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Better health, member care are AMA goals


With the major governance changes that have taken place within the AMA this year I thought it timely to provide an update on activities.

The new 11-member Board recently spent two days setting its strategic objectives for 2015-17, with a focus on:

·         leading on advocacy;

·         increasing and valuing membership; and

·         ensuring financial security and flexibility.

These objectives are underpinned by organisational capability. Once considered by Federal Council, the one-page statement of strategic objectives will become a public document for members to review.

As part of setting the strategic objectives, the Board formulated the AMA’s mission statement as ‘Leading Australia’s Doctors – Promoting Australia’s Health’. This statement echoes the first two objectives set out in the new Constitution.

In addition to setting its strategic objectives, the Board has adopted several governance tools including a Board Charter, which sets out the role of the Board, the Chair, and the Secretary General as the CEO of the company.

The Board is currently reviewing a number of areas of expenditure, the outcome of which will inform the 2015 budget.

Federal Council has also undergone some refreshment, with the establishment of three new committees and two working groups. These are:

·         Health Finance and Economics;

·         Medical Workforce;

·         Medical Practice;

·         End of Life Working Group; and

·         Defence Health Working Group.

The new structure gives members more opportunity to contribute to the work of the Council. The working groups are designed to draw on the expertise of members for shorter, more focused policy development. All the committees and working groups will meet before the November meeting of Federal Council.

One of the major IT projects underway within the secretariat at present is the redevelopment of the AMA website to make it more user-friendly and relevant to members.

There is a vast amount of information on the current website but it is often hard to find. The new website will have much more effective search tools.

The Council of Doctors in Training had a preview at its meeting in mid-October and was enthusiastic about the changes to the DiT section of the website.

The new website should be live before the end of the year.

Many of its offerings will also integrate with doctorportal, and members will be able to get information via either site.

In recent weeks our member services team has been making contact with members who are indicated in some way as being a salaried doctor on the National Membership Register. The purpose behind this is to ensure that all salaried doctors who wish to be designated as such for Federal Council election purposes are captured on the database.

This does not change the way salaried doctors are recorded for other purposes, such as for communications. It is only for voting purposes.

The process is now complete, and voting will be re-run shortly among those doctors to elect a representative to Federal Council. The process was terminated earlier in the year when it became clear that the database did not have a complete record of doctor voting preferences.