- On July 14, 2020
- July / August 2020
AMA (NSW) Board of Directors
AMA (NSW) announced the Board of Directors for 2020 - 2021 and welcomes its third-female President and two new members – Dr Kathryn Austin and Dr Sanjay Hettige.
NOMINATIONS to the AMA (NSW) Board and Office Bearers closed in May.
Dr Danielle McMullen was elected, uncontested, as President of AMA (NSW). She replaces outgoing President, Dr Kean-Seng Lim, and is the third female President in the organisation’s history.
Dr McMullen, a general practitioner in Newtown, previously served as Vice President of the Board.
She’s pledged to work in the best interests of doctors and patients as the COVID-19 situation develops.
“While coronavirus is unwelcome, some of the legacies it leaves on our health system don’t have to be. The crisis we are currently presented with has provided us with better access to telehealth and accelerated electronic prescribing.
“These are things that provide benefits to both doctors and patients, and I look forward to working with AMA (NSW) and our members to drive system improvements as we emerge from this health crisis.”
Dr McMullen is joined by Dr Andrew Zuschmann, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, who has stepped into the role of Vice President.
New to the Board is Dr Kathryn Austin, also an obstetrician and gynaecologist.
In the face of challenges presented by COVID-19, Dr Austin says, “We must seek to establish true work life integration across our profession as we readjust our delivery of care. This requires a particular focus on women in our profession to ensure strong female representation at these higher levels of government and in health organisations.”
Dr Austin also stresses the importance of looking after the mental health of medical professionals.
“It is particularly important that AMA (NSW) looks at how the pandemic issues affect our doctors, as we must have a strong and resilient workforce to continue to deliver exceptional healthcare to our patients.”
Joining the Board as the DIT Representative is Doctors-in-Training Committee Co-Chair, Dr Sanjay Hettige. He notes the impact of COVID-19 and the acceleration in telemedicine due to necessity.
“AMA (NSW) has an important role to play to make sure the right guidelines and standards are met in deploying telemedicine capabilities in GP, specialist and hospital settings to ensure that clinicians have access to tools that help and not unnecessarily hinder their practice.
He suggests the pandemic has also disrupted medical training and there is potential for new training bottlenecks to develop due to changes in assessments, competencies and limited clinical exposure in some specialities.
“AMA (NSW) will have an important role to play to ensure fair alternatives to traditional training and examination methods are employed and no trainee is unfairly disadvantaged during these tumultuous times.”
AMA (NSW) thanks Dr Lim, who will remain on the Board, for his service and acknowledges Dr Brendan Steinfort, who has stepped down from the Board but will continue to contribute to AMA (NSW) Council.