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Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria is working on for members, including:

  • Meetings with Victorian Health and Mental Health Ministers
  • Inquiry into Women’s Pain
  • Proposed regulation reform for medication administration by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers.


Meetings with Victorian Health and Mental Health Ministers

AMA Victora has recently held productive meetings with the Victorian Health and Mental Health Ministers. Our discussions canvassed the following matters:

  • Potential directions of the Health Services Plan, noting that this has the potential to achieve sensible reforms in Victoria, but also that both the ultimate directions and the nature of the implementation will influence the sector.
  • The pending release of the report of the Ministerial Review into public hospital medical staff work and employment arrangements, and furthering the outcomes of this report.
  • Rural GP Single Employer Model trial planning for 2024-25.
  • The upcoming release of the Priority Primary Care Centre review report, noting the March 2024 PAEC recommendation for release of this document in mid-2024.
  • The necessity for long term changes to address the annual issues of shortages of influenza vaccines for general practice.
  • Concerns with scope of practice encroachment.
  • Development of enabling legislation for the general practice payroll tax partial exemption, noting that we are pleased that the Treasurer has offered general practice no retrospectivity and a further one year amnesty on payroll tax for practices that have not been paying payroll tax on GP contractor earnings.
  • The Peninsula Health penalty hearing (Doctor In Training overtime class actions), scheduled for July- we are advocating for the Government to resolve these actions through negotiation and settlement, noting the NSW Government settlement of $230 million.
  • Enlisting the Government’s support in advocating to Ahpra for equity in registration fees for all healthcare workers.
  • Concern about healthcare access, public hospital logjam and long emergency department wait times as we head into winter. Victorian public health services are experiencing high demand and consistently failing to meet the 4 hour length of stay target and the 8 hour target for transfer to a mental health bed. We discussed the need for more mental health beds, additional pre-hospital interventions to reduce demand, and improvements in getting patients out of hospitals to address the hospital logjam.
  • The need for balanced mental health reform, which considers OH&S considerations, allowing the medical workforce time to prepare and adjust.
  • Sensible drug reform measures.

AMA Victoria is committed to continuing dialogue and collaboration with the Government and other relevant stakeholders on these important matters. Our goal is to advocate for the best interests of our members, the medical community, and the health of all Victorians.


Inquiry into Women’s Pain

Women face real and enduring challenges when seeking care and support for pain.

Chronic pain affects a higher proportion of girls and women than men around the world; however, women are less likely to receive treatment. Research has also shown that women generally experience more recurrent pain, more severe pain, and longer-lasting pain than men.

The Victorian Government’s Inquiry into Women's Pain aims to address the challenges faced by girls and women seeking care for pain. The Inquiry into Women's Pain will provide recommendations to inform improved models of care and service delivery for Victorian girls and women experiencing pain in the future.

AMA Victoria has long advocated for timely access to public multidisciplinary pain management services for women (and all Victorians), led by pain specialists. Victoria performs worse than other jurisdictions in this area, with extremely long waiting times for pain services.

In addition to our calls for public multidisciplinary pain management, our calls for greater women’s leadership within health services are a second foundational element (if medical women were greater supported then female patients would be better supported and listened to, and their pain managed).

As we prepare our submission for this inquiry (due by 31 July), we are interested in hearing from members if additional pillars can be added to:

  • More public hospital pain management services, and
  • Increased representation of women doctors in leadership positions in public health services.

We invite members to share their experiences, insights, and reflections with Senior Policy Adviser, Lewis Horton, at [email protected]. We would appreciate your valuable input in shaping our submission. AMA Victoria once again thanks those members who have already kindly shared their thoughts.


Proposed regulation reform for medication administration by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers

Advised by the Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Partnership Forum (AHWPF), the lead decision making body for Aboriginal health and wellbeing in Victoria, the Victorian Department of Health is proposing to allow registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners (ATSIHPs) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers (ATSIHWs) to possess and administer specified scheduled medications under the supervision of an authorised prescriber (medical or nurse practitioner). This follows an earlier regulatory reform authorising registered ATSIHPs to administer vaccines. More details on the proposed reform can be found here.

AMA Victoria is keen to hear members’ perspectives on this proposal, which will be relayed to the Department. Members can share their views with Senior Policy Adviser, Lewis Horton, at [email protected].