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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.

Print/Online

Doctors seek drug ‘education’ ban, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 October 2014

A rebel group of doctors is lobbying colleagues to ban drug company representatives from their surgeries. AMA Chair of General Practice Dr Brian Morton said doctors benefited from learning about drugs, and were capable of making independent decisions.

Fear spreads as fast and dangerously as virus, Courier Mail, 10 October 2014

Fear has gripped the US following the death of the first person in the country to be diagnosed with Ebola virus – a situation Australian experts want to avoid here. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said it is not a time for panic or overreaction.

Checks in place at airport for people with Ebola links, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 October 2014

Fewer than 200 people have arrived in Sydney from Ebola-affected countries in west Africa, including Cairns registered nurse Sue-Ellen Kovack, who received negative test results for the virus after reporting a fever on her return to Australia. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler appealed for the Government to do more to support the work of people like Ms Kovack.

Patient alert: Big Pharma could win over your doctor, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 October 2014

Doctors are being encouraged to ban pharmaceutical companies from their practices. AMA Chair of General Practice Dr Brian Morton said doctors will hear what drug company representatives have to say with a sceptical mind, and would always put the interests of their patients first.

Dr. Debt, Medical degree fees could hit GP ranks: AMA, Sunday Canberra Times, 12 October 2014

Doctors have warned that the Federal Government’s planned changes to university fees could send the cost of six-year undergraduate medical degrees to $250,000 or more. AMA Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis said the proposed fee changes would have enormous impacts on the future health workforce.

Africa needs our doctors to fight Ebola: Plibersek, Canberra Times, 16 October 2014

Labor will increase pressure on the Government to do more to help fight the Ebola outbreak in west Africa by publicly calling for the Government to deploy medical assistance teams. The AMA has criticised the Government  for so far refusing to send personnel to Africa to support international efforts.

Aussies with Ebola might not be helped, Australian Financial Review, 17 October 2014

A dozen European countries and the United States have rejected approaches by the Abbott government to guarantee treating Australians infected by the Ebola virus – leaving the Government unwilling to deploy personnel to west Africa. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said he understood the reluctance of Prime Minister Tony Abbott to send people to help, but added that if their safety could be guaranteed, there would be no need to send them in the first place.

We need a proper plan, The Daily Telegraph, 17 October 2014

The Australian Medical Association has called for a review of the nation’s ability to tackle an Ebola outbreak. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said it is timely that we review our preparedness.

60 days…or else, Herald Sun, 17 October 2014

Serious questions are being asked about Australia’s ability to fight an Ebola outbreak as the United Nations warns that the world has just 60 days to control the epidemic. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler admitted the AMA has concerns about the preparedness of Australia.

Ebola crisis demands a united global effort, Courier Mail, 17 October 2014

Ebola is no longer a problem Australia or the rest of the world can largely ignore or offer just token support in the effort to combat it. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said we need to be thinking about this problem as an international global emergency.

Ebola failures in the US a cause for concern here, Weekend Australian, 18 October 2014

As the US experiences failures at their top-tier Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, with two nurses being infected with Ebola, concerns are raised in Australia. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said people are going to be looking closely at the way the treatment was conducted in Dallas to make sure that procedures here are up to scratch.  

State housing set aside for Ebola cases, Weekend Australia, 18 October 2014

Queensland will commandeer government housing to quarantine Ebola patients under contingency planning for an eruption of the lethal disease in Australia. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler doubted whether mandatory quarantine for health workers and regular travellers to west Africa was practical.

ACCC wants doctors’ fees disclosed, Sun Herald, 19 October 2014

The competition watchdog has demanded pharmaceutical companies publicly declare the names of doctors who are paid to speak at or attend conferences. The AMA welcomed the ACCC’s recommendation, and said it was consistent with its submission for greater transparency measures in the code.

Confronting a health crisis ‘over there’, The Age, 20 October 2014

West Africa is enduring a crisis of biblical proportions, and the world’s response has been deplorable. The AMA said the Ebola epidemic was an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

Radio

A/Professor Brian Owler, ABC Ballarat, 10 October 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler talked about a Queensland nurse being cleared of Ebola and the facts about the disease. A/Professor Owler said people should be concerned about Ebola, but not about the idea that a health care worker could return to Australia and pass it on to others.

A/Professor Brian Owler, ABC NewsRadio, 16 October 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler talked about the Ebola crisis. A/Professor Owler said the AMA is encouraging the Government to support other health care workers to volunteer and, unless there is a global response, the infection will continue to spiral out of control.

A/Professor Brian Owler, 666 ABC Canberra, 16 October 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler is concerned hospitals in the developed world are not equipped to cope with Ebola and is calling for a review after a second health worker in the US contracted the virus.

Dr Stephen Parnis, 3AW Melbourne, 17 October 2014

AMA Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis discussed concerns raised by Health Minister Peter Dutton about the difficulty of repatriating health workers infected with Ebola. Dr Parnis said everything possible should be done to treat such patients in the country in which they became infected.

A/Professor Brian Owler, 4BC Brisbane, 17 October 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler discussed the AMA’s criticisms of the Federal Government’s response to the Ebola crisis. A/Professor Owler said there were many Australian health workers ready to travel to west Africa to assist in bringing the massive outbreak under control.

Television

Dr Stephen Parnis, Sky News Sydney, 9 October 2014

AMA Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis discussed a nurse in Cairns who may have picked up the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone. Dr Parnis said the AMA believed the Government was not doing enough to help resolve the crisis.

A/Professor Brian Owler, Sky News Sydney, 10 October 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler held a press conference regarding the Ebola case in Cairnes and the global response to the Ebola epidemic.

A/Professor Brian Owler, ABC News 24, 16 October 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler held a press conference in Melbourne regarding the latest local and international developments in the Ebola crisis.

A/Professor Brian Owler, Channel 7 Sunrise, 18 October 2014

The World Health Organisation said unless Ebola was contained, there could be as many as 10,000 new cases a week by December. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said the Prime Minister needs to show some leadership on the issue.

Dr Stephen Parnis, Channel 9 Today Show, 18 October 2014

AMA Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis discussed the Ebola crisis on The Today Show. Dr Parnis said Australia needs to help other nations tackle the Ebola outbreak at its source in West Africa.

Dr Stephen Parnis, Sky News Sydney, 20 October 2014

AMA Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis participated in a debate with Independent MP Bob Katter regarding the Ebola crisis and Australia’s current approach to the virus.

 

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