President and CEO update - July 2024

As we enter the second half of the year, we’re beginning to see action from the state budget measures announced last month.

As we enter the second half of the year, we’re beginning to see action from the state budget measures announced last month. We’ve already seen a great win for regional Queenslanders with the recent rollout of Brisbane’s virtual emergency department. However, we’ve also seen another missed opportunity with the government’s decision to fund a new metropolitan-based nurse-led walk-in clinic rather than funding existing general practice infrastructure that desperately needs support. We continue to have constructive meetings with the Health Minister in hope the government will better consider the value of general practice and the needs of rural and regional communities.

Virtual ED rollout

The Queensland Government’s latest rollout of Brisbane’s virtual emergency department model is a win for AMA Queensland, and most importantly, regional Queenslanders.

The original model was developed by many AMA Queensland members in collaboration with Queensland Health and has been working well in the Metro North region. This expansion means that all Queenslanders, particularly those in rural and regional areas, will now be able to access the service.

The Virtual Emergency Care service was one of the recommendations of our Ramping Roundtable and we commend the government for acting and using taxpayer funds wisely to support and expand existing resources.

Read our media release

Nurse-led walk-in clinics

As part of its Women and Girls’ Health Strategy, the Queensland Government has allocated $46 million for four nurse-led walk-in health clinics, with the first to open in Brisbane’s CBD.

While we welcome any investment in primary care, a nurse-only clinic in the state’s capital does not make sense when so much of regional Queensland is struggling with access to health services.

AMA Queensland supports the role of nurse practitioners and recognises their tireless efforts to support patients and communities – our concerns lie in the investment strategy.

The Brisbane CBD is already well serviced by GP clinics and hospitals, but we know this is not the case in so many rural and regional communities. This funding would go so much further if it was used to employ nurses and allied health workers in GP clinics across the state, and in recruiting, training and retaining our local workforce.

In addition to weakening the support for existing infrastructures, these clinics will also likely create further problems. Not only have clinics without doctors proven to be inefficient in other jurisdictions, but staff will inevitably be poached from existing services during a workforce crisis.

Instead of throwing money at clinics without doctors, we continue to call on all levels of government to invest in primary care models that we know work.

Read our media release

ABC Radio interview transcript

Vape legislation

On Wednesday 10 July 2024 we appeared before a parliamentary inquiry with our concerns regarding current approaches to vaping reforms.

We have long been calling for tighter regulations on vapes to prevent young people from becoming addicted to nicotine. While our preference would be that vapes are treated for what they are – unproven and potentially dangerous, we welcomed moves by both the state and federal governments to limit the sale of vaping products.

However, we remain concerned over a lack of separation between prescribing and authorising a vaping product and its sale and the inadvertent legitimisation of vapes as a therapeutic product.

We are also concerned about the federal law that would allow vapes to be prescribed to children under 18.

Our preference is that children and adults do not vape and are directed to proven quit therapies instead. That is the best way to protect the health of our community.

Read our media release

Payroll tax

As general practice clinics around the state continue to come under pressure, members continue to come to us with concerns regarding payroll tax liability once the amnesty ends.

Receiving a payroll tax amnesty until mid-2025 was a huge win for AMA Queensland and general practice. However, our members remain confused and frustrated about a lack of clarity on whether their applications for the amnesty have been successful.

On 25 June 2024 we contacted the Queensland Revenue Office (QRO) and the Queensland Treasurer with these concerns, and on Monday 8 July, met with them to discuss further.

We focused on members who had received a payroll tax liability before the amnesty was called. The QRO confirmed the amnesty still applies to this group, once they have completed the expression of interest (EOI) and submitted the required documents.

We understand that only once practices have met the amnesty compliance requirements that they will receive advice from the QRO.

We are yet to receive formal correspondence in response to this meeting but will update members when we do. We also thank the Treasurer and QRO for their continued collaboration.

Find updates here


The latest QScript look-up exemptions and Monitored Medicines Standard came into effect on 2 July, exempting relevant practitioners from the mandatory requirement to check QScript in specified low-risk circumstances.

Version 2 of the Monitored Medicines Standard applies to all prescribers and dispensers of monitored medicines in Queensland.

Queensland Health has published a new webpage that collates a wide range of resources to support health practitioners to access and navigate QScript and understand their legislative obligations. You can find the resource page here.

Read more

Council update

Vice President Emilia Dauway stepped into the role of Chair of Council at its 16 May meeting.

Council was also joined by Federal AMA President Professor Steve Robson and Vice President Dr Danielle McMullen to discuss the AMA Strategic Plan which focusses on doctor, practice, community, and the health system that all influence health policy.

The final findings of the AMA Queensland International Medical Graduate (IMG) Working Group (WG) were also presented. This group has now transitioned to a Technical Advisory Group and Federal AMA has commenced an IMG WG with Dr Dauway as the Queensland representative.

Other topics of discussion for the meeting included our Climate and Sustainability Working Group’s Active Travel Position Statement and the Committee of Doctors in Training Ward Call Survey.

Read the full update

Committee of Doctors in Training Chair update

June was a big month for junior doctors, especially those who attended our annual Junior Doctors Conference in Cairns.

The CDT also celebrated Crazy Socks 4 Docs with everyone putting their best foot forward and donning their craziest socks to raise awareness and destigmatise doctors’ mental health.

CDT’s Wellbeing Special Interest Group is also working tirelessly to curate a list of wellbeing resources to assist doctors in training in accessing support.

Read the full update

Ahpra petition

AMA Queensland recently joined AMA Victoria to promote their petition calling for fair and equitable registration fees for healthcare workers.

Ahpra and the 15 National Boards do not currently lower fees or provide any proper mechanism or registration fee category to assist healthcare workers while on parental leave.

This affects more than 877,000 Australian healthcare workers, who are a diverse and predominantly female workforce.

The petition calls for Ahpra to reconsider its rigid, inequitable and inflexible approach and has already reached 2,000 signatures.

Read more

Recommended free RSV vaccine for pregnant women

AMA Queensland has long been advocating for free RSV vaccines to protect vulnerable patients from serious respiratory illness and supports the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s (PBACs) recommendation to add the vaccine to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for pregnant women.

Research found infants from vaccinated mothers had an 82 per cent lower risk of severe infection from RSV in the first three months of life compared to placebo, and a 69 per cent reduction in the following three months.

With the number of RSV cases only continuing to rise, we largely endorse the PBACs recommendation.

Explore our history here

Cairns events

In June, more than 300 members, doctors and medical students joined AMA Queensland in sunny Cairns to network, celebrate each other and hear from experts.  

Over four days we hosted the Women in Medicine Breakfast, a networking event and our well anticipated annual Junior Doctor Conference.

Thank you to our sponsors who helped make the events happen and to our guests. The week wouldn’t have been such a success without you.

WIM recap

JDC recap

Networking event recap

Sunshine Coast networking event

After our time in Far North Queensland, we travelled back to Southeast Queensland for our Sunshine Coast networking event hosted with the support of the Sunshine Coast Medical Association.

Members and guests had the opportunity to catch up with colleagues, get a policy update, discuss local issues and taste some wines from Wine Direct.

AMA Queensland Council's new North Coast Area Representative, Dr Wayne Herdy, also gave an update.

View the event recap

AMA24 Conference

The AMA is excited to host its AMA24 national conference on the Gold Coast this August.

The program is packed with insightful events and a thrilling line up of keynote speakers, designed to cater to all doctors, at all career stages and across all specialty groups.

There’s truly something for everyone at AMA24 and AMA Queensland invites you to attend.

Register now to join members from across the country for some sunshine, networking, learning and inspiration.

Register now

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