I HAVE written "BMA ARM" in capital letters across my diary for next week.

This refers to the annual representative meeting of the British Medical Association, a landmark in the diary of most national health correspondents. This year it is taking place in Edinburgh, which bizarrely makes the decision about my attending more difficult than usual.

I have travelled miles to the meeting in previous years. When it went to Wales my articles carried the byline: Helen Puttick in Llandudno. I was there in Manchester in 2005 when a junior doctor, unaware she was being brave, took on Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt and compared the medical assessment unit in her hospital to "a war zone". They were busy weeks, spent running around covering issues that affected doctors across the UK and catching up with Scottish medics in between debates to talk about more local matters.

But the way the NHS has diverged either side of the Border is nowhere clearer than at this year's meeting. The opening motion on Monday morning comes under the heading: National Health Service. While carefully worded, it is about the English NHS. For example, it asks the BMA to "consider how best to ensure consistent quality of patient care in a market-driven system". We do not have a market-driven system in Scotland, nor is one on the horizon. The next section is about clinical commissioning groups, they don't exist in Scotland either.

I'm not saying stuff it, I'll stay in the office and work on other articles. Doctors and reporters should take an interest in what is happening in other parts of the UK, and many of the subjects up for discussion next week could be relevant to Scotland – stress and burn-out among medical students, for example. Being there and listening is the best way to find out. But the time dedicated to Scotland-specific matters in the entire week is 15 minutes from 3.55pm to 4.10pm on Monday afternoon. Does this reflect the number of issues particularly facing the Scottish NHS which would benefit from the scrutiny and profile provided by this stage? I don't think so, which makes it difficult to know as the week progresses where to go with my notebook when a diary clash occurs.

The GP committee of BMA Scotland holds a conference every year when family doctors from different health boards bring forward their thoughts for debate and it nearly always throws up new issues and ideas. Serious concerns about helpline NHS 24, which failed to cope with the volume of calls when it was rolled-out across Scotland, were raised at this forum long before the service went nationwide.

There is an argument that some form of Scottish annual representative meeting allowing hospital doctors to air problems and solutions would be helpful. The level of ill health in Scotland is worse than that experienced in the UK as a whole.

I can't tell the BMA what to do, but the main chamber at the meeting is rarely noisier than when delegates are discussing the internal workings of the organisation, so perhaps they could consider my suggestion.

To finish with the words of the many BMA delegates I have listened to over the years: Chairman, I move.