- On March 8, 2019
- March / April 2019
FROM THE CEO
Thinking long term
Short-term, populist policies fragment care and increase costs across the system. We need a healthcare strategy that can be adapted to meet the needs of a growing population in NSW.
This year, for the first time in my 20-year career, we are getting the joy of not one but two elections in NSW. This has created an important health policy opportunity for AMA (NSW), and we have responded to the challenge by creating a significant policy document, “A Vision for a Healthier NSW”. In this edition, we provide a summary of some of the key policy areas; however, I would encourage all members to take the time to read and share the full document, which can be found on our website – amansw.com.au.
The full document is long and it’s complex. We don’t apologise for this – as Donald Trump found out, health is complicated, and our healthcare system has suffered from too much short-term strategy and populist thinking.
Our healthcare system needs our doctors to be champions of expertise and knowledge, to fight for a better and changed system, just as doctors do every day in their care for patients.
While we would like to see both parties commit to the AMA (NSW) Vision for a Healthier NSW, the document will serve as the ongoing advocacy plan for AMA (NSW) in years to come. This is because we recognise that if we want politicians to stop thinking in short-term time horizons, we need to move our thinking to the longer term.
We hope all members will take the time to engage with their MPs or educate and inform their patients about the importance of health and why health needs to be a priority in this and every election.
Aside from election issues, the medical profession has also been dealing with the revelations around the working hours of doctors-in-training, particularly unaccredited registrars.
For most people, there has been nothing surprising in this story. We know from our Hospital Health Check survey that unaccredited registrars feel more vulnerable and more at risk of excessive hours than other doctors.
In responding to this issue, we also wanted to acknowledge the significant pressures also felt by senior doctors, many of whom are also struggling with the effect of burnout and overwork. We will be continuing to work to improve the systems and supports for all doctors, particularly unaccredited registrars.