The AMA is a powerful advocacy and lobbying body, and speaks out on issues of concern to the profession and patients nationally and on a state-by-state basis.
While the federal AMA takes the lead on national issues, working with the states, the AMA(SA) focuses on South Australian issues and activity.
We have a strong interest in public health, and the SA branch is known in particular for its commitment to pursuing road safety measures.
Public hospitals are another key area of concern and interest, as is medical research and medical workforce and training issues - in particular in rural areas and for our upcoming graduates and trainees.
Health priorities for 2013
The AMA(SA) has highlighted a range of health priorities for 2013 in our advocacy and media comment. National priorities include Indigenous health, mental health and aged care; better cooperation between the Commonwealth and states for public hospital funding and medical training; getting the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) right; cutting red tape; the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS); and improving the transition between hospital and GP care.
State priorities include the question of what The Queen Elizabeth Hospital services will look like; where the funding to boost services at Lyell McEwin Hospital is to come from; what the New Royal Adelaide Hospital (NRAH) will and will not be able to provide in the future; and future planning for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital relocation. Questions around service planning and configuration at our hospitals were raised and discussed at a SA heads of colleges meeting convened by the AMA(SA) and SA Health. Many questions remain unanswered and the clock is ticking with the NRAH set to open in 2016.
Public hospital bed numbers are a high priority, and the AMA(SA) strongly opposes closure of mental health beds at the Margaret Tobin Centre based on modern world data. Other priorities include a reduction in bureaucratic costs with more responsibility and resources redirected to the front line; and support for preventative and primary care programs.