AMA(SA) responds to insults and misinformation

AMA(SA) was quick to respond to a column printed in The Advertiser on Friday, 17 November 2023, in which columnist Calem Bond insulted doctors and their attempts to communicate up-to-date, accurate health advice to patients and communities.

Mr Bond’s column was headlined ‘Health bosses suffer relevance deprivation syndrome’. In it, Mr Bond treated as a joke a media conference in which Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier warned South Australians of increasing numbers of COVID cases in the community and the measures that can help keep people safe. He claimed masks were ‘near-useless’ at the height of the pandemic. He suggested medicos including Prof Spurrier and AMA Queensland president Dr Maria Boulton were engaging in ‘fear porn’ and ‘clearly missing the limelight’ after having ‘a chokehold over our lives … they craved for so long’.

A Letter to the Editor from AMA(SA) President Dr John Williams was quickly drafted and submitted in response. Dr Williams refuted Mr Bond’s claims about the effectiveness of masks and The Letters Editor told AMA(SA) that many letters were received disagreeing with Bond, and that Dr Williams’ letter was chosen as the ‘voice of an authority figure’. In the letter, Dr Williams pointed out that COVID numbers have increased quickly and that doctors want to warn people about the increased risk; that COVID is not and has never been ‘mild’, and that thousands of doctors around the country are far too busy to worry about being ‘relevant’.

AMA(SA) will continue to provide and promote evidence-based advice related to COVID infections and preventative measures to support join Dr Boulton in doing what we can to (as she said so well) ‘avoid another disastrous Christmas’.

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