidentship of Dr. M. J. Shah. The last conference held at Hotel Oberoi (Trident), on 11th January 2009 under the Presidentship of Dr. Anil Pachnekar (2008-2009) has brought in an all time record collection.

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