AMA in Action
The AMA played host to more than 160 guests including Federal Government ministers, senior members of the Opposition, senators, senior public servants and doctors from across the country at its annual Parliamentary Dinner on 27 August.
AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler, Health Minister Peter Dutton, Shadow Health Minister Catherine King and Australian Greens health spokesman Dr Richard Di Natale delivered speches to an audience that included members of the newly-constituted AMA Federal Council as well as prominent and senior politicians including Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash, Speaker Bronwyn Bishop, Assistant Employment Minister Luke Hartsuyker, former Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock, Queensland MP Bob Katter, former Labor ministers Brendan O’Connor, Richard Marles, Jan McLucas, Warren Snowden, Kelvin Thomson and Alan Griffin, Greens leader Christine Milne and her Senate colleague Sarah Hanson-Young.
Earlier that day, the AMA Federal Council convened at the offices of the Federal AMA for the first time under the revised constitutional arrangements approved at the AMA National Conference in May. The Council discussed organisational issues and a future work program, while the AMA Limited Board convened for a two-day strategy meeting.
Amid all this activity, Chair of the the AMA Council of Doctors in Training, Dr James Churchill, very bravely accepted an Ice Bucket Challenge from Australian Medical Students Association President Jessica Dean and, before a dozen witnesses, was doused with litres of frigid water on the steps of AMA House – not an undertaking to be taken lightly on a winter’s day in Canberra.
A week earlier, national media descended on the AMA for a media conference at which A/Professor Owler and Chair of the AMA Council of General Practice Dr Brian Morton released the AMA’s proposal for a GP co-payment – an event that drew live television coverage and attracted attention from newspapers and radio stations nationwide.