Prof. dr. Taruna Ikrar, M.Biomed, Ph.D,Direktur IAMRA. A united world to fight COVID-19 pandemic

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Prof. dr. Taruna Ikrar, M.Biomed, Ph.D
Prof. dr. Taruna Ikrar, M.Biomed, Ph.D. Photo: PRIV. DOC

IO – Prof. dr. Taruna Ikrar, M. Biomed, Ph.D., born in Makassar on April 15, 1969, is known as a physician, biomedical scientist, and educator in pharmacy, heart, and neurology.

Dreaming of becoming a doctor since his childhood, he was accepted at the Faculty of Medicine, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, following high school graduation. Then he continued his Master of Pharmacology at the University of Indonesia. He received a scholarship from the Japanese government (Mombukagakusho) to pursue his Ph.D., specializing in heart afflictions, at the University of Niigata, Japan. In 2008, he resumed his post -doctoral program in neuroscience at the School of Medicine, University of California, United States.

With an exceptional educational background, his work and research are not only known in Indonesia but also internationally recognized. Recently, Prof. Taruna was elected as Director of IAMRA (International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities), an institution consisting of 241 medical council institutions worldwide and is headquartered in the United States. IAMRA supports the world’s medical regulatory authorities through scientific, educational and collaborations, and strives to promote best practices, for instance, in medical regulations.

Prof. Taruna is the first Indonesian to be the Director of IAMRA. He was chosen from 200 IAMRA global members. “This is a great trust and honor bestowed upon me personally and for the Indonesian people in general. A trust to promote our country and benefit the nation in terms of government interactions in health, medicine and world council,” expressed the Chairman of the Indonesian Medical Council.

Prof. Taruna said that he mentioned four significant elements in IAMRA, which favored his electability as the Director of IAMRA. First, IAMRA plays a very important role in the global era. Second, IAMRA is an imperative institution, with members as the highest regulators in their respective countries, responsible for regulating medical practice, medical education, and fostering doctors. The institution also serves as a determinant in research development, services, and a loan forgiveness program for medical students. Third, IAMRA is a large organization that incorporates governments and more than 241 institutions worldwide. To conclude, maximizing IAMRA potential for the benefit of all members and the world, namely advancing the welfare, professionalism, and protection of doctors worldwide. It is necessary to augment cooperation between nations in medical services and practices.

As the Director of IAMRA, Prof. Taruna is charged with many responsibilities. First, as the management administering the IAMRA, the management committee will act for IAMRA in General Assembly Members’ meetings. Second, the Director of Management carries out IAMRA’s mandate, determined by the General Assembly of Members, and has complete authority to perform all actions and conduct all business for and on behalf of IAMRA. Third, the Director of Management manages all of IAMRA’s property, affairs, work and activities, subject to the Basic Budgeting, Household Budgeting and the resolutions and stipulations of the General Assembly of Members. Fourth, the Director of Management performs leadership in developing and implementing IAMRA’s strategic and business plans. Fifth, Members of the Management Committee, as per the chair’s request, will represent IAMRA in leading other organizations and speak on behalf of IAMRA to promote IAMRA’s efforts to fulfill its objectives. Sixth, the Director of Management must report activities at General Assembly Members’ meetings and other means, including postal and electronic communications. Seventh, all members of the Management Committee and IAMRA’s committee are required to comply with the policy determined by the IAMRA Management Committee, which is published periodically. Eight, IAMRA must not engage in any exercise of power that is not in line with IAMRA’s objectives, as stated above and in the budgeting. “And the last one is in the event of a vacant major member position, the management committee may appoint an individual—who supports the member organization —to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unfinished working period,” the Professor detailed.

Bearing many responsibilities does not stop Prof. Taruna from making a breakthrough for IAMRA. “We introduce and promote IAMRA as a well known institution like other world institutions, such as WHO or the IMF. More importantly, it benefts all IAMRA members across the world,” he convinced.

Prof. Taruna’s view on health regulation is that a country’s medical regulations are still insuffciently coordinated, despite the regional cooperation in WTO, NAFTA, and ASEAN countries. “However, there is no regulation on exchanging technology and experts to work on a global level yet, for example, in terms of doctor’s license in telemedicine,” he said.

“The IAMRA body, with its network and authority to regulate health workers, especially doctors, certainly bears a major role in suppressing positive cases of COVID-19 in this pandemic,” he explained.

He mentioned five main strategies to escape the pandemic, including carrying out mass vaccination to reach herd immunity, the public following strict safety protocols at all times, preparing the COVID-19 medicines to be evenly distributed throughout the world, preparing healthcare personnel and facilities in serving the community. “Finally, the world and all stakeholders around the world must unite and combine the effort against this pandemic,” he said.

According to Prof. Taruna, three main things in achieving success are a life purpose, big dreams, and life targets. “To make great dreams come true, you need to have a great capacity to dream and persistence and faith in achieving the dream,” he affirmed.

When we asked what else he wanted to do for the future and his next target, “Being the Father of World Medicine,” he concluded. We shall pray and expect it to happen, Professor! (des)