CEO Update - Concerning changes for the Profession

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AMA Queensland is very concerned about an upcoming proposed change that will undermine the confidence of the profession in the National Regulation and Accreditation Scheme.

The change

Health Ministers at the March COAG Health Council have agreed to introduce changes to the National Law (Health Practitioner Regulation National Law) which include, as a key reform, enabling community members to be appointed as chairperson of the National Boards. This covers the 14 health professions currently regulated under the National Law and in particular, the Medical Board of Australia.

Queensland, due to its unicameral parliament is the host jurisdiction for this Bill, which will be introduced mid-year.

We have fought long and hard to see the Chair of the Queensland Medical Board revert back to a doctor and we are now faced with the same fight at national level, starting in Queensland.

This is an issue of great concern to all doctors. The Chair is a very influential and challenging position that requires a detailed understanding of the practice of medicine.  It is essential that the Chair of the National Medical Board of Australia remains a medical practitioner and we vigorously oppose a non-medical practitioner Chair being considered for such a crucial appointment.

Actions to date

•    We have written and spoken to the Queensland Health Minister to reconsider his position, to no avail.

•    We are now approaching Members of Parliament to encourage them to vote against the Bill.  We are also speaking with Queensland members of the other national    boards to gauge their level of concern for their own boards to have someone outside their profession chairing their national board.

Your involvement

•     We are seeking medical practitioners' support and ask them to inform their local Member of Parliament (MP). To receive the template letter that can be sent directly to local MPs to oppose the proposed amendment, email c.lesevre@amaq.com.au.

Together we have a stronger voice. We need the entire profession to be involved to persuasively put this issue forward to Government.

For further information, please contact Chiara Lesèvre on (07) 3872 2209 or email c.lesevre@amaq.com.au.