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26 Jul 2016

Victoria and Tasmania have joined the new $2 million national network of doctors’ health services, paving the way for doctors and medical students in both States to access advisory, referral, and advocacy services.

The announcement follows the finalisation of a funding agreement between Doctors’ Health Services Pty Ltd (DrHS) and the Victorian Doctors’ Health Program (VDHP), with VDHP contracted to deliver doctors’ health services in Victoria and Tasmania.

The AMA and the Medical Board of Australia welcomed the milestone, which brings Victoria and Tasmania into the national network with Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, welcomed the funding arrangement as one of the final steps toward ensuring that all doctors and medical students have access to high quality health care, no matter where they live and work.

“The AMA has strong links to existing doctors’ health services across the country and the VDHP is no exception,” Dr Gannon said. “I am pleased that the VDHP now has secure funding for its advisory and support services for doctors as part of the national program.”

For Tasmania, the VDHP has committed to working with AMA Tasmania to ensure strong local input into the design of services and that they are locally accessible.

The Medical Board is funding DrHS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the AMA, to coordinate the delivery of doctors’ health services for doctors and medical students in all States and Territories.

Medical Board Chair, Dr Joanna Flynn, said a report on doctors’ health services across Australia had found that the level of support available varied from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

“Victoria has long-established expertise in the area of doctors’ health and wellbeing, and we are pleased that the VDHP has agreed to support the provision of services in Tasmania,” Dr Flynn said. “This will help to improve the level of support given to the medical profession in Tasmania.”

DrHS Chair, Dr Janette Randall, said that she was pleased with the progress made in establishing the national program since DrHS began operations last year. “We are working to finalise arrangements for services in Western Australia, which will complete the rollout of the national network,” Dr Randall said.

26 July 2016

CONTACT:        Kirsty Waterford                02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 26 Jul 2016