Updates from the ISfTeH Global Telemedicine & eHealth Network
Letter from the Executive Director
Here we are again, at the end of another summer. I trust that it was one of relaxation and fun with family and friends for you too.
Every year at this time we delve more deeply into the weighty subject of governance of our Society. It is election time, again. Who do we want to provide leadership and direction in the affairs of the International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth?
It is staggering to note the stark contrasts surrounding democracy around the world. In some societies, people go to war to try to have a say in how they are governed. In others, democracy is taken for granted, to the extent that participation in the one act with which people are endowed by democracy - the right to vote - is grossly undervalued. When less than half of the electorate go to the polls in an election, and a victor is chosen by a simple majority, this means as little as one quarter of the electorate can have their will imposed on the remaining seventy-five percent. I trust this will not be the case with the ISfTeH. We each have the right to vote in our specific category of membership, some by representative democracy through their nationally elected official (for the Nationals and Associates positions on the Board), and some by direct democracy (for the Individuals category). It is more complicated with Institutions and Corporates. But even there, members of our community can influence who gets elected onto the Board.
Without a crystal ball, how do we know what these people will do if elected? We can get a sense of this from their manifestos. The rules require that every candidate for a position on the Board of the ISfTeH must submit a statement of intent - their reasons for seeking office, their hopes and aspirations for the Society and what they would do if elected. The Nominations and Governance Committee of the Board makes a judgment on these declarations in its work of paring down the number of candidates to not more than two for each open position.
We are starting a new tradition with the upcoming election, and with this issue of the Newsletter, of publishing the manifestos of all candidates running for a position on the Board of the Society. This year, the following seats on the Board are up for election: one representative of the National Member, one representative of the Institutional Members and one representative of the Individual Members. The following members are now running for those seats:
Andy Fischer (Swiss Society for Telemedicine & eHealth)
Vitalii Ostashko (Ukrainian Association of Development IT in Medicine)
Krishnan Ganapathy (Apollo Telehealth Networking Foundation)
Piotr Henryk Skarzynski (Institute of Physiology & Pathology of Hearing)
This will help publicize what the candidates have declared as their positions on various issues of importance to the life of our Society. If you are an ISfTeH member, I urge you to read these carefully, so as to better inform the vote you will cast. We trust that you will come out in your numbers (electronically, that is) and choose the best people to run the affairs of the ISfTeH. See you virtually at the polls. And if you are not a member of the ISfTeH yet, I urge you to consider joining us and getting more closely involved in our global telemedicine and eHealth network!
Prof. S. Yunkap Kwankam
International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth