- On September 11, 2020
- September / October 2020
FROM THE CEO
If the canary dies in a coalmine…
There are many lessons to be learned in this crisis and AMA (NSW) has been fortunate enough to meet with some truly inspirational leaders who have shared their wisdom.
It’s clear that the buzzword of 2020 will be “unprecedented”. We have spent most of the year fearful for our members and for their healthcare worker colleagues and patients. The rhythm of the day is defined by the COVID numbers and while NSW has not (at this time) faced the burden of cases we have seen in Victoria, anxiety of the unknown remains. Despite this, we have seen great engagement from doctors across NSW who have responded to the challenges of redesigning systems and changing the way they provide care for patients, both in their hospitals and in their rooms. In these difficult times, it’s hard to find much inspiration. However, one of the best events of 2020 for me came one Saturday morning when I got to sit down at my computer and watch Dr Jack Cochran talk about organisational change in health. We have previously written about Dr Cochran here [https:// www.amansw.com.au/developing-healthcare-leaders/].
Jack talks about the power of the Coalition of Courageous Colleagues – people who join together to look at new ways of doing things in healthcare to drive change. There were so many pieces of wisdom. Two key lessons that stood out were if the canary dies in the coalmine, you don’t look for a more resilient canary. His other key message is that we are all custodians for the next generation – the next generation of doctors, the next generation of patients, the next generation of families, and that this obligation should guide and drive us all.
On a similarly inspiring note, AMA (NSW) and RDN NSW hosted a joint event as part of our work in responding to the bushfire recovery process. The purpose was to continue the conversation about what we need to do to bring together hospitals and GPs in a genuine, ongoing partnership. The webinar involved former Commissioner of NSW RFS Shane Fitzsimmons, now head of Resilience NSW. He was honest enough to say that he didn’t like the name of the organisation initially but has since come to value it; ‘resilience’ means many things to many different people. Shane also provided great insight on leadership in a time of crisis. He said, in a deeply complex crisis such as bushfires or COVID, if you have not made any mistakes, you were sitting on the sidelines not making decisions.
Through all of this complexity, AMA (NSW) continues to support our members in their hospitals and their practices. We have significant resources available and will continue to host webinars with up to the minute information on this evolving situation and its impact on you.