It gives me great privilege to write to you as your new BIPA president. I am both humbled and grateful for the trust bestowed on me by the BIPA members to lead the organisation forward. I am mindful of the hard work done by the founding BIPA members as well as all the past presidents with their Executive teams.
BIPA is at a unique juncture in being the organisation to be able to address longstanding issues linked to Indian Psychiatrists practising in UK - role identity, respect, equality, equal opportunities, and be in position to speak out and speak up about some toxic issues of institutional racism and how this manifests in different ways across the organisations.
We are at a point of societal challenges in terms of rising costs, continued war in Ukraine, increase in human misery, all that brings about new challenges. We have to take both individual and collective responsibility to support and reach out to people affected by this.
While BIPA will always strive to promote and showcase excellence, in both the academic, leadership and humanitarian fields of BIPA members, it will also ensure we are not an echo chamber for few, and do its best in not leaving anyone on the side-lines. To this I am committed as your president in reaching out to each member and making myself and my EC team available to listen to your thoughts, aspirations as individuals, receive feedback and constructive criticism.
The cyclical nature of NHS workforce - demand and supply has seen a new influx of International Medical Graduate doctors, Clinical Fellows and new psychiatric trainees. We recognise that as things evolve, we face a different set of opportunities mixed with challenges; we want to reach out to them, assure them of the network of support BIPA can offer in connecting and bridging with their culture, harmonise their growth with progress and to help settle in a new country.
The SAS doctors are the veritable backbone for NHS, I want to ensure that BIPA supports them in meaningful key leadership roles, clinical appointments and academic work. We support the representation, progress and focus on their achievements.
BIPA, as a charity organisation, would be mindful to the commitment to all people living in the UK and would help by connecting and promoting the mental health issues linked to underserved committees, as well as supporting mental health charities in India and the UK, with sharing cross learnings from each group.
BIPA will strive to forge better links with other diaspora organisations both linked to psychiatry and other branches of medicine to address some shared challenges and problems that affect us all, and through these partnerships we can achieve a shared progress for a better future of the clinicians and our patients
As we learn and adapt for a future beyond the pandemic, we will make use of the tools in remote working, learn to harness the academic potential in continuing to host webinars, online meetings, conferences as well as our in-person annual conference. To this end, we will link up with all the international organisations to allow for shared learning and inform our members of the advances happening in the field of Mental Health.
We have a new superb Executive Committee, psychiatrists from variety of ideological perspective, training background and expertise. All of them are eminently qualified, leaders in their fields, hardworking, diverse and have earned praise for their contribution to BIPA.
I have been part of the BIPA since its inception and have held several different officer roles. I speak honestly and directly. I will make every effort to serve the organisation and its members in my and BIPA’s unique way – bold, ready and optimistic!
I take the opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Dr Bhavana Chawda
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