The theme of this issue is medical indemnity. Almost 15 years ago the medical profession faced one of the biggest battles it's ever fought. To understand the future sometimes we need to look at the past.


AMA on marriage equality

PRESIDENT'S WORD AMA on marriage equality Rejecting discrimination in all its forms is fundamental to medical practice. The Federal Council of AMA voted in support of a position statement in favour of marriage equality at its last meeting. Having chaired the working party that developed this position statement, I was obviously pleased and relieved that [...]

Let us be exceptional and courageous

FROM THE CEO Let us be exceptional and courageous The AMA has a long history of fighting on behalf of doctors, patients and for a better Australian healthcare system. I would like to once again welcome members and non-members to the annual non-member issue of The NSW Doctor. The non-member edition gives us the chance to [...]

High Tea with a Twist!

EVENT High Tea with a Twist! More than 200 colleagues joined AMA (NSW) to hear guest speaker Annabel Crabb at the Sydney High Tea with a Twist held in March. Driving rains and a threatening thunderstorm couldn’t keep the more than 200 medical professionals and their partners from attending the Sydney High Tea with a [...]

What’s the right answer?

DIT DIARY What's the right answer? Exams are one way to test doctors’ abilities, but they are not perfect. Dr Eliza Milliken asks, ‘Are exams a necessary evil, or just evil? In medical school, no one tells you that 10 years later you’ll still be staring at anatomy and physiology flashcards while your normal, adult [...]

Deaths we don’t question further

OPINION Deaths we don't question further Dr Tessa Kennedy, Chair of the Doctors-in-Training Committee, asks could we use a systems-quality approach to reduce doctor distress? One week last October I came across two unexpected deaths – and neither of them was a patient. The first was a junior doctor, and the second a medical student. [...]

One wellbeing day at a time

OPINION One wellbeing day at a time Christine Byrnes, President of Western Sydney Medical Society, shares her university’s practical solutions to improving mental health for students. “I don’t know many happy doctors.” This was my mum’s response when I was 13 and announced that I wanted to be a doctor. It is well-established that the [...]

Holistic approach to healing patients

FEATURE Holistic approach to healing patients The Health Justice Partnership addresses the legal dimension to patient health and wellbeing. In May 2015, Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) and Redfern Legal Centre partnered to become the first hospital based Health Justice Partnership (HJP) in NSW. This innovative service allows health professionals and solicitors to work together [...]

Advances in vaccination safety

FEATURE Advances in vaccination safety Australia’s landmark system to monitor adverse reactions is increasing patients’ confidence in the safety of vaccines. AusVaxSafety, which actively monitors the safety of vaccines using SMS-feedback and email from recently vaccinated children and adults, is helping to ensure public confidence in taking up vaccination. AusVaxSafety is a collaborative initiative led [...]

Problem gambling

FEATURE Problem gambling Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury is encouraging medical professionals to ask the question, “Have you ever had a problem with gambling?” Flanked by police escorting him from the building, Peter’s final departure from the corporation where he had worked for almost two decades was ignominious. A senior manager with more than 100 staff, [...]

Cycling with care

FEATURE Cycling with care AMA (NSW) is working with the Amy Gillett Foundation to make cycling safer. As a specialist oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr Peter Aquilina sees the trauma caused by cycling accidents quite regularly. The injuries range from relatively minor facial lacerations, to cyclists with broken jaws, noses or eye sockets and occasionally [...]

The future of medical indemnity

FOCUS: MEDICAL INDEMNITY The future of medical indemnity Almost 15 years ago, the medical profession faced one of the biggest battles it has ever fought. The medical indemnity crisis of the early 2000s was a culmination of factors – outrageous claims, unrestricted lawsuits, volatility in the insurance sector, the collapse of HIH Insurance and instability [...]

How the crisis unfolded

FOCUS: MEDICAL INDEMNITY How the crisis unfolded Arguably the biggest potential disaster the medical community has ever faced, the medical indemnity crisis was a period of tragedy and triumph for doctors and the AMA, which tirelessly fought on behalf of its members. The events of the medical indemnity crisis unfolded over many years, slowing coming [...]

Doctors in distress

FOCUS: MEDICAL INDEMNITY Doctors in distress At the height of the medical indemnity crisis, the financial threat of the IBNR levy forced many doctors to consider leaving the profession. Enough is enough! Those were the final words of an open letter published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 5 May 2003, written by former Federal [...]

The turning point

FOCUS: MEDICAL INDEMNITY The turning point It takes a lot to get doctors angry, but after more than a decade of failed negotiations the medical indemnity crisis came to a boil on 28 September 2003.  As bombs rained over Baghdad, firestorms fanned by high winds hit Canberra suburbs. 50 Cent was playing ‘In Da Club’ [...]

The future is at risk

FOCUS: MEDICAL INDEMNITY The future is at risk After years of stability, the Federal Government is threatening to unwind several medical indemnity schemes. What will it cost doctors? And how will it affect patient care? Had the Federal Government not stepped in to fix the medical indemnity crisis in 2003, Former Federal AMA President, Dr [...]

Managing performance makes good business sense

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Managing performance makes good business sense In the lead up to a new financial year, a lot of people are starting to worry about pay rises and performance reviews. For practice staff, Modern Award pay rates increase in July, and above-award or award-free staff often expect pay rises too. But when was the [...]

Land of the rising sun and white powder

TRAVEL Land of the rising sun and white powder Great snow, challenging runs and a cultural experience – Dr Brian Morton shares his recent skiing adventure at Japan’s Rusutsu Resort. Having skied since the age of 15 – mostly in Australia – the prospect of powder in the Japanese fields was compelling. The snow depth, [...]

Read the whole magazine

The NSW Doctor is the flagship publication of the Australian Medical Association (NSW) Limited. The journal is a prime source of communication with AMA membership providing a forum for medicopolitical debate and informing members of the concerns of contemporary medicine.

The NSW Doctor has a circulation of approximately 8,000, and is published every two months. The journal is distributed exclusively to AMA members, selected media, other organisations and subscribers.