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National Conference endorses constitutional change

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The AMA Federal Council has been relieved of administrative and governance responsibilities and freed up to concentrate on formulating policy under changes to the AMA Constitution endorsed by the AMA National Conference.

The Conference gave overwhelming support to the changes, which AMA Secretary General Anne Trimmer has said will advance the twin objectives of the AMA: to protect and advanced member interests, and to influence health policy and debate.

The Constitutional changes have been the subject of lengthy discussion within the AMA, and seek to modernise the governance of the organisation and lay the groundwork for a more efficient structure.

Under the changes, responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day administrative and governance functions of the organisation have been invested in a Board of Directors.

The Board comprises the AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler and Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis, a representative from each of AMA NSW, AMA Western Australia, AMA South Australia, AMA ACT, AMA Victoria, AMA Queensland, AMA Tasmania and AMA Northern Territory, and a nominee from the Doctors-in-Training Special Interest Group.

The Board is directed under the Constitution to take account of, and promulgate, the medico-political policy decisions of the Federal Council.

At a meeting immediately following the National Conference, an interim executive of the Federal Council comprising A/Professor Owler, Dr Parnis, former Treasurer Dr Elizabeth Feeney, former Chairman of Council Dr Iain Dunlop and two Federal Council nominees was appointed to carry out the functions of the Board of Directors until its first meeting, due in the next couple of months.

A/Professor Owler told the Conference the changes would “liberate the Federal Council to be the policy making body it should be”.

Adrian Rollins