The Medical Benevolent Association of South Australia (MBASA) was established in 1881 as an off-shoot of the SA branch of the British Medical Association, which had been formed in 1879 after the dissolution of the South Australian Medical Society. At the closure of this society, the balance of the funds, namely £197, was used to facilitate the formation of the MBASA. The vice-president of the local British Medical Association branch, Dr Corbin, was appointed as the first MBASA chairman and other senior members, Drs Cleland, Gosse, Clindening, Paterson and Wylde made up the management committee.
The new association aimed to help doctors and their families who were in distress. Rule 2 of the organisation stated that: ‘the objects of the association be to relieve distress occurring in the families of medical men practising in the colony of South Australia; and to aid in educating and bringing up their children; and to form bursaries and for the assistance of medical students, the sons of medical men. Claimants who are the sons of subscribers shall have precedence’
While the stated aims of the association have changed, the basic premise persists as indicated in the 2014 revision of the constitution, where the current objectives are described as: ‘to assist medical practitioners who practise, or in the opinion of the Board have previously practised, predominantly in South Australia who are suffering financial hardship due to mental or physical disability or infirmity’ and ‘to assist spouses and/or children who are suffering financial hardship due to the mental or physical disability, infirmity or death of a medical practitioner who has practised predominantly in South Australia’.
MBASA has had a long and productive relationship with the Australian Medical Association South Australia (AMA(SA)) which provides secretarial support and financial management of the MBASA records. This relationship was formalised in 2020 when both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
The Benevolent Association is no longer an organisation to which doctors subscribe and its financial viability depends on donations from individual medical practitioners and other organisations. In the past decade MBASA has been particularly grateful for the financial support of the Chinese Medical Association of SA and Avant Medical.
The current Board of Trustees comprises:
Dr Jill Maxwell: OAM Chair Dr Michael Rice: AM (Immediate Past Chair)
Dr John Wyett: Treasurer Dr Rodney Pearce: AM Public Officer
Dr William Heddle: AM Dr Janice Fletcher: AM
Dr Peter Ford: AM Dr Peter Joseph: AM
Dr Patricia Montanaro Dr Roger Sexton
All are either former presidents of AMA(SA), former AMA(SA) treasurers or on the board for their medical expertise and experience. Trustees tend to be long serving; there have been only 10 chairs in the Board’s 141 years.
MBASA is a charitable not-for-profit organisation. The Board asks that all medical practitioners consider donating to help their colleagues and their families in need. The MBASA’s financial resources have always been somewhat limited, which has meant that only short-term assistance to applicants is possible. The Board would like to extend its support to more people, for longer. It has good history of supporting over 95% of requests for assistance.
In the meantime, we strongly recommend that all doctors – including trainees, salaried medical officers and private practitioners – have:
- personal income protection
- an effective financial plan
- an up-to-date will is also essential; more than once, our Board has been asked to help families facing significant financial difficulties, albeit in the short term, because there wasn’t a will to dictate arrangements
Please help us continue our mission of doctors helping doctors by
There are two ways to donate:
1. Pay direct into the MBASA bank account. Details are:
Name of Account: Medical Benevolent Association
Acc No: 035 221 540
Reference: Your name
Please email the MBASA secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be sent a letter of thanks which can be used as a tax deductible receipt.
2. Email the MBASA secretariat at email@example.com with credit card details. You will be sent a remittance including a letter of thanks which can be used as a tax deductible receipt.
Details required for a credit card donation are:
Name on card ……………………………………………………………
Card Number ……………………………………………………………
Expiry Date …………./……… Amount of donation $................