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AMA Victoria welcomes the Medical Board’s commitment to improve the health of doctors

7 March 2013

Yesterday the Medical Board of Australia announced that it would provide funding for external doctors’ health services across the country from 2013-14.

There has been uncertainty regarding the future of these valuable schemes for some time. This welcome announcement comes after extensive lobbying from the Australian Medical Association Victoria and other key stakeholders.

The AMA will now work closely with the Medical Board to design a sustainable model of accessible services to help doctors in need.

It is widely understood that doctors are experts in helping others with health issues, but many doctors deny or delay attending to their own health care.

The model in Victoria, the Victorian Doctors’ Health Program (VDHP), is a vital service.

The VDHP has helped doctors in a number of ways and provides assistance when doctors need it most.

  • Each year, around 200 doctors approach the VDHP for the first time, seeking assistance with stress, mental health problems, substance use and other health issues
  • It supplies confidential and sensitive counselling services (within the bounds of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009)
  • Each case is dealt with individually and a range of interventions are offered in response

AMA Victoria recommends that the Medical Board look at the success of the Victorian model in developing its approach to this issue.

AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis is available for comment.

For further information please contact Luke Buesnel on 0437 450 506.

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