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12 Jun 2018

The AMA’s position on e-cigarettes was one of the many policy issues to be debated at National Conference, and resulted in opposition to vaping remaining intact.

The debate also resulted in new President Dr Tony Bartone reiterating the AMA’s stance during his first major newspaper interview in the top job.

Dr Bartone told The Australian there would be no change – “absolutely none” – in the AMA’s position.

“When the evidence comes through and it can be shown to be a therapeutic aid to cessation from smoking, that’s when we will sit down and significantly look at our position and move in line with the evidence that’s presented,” he said.

The e-cigarettes motion was the only one to be lost on the floor of National Conference, after it was suggested by some delegates that the Association should support a controlled introduction of e-cigarettes as a harm-reduction measure.

Policy debate motions that passed at National Conference included to:

  • Develop policy that encourages Local Hospital Networks to fund targeted GP-led primary care services designed to reduce preventable hospital admissions and re-admissions;
  • Consider the reputational impact that ‘booking fees’ and split bills have on the wider medical profession;
  • Call on the Commonwealth, and State and Territory Governments to fund sufficient additional training posts required to meet the needs of the National Rural Generalist Pathways and agrees that these should be quarantined for the NRGP;
  • Support the position that doctors should not dispense pharmaceutical or other therapeutic products unless there is no reasonable alternative and, where dispensing does occur, it should not be undertaken for material gain;
  • Call on all Australian jurisdictions to recognise that enabling clinical lead and providing adequate time and resources is the means to both improve public hospital performance and to ensure attention is not diverted from high value care initiatives;
  • Call on the learned Colleges to ensure appropriate emphasis is placed on the importance of broad experience in a variety of clinical fields for selection into vocational training, and correct the current overemphasis on non-clinical qualifications and courses which is to the detriment of well-rounded trainees;
  • Further investigate how Medicare could be redesigned to support the central of role of GPs in providing long-term healthcare;
  • Undertake a nationwide survey of members to ascertain their views on limited registration in transition to retirement and retirement;
  • Establish practical recommendations that could be implemented into the healthcare system to address the underlying systemic factors that impede the health system’s ability to adequately address gender equality;
  • Reiterate support for equal opportunity in the medical workforce;
  • Support access by people with a mental illness to NDIS assessors with appropriate skills in psychosocial disability and cultural awareness;
  • Support further investigation into environmental sustainability measures that could be incorporated into health care across Australia;
  • Fund the development and maintenance of a reworked AMA schedule of fees with ongoing indexation firmly embedded in it, that is transparent, meaningful and defensible;
  • Note the UK case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba and its implications for doctors in Australia;
  • Consider the distortion to competition between exclusively private practice specialists and public hospital specialists with rights of private practice; and
  • Call on the Commonwealth Government to adopt… the Modified Monash Model of Classification for all its workforce and funding programs except where it can be demonstrated that MMM inconsistent with the policy objectives of a program. 





Published: 12 Jun 2018