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AMA in the News

Your AMA has been active on policy and in the media on a range of issues crucial to making our health system better. Below is a snapshot of recent media coverage.


Snelling attacks $36 ER fee plan, Adelaide Advertiser, 10 April 2014

Former Tony Abbott adviser, Terry Barnes, said patients with minor ailments attending emergency departments should be charged a $36 co-payment. But AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said an upfront charge for emergency department patients was a bad idea.

No jab, no play push is on, Courier Mail, 11 April 2014

Doctors have demanded the Queensland Government introduce a “no jab, no play” policy for the State’s childcare centres. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said the policy in NSW had had a positive effect, and introducing a similar measure in Queensland could boost vaccination rates.

Ministers in accord on jab refusers, Courier Mail, 12 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said GPs provided parents who were concerned about vaccination with accurate, evidence-based information, but admitted that, despite this, some people would not change their mind.

Hospital role swap ‘could cut costs’, Canberra Times, 14 April 2014

The Grattan Institute think tank has claimed that allowing lower paid workers to perform basic tasks currently undertaken by doctors, nurses and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists could save money from hospital budgets without compromising care. But AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said people performing what might seem to be basic medical procedures needed to have the training to react to unexpected events.

Extra duties for those in bowels of health system, Courier Mail, 14 April 2014

Nurses would take over the job of screening for bowel cancer and administering low grade anaesthetics under a radical plan to save public hospitals $430 million a year. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said a specialist nurse would not have the general medical knowledge to deal with complications that could arise from such procedures.

Conflict claims on chemist flu jabs, Herald Sun, 16 April 2014

A controversial flu vaccination trial is dogged by claims of a conflict of interest, after it was revealed a chemist chain is receiving money from a drug firm. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton described the financial arrangements as “extraordinary”.


Professor Geoffrey Dobb, 3AW Melbourne, 14 April 2014

AMA Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb discussed a Grattan Institute report which argued money could be saved in the public hospital system by delegating less complex medical tasks to lower paid health workers. But AMA Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb said the report seemed to be out of touch with the way modern hospitals worked.

Dr Steve Hambleton, 4BC Brisbane, 15 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed the agreement on employment contracts reached between the Queensland Government and senior doctors. Dr Hambleton agreed that some doctors may not sign the contract due to a loss of confidence in the Government and Queensland Health.

Dr Steve Hambleton, ABC NewsRadio, 17 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed calls for independent medical experts to be allowed to visit the Nauru detention centre amid reports of a dengue outbreak among detainees. He said an independent team was needed to assess the situation.


Dr Steve Hambleton, Channel 10 Perth, 9 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed speculation that free treatment at hospital emergency departments may be under threat as the Federal Government finalises its May Budget. Dr Hambleton said that generally people did not go to emergency departments with minor illnesses.

Dr Steve Hambleton, Channel 7 Sydney, 10 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton talked about the findings of a National Health and Medical Research Council study that cast doubt on the efficacy of homeopathic treatments. Dr Hambleton said he was unsurprised by the findings.

Professor Geoffrey Dobb, ABC 1 Perth, 22 April 2014

Sections of the medical community have reacted with alarm to reports that many Medicare Local organisations face the axe in next month’s Budget. But AMA Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb said many Medicare Locals had been ineffective.