News

Satellite broadcast to update rural doctors on medical indemnity

AMA President, Dr Kerryn Phelps, said today that the AMA has organised a satellite TV broadcast for next Wednesday night to provide rural doctors across Australia with the latest news on the medical indemnity situation.

Dr Phelps said doctors and patients in country towns and remote areas are among the hardest hit by the crisis.

The broadcast will feature Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson; AMA President, Dr Kerryn Phelps; the President of the Rural Doctors' Association of Australia, Dr Ken Mackey; and the Provisional Liquidator of United Medical Protection (UMP), Mr David Lombe.

The panel will inform doctors how things are progressing on fixing the medical indemnity problems and will take questions from doctors about their individual situations.

It is expected that more than 8000 doctors will participate in the interactive broadcast.

Dr Phelps said the key to keeping doctors working is to keep them informed.

"There is a lot of uncertainty and confusion out there at the moment and it is vital that doctors are kept up to date with how things are progressing," Dr Phelps said.

"Country doctors and patients face the greatest threat if medical indemnity premiums get further out of control.

"We need to provide security to communities that fear losing medical services, and the satellite broadcast is the most effective means to get complex messages to a large number of doctors in one hit," Dr Phelps said.

The broadcast, to be chaired by Dr Norman Swan, will be delivered live via the resources of the Rural Health Education Foundation between 8.00pm and 10.00pm next Wednesday, 12 June 2002.

AMA: John Flannery, (02) 6270 5477 / (0419) 494 761

Rural Health Education Foundation: John Anderson, (02) 6232 5480

The Australian Medical Association presents:

A national program for rural and remote Medical Practitioners and other professionals interested in the implications arising from current medical and health service indemnity arrangements

Panel of Speakers:

Dr Norman Swan, Presenter of the Health Report on ABC Radio National and the ABC television program: Health Dimensions, will chair a panel that includes:

Senator the Hon Kay Patterson, Minister for Health and Ageing;

Dr Kerryn Phelps, President, Australian Medical Association

The program may be viewed live or at a later date by logging onto the Foundation's web-site at www.rhef.com.au and clicking the icon: video-streaming.

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