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BMA elects new national council chair and Welsh GP leader

bma chair

The BMA has elected obstetrician Professor Philip Banfield as its next council chair, while Dr Gareth Oelmann will chair GPC Wales.

Professor Banfield immediately replaced North London GP Dr Chaand Nagpaul following the election, which took place last week, for a three-year term.

Dr Banfield, from North Wales, had stood against candidates including GP Dr David Wrigley, the BMA council’s current deputy chair.

Dr Trevor Pickersgill was elected unopposed as treasurer, and the BMA will also elect a new deputy chair at an election yet to be held.

BMA Wales has also voted in new leaders, with Swansea-based consultant orthopaedic spinal surgeon Dr Iona Collins replacing GP Dr David Bailey as council chair.

Meanwhile, Dr Gareth Oelmann has been elected to chair BMA Wales’ GP Commitee. The Gwent LMC chair will take over the post from Dr Phil White at the end of this month.

Professor Banfield said: ‘As the new chair of council, one of my priorities will be to focus on the plight of doctors and patients, so the public understands just why doctors have been and continue to be angry and frustrated.

‘They are exhausted, burnt out and disillusioned – the pandemic exacerbated persistent under-resourcing of the NHS and social care in the UK that has gone on for years.

‘It is time for action. This is what our members and the public expect, and this is what we will deliver.’

Dr Oelmann said: ‘I will continue to ensure I fight for the best interests of GPs and patients in Wales and ensure our voices are heard at the highest levels.

‘The post pandemic recovery represents a defining moment for the NHS and General Practice in Wales. In the shifting landscape of Primary Care, it is paramount that General Practitioners have active representation at Collaborative, Health Board and Welsh Government levels.

‘Now, more than ever, the NHS in Wales needs a highly functioning Primary Care. We have the opportunity and the voice on a national stage, to champion the role of General Practice in leading the recovery.’