Healthcare at a ‘crossroads’: new AMA president

Western Australian obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Michael Gannon was elected the new president of the federal AMA at the association’s recent national conference.Upon his election, Dr Gannon said the Australian health syst was at a crossroads, making the role of the AMA and its relationship with government more important than it had ever been. The AMA needs strong leadership with an appetite to engage constructively with government, whichever political party is in power, he said. There are currently reviews into the Medicare Benefits Schedule, private health insurance, and primary healthcare underway. It is vital that the profession has a strong voice in Canberra and is willing to bark on constructive interaction with government in responding to the recommendations that these reports will inevitably include. If the government does not talk to the AMA and vice versa, we are both poorer, and it is our patients who suffer most. Dr Gannon replaces Professor Brian Owler, whose two-year AMA presidential term has come to an end.Dr Gannon is the head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the St John of God Subiaco Hospital, and prior to his recent appointment, was the president of the AMA’s WA branch and a former AMA WA vice president.He has been involved with the AMA since he was a medical student, and has been chair of the AMA’s ethics and medico-legal committee for the past two years.Victorian GP Dr Tony Bartone has also been elected vice president of the AMA. Dr Bartone is the outgoing president of AMA Victoria and a mber of the AMA federal council.Drs Gannon and Bartone were both inducted into the AMA Roll of Fellows during the AMA national conference, which was held in Canberra from 27 to 29 May.

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