AMA in Action
In the past fortnight the AMA has been busy on a number of fronts advancing the interests of members and the broader community.
Industrially, attention has been dominated by the Queensland Government’s push to force senior medical staff in public hospitals onto punitive employment contracts, and AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton and other AMA officials have attended numerous meetings of medical staff at public hospitals across the State to hear of their grievances and the damaging impact the dispute is having on themselves and their families. Dr Hambleton has addressed meetings in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns, and Townsville, and plans to attend many more in coming weeks.
In addition, AMA officials including Dr Hambleton attended a United General Practice Australia meeting in Melbourne, where the AMA President also met with the President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Dr Murray Patton, before joining with other AMA officials from around Australian to farewell departing AMA Victoria Chief Executive Officer Jane Stephens.
During the past fortnight, Dr Hambleton has also attended several meetings in Canberra, including with Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert to discuss Medibank Health Solutions and the performance of its contract to provide health service to Defence Force personnel, as well as the role played by International Health Medical Services in providing health services at immigration detention centres.
Late last month, the AMA Council of General Practice had a weekend-long meeting that considered a number of significant issues, including a proposed co-payment for GP visits, medical deputising services, the future role of primary health care organisations in Australia, teaching in general practice and the benefits of integrating pharmacists into general practice.
Dr Hambleton also had numerous media engagements, particularly to represent the AMA’s views on proposals for a $6 co-payment for GP visits, a new food labelling scheme and the performance of public hospitals.