President and CEO update - June 2024

The past month has been a critical one for AMA Queensland advocacy on workforce, elective surgery waitlists and the state budget.

As the first half of the year quickly comes to a close, we reflect on what AMA Queensland and our members have achieved for the health of Queensland. Notably, the recently announced $40,000 incentive for GPs to train in Queensland are a direct result of our advocacy that will guarantee all Queenslanders have access to best practice primary care and preventative health.

Despite the wins, our advocacy efforts remain at full speed as we closely examine the state budget and continue to tackle the ongoing issue that is elective surgery wait lists.

State budget health investment

On Tuesday 11 June the state budget was handed down and it is clear the government has listened to our calls.  

The budget includes a significant investment in the health workforce – the No.1 challenge currently facing our healthcare system.

We have been urging our government to follow the lead of Tasmania and Victoria and offer financial incentives for doctors to train as GPs for the past two years and are pleased to see it has been adopted as part of the new Health Workforce Strategy.

We are also pleased to see a first-time investment into primary care and general practice as, despite the importance of GPs for keeping people well and out of hospitals, funding has traditionally been a federal responsibility under Medicare.

Another notable win was the continued rollout of our Ramping Roundtable recommendations, particularly measures to help patients move through hospitals faster and be discharged after hours and on weekends.

Our first response to this year’s budget is certainly a positive one, but we will continue closely examining the strategy, policies and promises from both sides of politics over the coming months.

Read our full response

Queensland Government hospital data

The Queensland Government’s latest hospital data shows a slight improvement in elective surgery wait times, but we know this doesn’t tell the whole story.

This slight improvement is largely attributed to the performance in metropolitan areas, as when you look at the regions, wait times remain high.

In Mackay, nearly 40 per cent of patients were forced to wait longer than recommended time according to the government’s latest data. Central Queensland and Townsville also continued to experience longer wait times than their metropolitan counterparts during this period.  

Currently, regional patients remain more likely to experience adverse health outcomes or end up in emergency departments due to the continued inequity in elective surgery access.

This is why we are convening a Surgical Wait List Roundtable to identify practical, affordable actions the Government can take to address inequities in access and change this trajectory.

The Roundtable commenced on 11 June.   

Read more

Support needed for LGBTQIASB+ communities

Prior to the state budget announcement, we called on the Queensland Government to fund a voluntary register to allow bereaved family and friends to notify fatal suicides in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, sistergirl and brotherboy (LGBTQIASB+) community in our Budget Submission.

Members of the LGBTQIASB+ community face unique barriers and challenges in accessing healthcare that is culturally safe and appropriate for their needs.

AMA Queensland Council and LGBTQIASB+ working group member Dr James Allen spoke to this disparity from personal experiences as a GP who predominantly sees LGBTQIASB+ patients.

“When you're working in a community in which you belong, and people feel safe and accepted, there's sometimes an increased concentration on the number of patients who will see you to discuss mental health issues,” Dr Allen told ABC News.

"Every doctor and every general practitioner really deserve a pathway towards becoming both culturally and technically competent when it comes to queer health."

We are calling for funding and reform to enable a voluntary register to allow surviving partners, family, friends, and clinicians to notify suicides to a suitable body, so we can work with the community and government to effectively develop measures to enhance mental health outcomes and keep people healthy and alive.

Read our media release

Read the ABC article

Dr Boulton wraps up her term as President

At our Annual General Meeting and Dinner for the Profession in May, Dr Maria Boulton officially concluded her two-year tenure as AMA Queensland President.

While it would be impossible to summarise the impact she made over her time, we must acknowledge her successful efforts to protect our healthcare workers during COVID-19 and possibly her greatest achievement as President – winning an amnesty from payroll tax for GPs.

Dr Boulton’s leadership maintained AMA Queensland’s position as the state’s peak medical body, and we seek to continue this legacy with the support of our members and new leadership team.

Read Dr Boulton's wrap up interview

New Board and Council

Following AMA Queensland’s Annual General Meeting we also announced our new Board and Council for 2024-25.

In addition to our newly elected President and Vice President, Dr Eleanor Chew OAM was re-elected as Chair of the Board. Doctors from various specialties throughout the state have been elected as part of Council.

Read the full list of Board and Council members

AMA Queensland honour awards

The Dinner for the Profession was also an opportunity for us to honour a few outstanding members for their commitment and dedication to medicine and the community.

Prof Chris Perry OAM RFD was admitted to the Role of Fellows, Dr Peter Isdale AM was appointed as this year’s Distinguished Supporter Member and Dr Nikhil Dwivedi was awarded the inaugural AMA Queensland Doctor-in-Training Medal.

Married Mount Isa medical stalwarts Dr Ulrich Orda and Sabine Orda were also recognised with two of AMA Queensland’s highest honours. Dr Orda received the Rural Health Medal and Mrs Orda the Excellence in Health Care Medal.

Read the full citations

Read more about the Orda's

MediSecure data breach

We attended an early briefing on Friday 17 May from the National Office of Cyber Security in response to the recent MediSecure data breach.

The most important message is that patients should not hesitate to get their medications dispensed as the current prescription delivery service is not affected by the breach.

The Australian Government is continuing to work with Medisecure to respond to the incident, and we will continue to communicate the necessary information to our members.

Read more

King’s Birthday honours

Three AMA Queensland members have been recognised in this year’s King’s Birthday honours for their significant service to medicine, their profession and the community.

Associate Professor Anthony Holley, Professor Glen Gole and Dr Beres Wenck (Woodhead) were all appointed Members of the Order of Australia (AM).

It is an honour to represent and advocate on behalf of the countless hardworking doctors in Queensland, and we are incredibly proud of everything they have achieved.

Read more

Discover 130 years of AMA Queensland history

This year AMA Queensland celebrates its 130th anniversary.

To celebrate, we have compiled a historical timeline to acknowledge our history, triumphs and member achievements.

We feature public health breakthroughs, advocacy achievements and most importantly, our members’ many milestones which have helped shape our organisation into what it is today.

As the state's peak medical body, we extend a special thank you to all Past Presidents and Vice Presidents, Councillors, Directors, and above all, our members.

Explore our history here

Ahpra Parental leave registration fees

AMA Queensland has joined with AMA Victoria in calling on Ahpra for equity in registration fees for practitioners taking parental leave.

Currently, Ahpra and the 15 National Boards don’t lower fees or provide any proper mechanism or registration fee category to assist healthcare workers who take parental leave.

This affects over 877,000 diverse and predominantly female Australian healthcare workers.

We encourage you to consider signing the petition as, together, our advocacy can gain more ground and improve equity in health care.

Sign the petition

Foundation Chair

Dr Dilip Dhupelia has been re-elected to serve his fourth term as Chair of the AMA Queensland Foundation.

Since joining AMA Queensland as a member 41 years ago, he has been actively involved in supporting doctors, patients and communities, going on to serve as AMA Queensland President in 2018-20 before joining the Foundation leadership team.

We look forward to continuing to work closely with Dr Dhupelia and the Foundation to support charity partners, flood affected patients and doctors, disadvantaged medical students, and GP Registrars and Trainees.

Read more from Dr Dhupelia

Q1 Scorecard

Our 2024 Q1 scorecard shows we gained 256 new members, had 1,660 member engagements, delivered 14 government submissions, and reached an accumulated media audience of more than 24.3 million.

We are proud to work with Queensland doctors to create better outcomes for our communities.

Read the scorecard

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