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Reflections of the current AMA President

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Having a voice in complex policy decisions has never been more important

The Australian health care system is one of the best in the world. The foundations of our system are a well trained medical workforce, a commitment to quality and standards, and a delicate balance between public and private health systems.

Doctors and other providers working in our health system have a strong commitment to improvement. There is potential for improvement both in clinical outcomes and efficiencies. The past few years have been a period of clinical engagement, something not to be taken for granted.

While there is much to be learnt from overseas experience, our system is one that should be envied. Our system is unique, and caution should always be exercised when applying solutions developed overseas to the Australian health system. There are too many examples of solutions that have been imported enthusiastically only to be found to be not quite as good as initially thought. The latter realisation usually comes to light just as Australia implements the program.

The solutions and expertise reside with our clinicians here in Australia. Engaging with our doctors is key, not only to improving clinical results, but also to achieving financial efficiencies. This was illustrated so well by the recent failure of the personally controlled electronic health record in terms of its development and subsequent uptake. The…