- On September 3, 2018
- September / October 2018
FROM THE CEO
AMA (NSW) draws from the experience of Councillors and Committee Members to ensure it is effectively representing the interests of members.
AMA (NSW) represents doctors’ interests to the Government – not the other way around.
In this edition of The NSW Doctor, we are focusing on some of the issues facing our hospital-based specialist members. Over the past few months, we have seen significant discussion of fees, both in terms of the action of Bupa in changing the nature of the fees payable to doctors in public hospitals and non-contracted facilities, as well as general media interest in the issue of fees.
At AMA (NSW), we are extremely fortunate that we are able to draw on the expertise of our Councillors to respond to the many issues which arise. Our Council has representatives from every medical specialty as well as doctors-in-training and a medical student. They are all active, practising doctors, which means they speak with experience and expertise about the issues facing the profession.
Issues come to the AMA (NSW) Council in many ways. Some are in response to members raising queries, some develop in response to a new policy from Government or the Opposition. In each instance, the way we deal with the issue is the same, we draw on the expertise of doctors and they consider what is in the interest of our patients and the profession. At the heart of our decision-making is the importance of independence – independence of the AMA and the independence of the profession. For this reason, I was proud once again of the leadership of AMA (NSW) who were the only major health organisation to oppose entering into agreement with Government in the form of the Compacts prior to the 2018 budget. It is the AMA’s job to build a case for investment in health and then to hold the Government to deliver that investment. Deals, or even the appearance of deals, undermine the confidence of the public, particularly when it comes to really important reforms such as the My Health Record.
While there is value in having a centralised repository of health information for patients, doctors’ over-riding concern needs to be the protection and security of patient privacy. No deal is worth compromising the trust doctors have worked so hard to build with patients.