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Federal Council & Committees

AMA Federal Council 

The constitutional changes in 2014 place the Federal Council at the centre of medico-political policy development and debate. Its primary role is to: 

  • Develop the AMA’s medico-political policy, and review existing medico-political policy to ensure that it remains relevant;
  • Assist to ensure that the AMA’s medico-political policy represents the views of Members; and
  • Identify and engage with those sections of the medical profession that are underrepresented in the membership of the AMA.

Federal Council operates as a place to review policy which is generated by its Councils, committees and working groups. It acts as a forum to identify and debate emerging issues of relevance to the membership. It reviews and approves Position Statements which guide the AMA’s public policy positions. The Position Statements can be viewed on the AMA website.

Federal Council has the authority to appoint Councils, committees and working groups with appropriate terms of reference to assist it in the development of the AMA’s medico-political policies. The major Councils are:

  • Council of General Practice
  • Council of Doctors in Training
  • Council of Private Specialist Practice
  • Council of Public Hospital Doctors
  • Council of Rural Doctors

Council of General Practice (CGP)

CGP develops new, and revises existing, policy which reflects the views of the AMA's general practice (GP) members (including GP trainees). It works to ensure that GPs make tangible progress towards general practice being properly recognized, remunerated and integrated into the Australian health care system.

Council of Doctors in Training (CDT)

CDT represents the views and concerns of the AMA’s doctors in training members regarding professional and workplace issues. CDT reviews and develops policy on the implications for doctors in training of legislation and government policies affecting such issues as medical education and training; registration, entry into and progress through vocational training programs; restrictions on the nature or location of medical practice; part-time and flexible postgraduate training; safe working hours and workplace interaction with other health professionals.

CDT communicates with doctors in training generally and with other doctors in training organisations to inform them of AMA policy and actions on issues affecting them, canvassing their views, and encouraging them to engage with medico-political issues and promote membership of the AMA.

Council of Private Specialist Practice (CPSP)

CPSP represents the views of medical practitioners working in private specialist practice.  CPSP develops policy and reviews existing policy on relevant issues affecting the delivery of medical services in private specialist practice and the operation of private specialist practice.  It is the principal Council working with external organisations associated with the delivery of medical services in private specialist practice.

Council of Public Hospital Doctors (CPHD)

CPHD represents the views and concerns of the AMA’s public hospital doctor members regarding professional, industrial and workplace issues. CPHD looks at the implications for salaried doctors of legislation and government policies affecting salaried doctors issues such as: 

  • Funding and organisation of public hospitals;
  • Resources and infrastructure for medical education and training, including the supervision and teaching of medical undergraduates and junior doctors;
  • Funding and organisation of public sector medical research; and
  • Working conditions. 

In addition to the Councils there are several Committees of Federal Council which contribute to the policy issues considered by the Council.

Council of Rural Doctors (CRD)

CRD develops new, and revises existing, policy on issues that relate to the delivery of health services in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia; and regional, rural and remote medical and workforce issues.

Ethics and Medico-Legal Committee

The Ethics and Medico-Legal Committee develops new, and revises existing, policy on ethical and medico-legal issues which relate to the medical profession including guidelines for members on these issues.

Health Financing and Economics Committee

The Health Financing and Economics Committee develops new, and revises existing, policy on the economic and clinical impact of healthcare financing and funding arrangements in Australia. It examines the financing and delivery of healthcare, particularly as it affects the ethical practice of medicine and medical practitioners.

The Committee looks at the structure of the healthcare system in Australia, including public hospital funding; private health insurance; the Medicare Benefits Schedule; and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule. It also looks at the economics of private medical practice; the management and development of the AMA List of Medical Services and Fees; and the infrastructure and funding of Australian health research. 

Medical Workforce Committee

The Medical Workforce Committee develops new, and revises existing, policy on medical practitioner training and education; medical workforce planning; the corporatisation of medical practice and its implications for the medical workforce; and the recruitment and retention of medical practitioners.

Medical Practice Committee

The Medical Practice Committee develops new, and revises existing, policy on the legal framework for the practice of medicine in Australia, and registration requirements; safety and quality in healthcare delivery; the professional and financial aspects of the medical profession’s relationships with private health insurers, third party payers and private hospitals; the development, management and regulation of scopes of practice of non-medical health practitioners; medical indemnity; and the regulation and funding of medicines, medical devices, and medical services.

The Committee also looks at the provision of medical care in the aged care sector and to people with disabilities; and ehealth. 

Task Force on Indigenous Health

The Task Force on Indigenous Health was set up to support the President to give Indigenous Health issues prominence and to provide him/her with well-informed responses as required. The Task Force members include representatives of Federal Council and advisers from a range of Indigenous health groups.

The Task Force aims to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination in health; support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health representative bodies to decrease health inequalities; enhance the responsiveness of the medical profession as a whole to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues by educating and informing AMA members; and raise public awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues.