- On May 18, 2016
New AMA (NSW) President, Prof Brad Frankum, has been elected unopposed, following the end of the two-year term of his predecessor, A/Prof Saxon Smith.
Dr Kean-Seng Lim, who is the current Royal Australian College of General Practice GP of the Year, is replacing Prof Frankum as Vice President.
“It’s an honour to have been named AMA (NSW) President and I will be doing everything I can to advocate for the interests of doctors and patients,” Prof Frankum said.
“Living and working in south-western Sydney, I know the health challenges faced by areas experiencing rapid growth and the need for health infrastructure and funding to keep up.
“The biggest threat to maintaining current standards of healthcare in NSW is the Federal Government’s cuts to health spending.
“This is coming in the form of ditching the previous Labor government’s health funding policy and extending the Medicare rebate freeze until 2020.
“These cuts affect both general practice and specialist treatment and will increase the out-of-pocket expenditure for patients.
“In areas like south-western Sydney, this has the potential for disastrous effects on people’s health,” Prof Frankum said.
In addition to his work as a clinical immunologist, Prof Frankum helped establish the medical school at Western Sydney University.
“One of the most important things we can do to ensure that NSW is able to meet its future healthcare needs is to make sure that training for junior doctors is adequately supported.
“Their training doesn’t cease at the end of university and we need to make certain their path to being senior clinicians is not obstructed by lack of funding or availability and accessibility of training positions,” Prof Frankum said.
Prof Frankum said he was particularly pleased to be joined by Dr Lim in the leadership team.
“The key to making Australia’s health system sustainable is genuine integration between the hospital system and general practice,” Prof Frankum said.
Both Prof Frankum and Dr Lim have a strong focus on matters of public health, including overweight and obesity, diabetes, and the importance of physical activity.
“Avoidable chronic conditions like type two diabetes are becoming increasingly commonplace in Australia.
“Diabetes is a life-shortening condition but it also affects people’s quality of life and increases the costs and complexity of healthcare doctors need to provide in response.
“One of the most important aspects of healthcare is preventative medicine and all of us, not just doctors, need to do more on that front,” Prof Frankum said.
“I want to thank Dr Saxon Smith for his excellent leadership during his term as president of AMA (NSW) and I look forward to working with him and the other doctors on our Council in my new role,” Prof Frankum said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones (02) 9902 8113 / 0419 402 955