AMA National Conference 2019 – We Want To Hear Your Voice

 Colleagues, partners, and guests - local, interstate, and especially those from overseas - welcome to beautiful Brisbane.

We have just experienced the 2019 Federal Election, with all its thrills and spills, but now that is out of the way we can all focus on a much bigger national event for our Association – the AMA National Conference.

There will be plenty happening.

The formal policy sessions are highly topical and at the heart of how we care for our patients and care for ourselves every day, and how we will perform our important work into the future.

The key sessions are:

  • Doctors’ Health – putting the spotlight on how doctors can and should look after their own health, and the ongoing barriers to that care
  • Aged Care – the key role of doctors in improving clinical care for older Australians in an environment where governments are facing greater financial constraints;
  • Artificial Intelligence – how artificial intelligence will change the way we practise medicine, but also introduce a new range of ethical, professional, and workforce considerations;
  • Mental Health – the changing role of our mental health system, and the key advocacy challenges for the AMA to ensure services provide continuity of care between the ED and the GP; and
  • Medical Workforce – how we deal with an oversupply of doctors, the maldistribution of doctors, and how we can make vocational training work best for all Australian communities in need of quality medical care.

Following the outstanding success last year of our very first grassroots policy development debates ‘from the floor of conference’, we are doing it again this year. We asked our members via the State and Territory AMAs to submit policy debate topics to be discussed by delegates ‘live’ at Conference. Everybody and anybody can have their say. This is AMA democracy at work. 

The policy debate topics this year include:

  • Paid family and domestic violence leave.
  • Should all GP registrars be employed under single employer contracts?
  • Alcohol use in pregnancy.
  • Introducing targets for rural research funding and facilities.
  • The implications of non-fatal strangulation in family violence.
  • Sixteen per cent of the Federal health budget should be the mandated minimum spend on general practice.
  • Credentialed pharmacists in rural and remote areas.
  • Implementation of a National Credentialing Platform.

But there is much, much more to Conference than work and talk.

The Conference’s social events will connect you with AMA leaders and your colleagues from across the country. The breakfast roundtables on Sunday will also provide an opportunity for delegates to gain more expertise in specialised areas of interest.

I encourage all to participate and speak up about what matters to you and your patients. Your opinions and views will inform our advocacy. The more that members get involved in this year’s Conference, the better the AMA can represent your interests, and advocate for a better health system.

As always, we will be presenting many awards (for excellence in medical research, excellence in public health, lobbying, advocacy, and communication), the winner of the AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship will be announced, and the recipients of the prestigious AMA Gold Medal, President’s Award, and Excellence in Healthcare, among others, will be revealed.

There will be new additions to the AMA Roll of Fellows.

Social events include the Gala Dinner and the AMA Leadership Development Dinner, with high profile guest speaker, Dr Barbara McAneny, President of the American Medical Association.

On behalf of the AMA Federal Council and Board, I wish you all – VIPs, special guests and speakers, delegates, AMA members, overseas visitors from international medical organisations, and AMA staff – a successful, informative, entertaining, and enjoyable Conference and networking event.

Dr Tony Bartone
Federal AMA President