Doctor health and wellbeing discussed at AMACDT
AMACDT met with Dr Janette Randall, Chair, Doctors' Health Service Board, and Dr Jill Gordon, Vice President, NSW Doctors' Health Advisory Service, at its meeting on 5 March 2017 to discuss the issue of doctor suicide, the triggers for suicide, and what steps can be taken to reduce the risk of doctors dying by suicide.
The AMACDT feels strongly that there are a number of aspects that the AMA should act upon in regards to doctor suicide specifically, and doctors’ health and wellbeing more broadly.
The AMACDT supports the development of a national framework to assist the health system better support doctor health and wellbeing. It supports a national forum to discuss how the medical profession can develop a coordinated and compassionate response to address doctor suicide. It supports changes to mandatory reporting laws to replicate the Western Australian model so that no doctor feels unable to seek care from another medical practitioner because they are worried of the stigma and impact on their careers and/or finances. It supports a campaign to normalise access to services for doctors who are stressed, burn out or depressed and the development of a national, common pathway to access support services.
Above all it supports a profession and health system that promotes good health and wellbeing practices for individuals and colleagues. Doctors’ health and wellbeing will be a priority area of work for the AMACDT in 2017, with its session at AMA National Conference 2017 focussing on doctor heath and wellbeing and reducing the risk of doctor suicide.