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Our advocacy priorities for 2024-25 focus on the theme of "Restoring Confidence: Practical Solutions to Address Victoria's Healthcare System Challenges." These priorities build upon the initiatives we have been pursuing since May 2023. AMAV President, Dr Jill Tomlinson, talks us through them.

“Victorians want a healthcare system that provides quality, accessible safe healthcare. We have lived through unprecedented times, and there is much work to be done to restore confidence and improve workforce morale,” says AMA Victoria’s President, Dr Jill Tomlinson.

“The Victorian healthcare system delivers high quality care, but workforce pressures and the impact of the pandemic has left the medical workforce with low morale and extremely stretched resources. The continued expectation that we can do more with less, the increasing complexity of care, increasing cost of living pressures and access issues are contributing to despair and burnout among doctors.

“General practitioners lament the fragmentation of team-based general practice care by initiatives including pharmacy prescribing and priority primary care clinics, and the challenges of accessibility and affordability for their patients. Psychiatrists experienced significant challenges with communication around the implementation of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 and are concerned that care delivery is being limited by workforce and bed constraints despite increasing demand for services. “

AMA Victoria is committed to enhancing Victoria's healthcare system by focusing on key areas including—sustaining general practice, improving public hospitals, advancing digital health, supporting mental health, advocating for progressive public health measures, prioritising rural and regional health, lessening the administrative burdens placed on all medical practitioners, and addressing equity and diversity issues.

Restoring Confidence provides AMAV’s advocacy template for the year ahead. It focuses on three key areas or leading themes (general practice, public health services and mental health), and five contributing themes (digital health and technology, equity and diversity, regional and rural healthcare, administrative burden, public health).

“General practice is the most efficient part of our healthcare system and the workforce and funding crisis in general practice heightens the difficulties of managing patients who have increasingly complex care needs. We desperately need to bolster the general practice workforce through improvements in recruitment and retention; improve accessibility and affordability of quality primary care for Victorians; and reduce avoidable hospital presentations and admissions. We need to improve working conditions for public hospital doctors including in psychiatry, and address recruitment and retention factors, particularly in regional and rural areas.”

“Given the straitened state fiscal climate and the reality that much advocacy in 2024 will be directed at preventing cuts rather than proposing new expenditure, we have deliberately not used the term ‘budget submission’ this year. Instead, we’ve created series of priorities that encapsulates the policy and advocacy initiatives AMAV has been pursuing since May 2023. This deliberately presents nothing we haven’t discussed many times with government,” explains Dr Tomlinson.

"The 2024-25 priorities reinforce our messaging and are supported by many tangible, achievable solutions, which we strongly recommend the Victorian Government take up to resolve persistent issues, improve the healthcare system and usher in a more resilient and responsive era – one that advances a Victorian healthcare system that empowers doctors and enriches patient care.”

Advocacy priorities at a glance


Public health services

General practice

Mental health

We are advocating for…

Improvements to working conditions for public hospital doctors

  • restructuring health system governance
  • job security enhancement
  • adequate staffing levels
  • improved gender equity
  • improved implementation of employment terms and conditions
  • fair remuneration for unsocial hours
  • streamlined credentialing process
  • rural and regional infrastructure investment
  • carer support provisions
  • support for IMGs
  • increased transparency in workforce planning
  • oversight of specialist colleges
  • doctor to patient ratio standards


Reasonable and swift resolution of Doctor in Training class actions


Providing clarity regarding MBS billing in public health services


Transparency and appropriate consultation in reform of Victorian health services


General Practice Support and Recovery Strategy interventions:


Expanding Victorian virtual specialist consults to improve community access to specialist opinions


State-initiated primary care measures (e.g. pharmacy prescribing, Priority Primary Care Centres) to not further fragment GP-led, team-based care


Timely access to vaccines

Continuation of mental health service funding, given the

burden of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act and noting that mental health services were unable to be delivered at projected levels last financial year due to workforce and bed constraints


Improved communication from the Department of Health about implementation of the

Mental Health and Well Being Act, and Restrictive Interventions and Compulsory Assessment and Treatment policies


Solutions to enhance recruitment and retention in the mental health workforce, particularly those that address increasing rates of occupational violence and a lack of senior leadership


Reasserting the importance of the medical model in mental health reform

  • co-design of policy
  • embedding clinician executive decision-making authority within the Department
  • funding for appropriate remuneration to enable experienced clinicians to participate in such processes




Digital health and technology

Equity and diversity

Regional and rural healthcare

Administrative burden

Public health

We are advocating for…

Improved transfer of care particularly discharge summary content and delivery, and referrals and information sharing


Embedding protected time to perform clinical handover at the point of hospital discharge


Virtual care measures that support emergency care and general practice

Lifting digital maturity in health services across Victoria

Improving health information sharing

Reducing red tape through digital improvements


Availability and analysis of gender data within the workforce


Addressing the gender pay gap


Facilitation of participation, cultural safety, and inclusion of doctors from diverse backgrounds


Carer allowances or supports


Needs-based adjustment of medical school and training programs to provide pathways to specialties with shortfalls


Better support for IMGs, especially in rural settings


Recognition of prior learning from College training programs


Inclusion, fair selection and support for medical students with disability


Increase flexible training opportunities, including part time stand-alone positions


Improved racial literacy of healthcare workforce, and Ahpra

All trainees able to sit/apply to sit College and Fellowship exams while on parental leave

Fair and equitable registration fees

Please see AMAV/ASMOF(V)’s Ministieral Review Submission for more information on these initiatives


Rural infrastructure



Student training and recruitment investment


Increase medical student intake from rural areas


Increase rural exposure for metro students


Increase pay, allowances or subsidise expenses for doctors and students training or practising rurally


Ensure clinical services are adequately equipped


Require colleges to recruit trainees based on rural experience


Provide more rural training opportunities


Please see Please see AMAV/ASMOF(V)’s Ministieral Review Submission for more information on these initiatives



Reduction in duplication, unnecessary paperwork and streamlined workloads for healthcare workers


Eliminate automatic rejection of unnamed referrals by public hospital outpatient clinics


Substantial reduction in organisational expectations for doctors to provide pro bono services in completing forms and reports without payment


Improvements to Ahpra’s notifications process

Supervised injecting facility in the Melbourne CBD


Drug checking (pill testing) accessibility


Pharmacotherapy services (opioid replacement therapy)


More accessible chronic pain services for women and men


Progression of the aims of the Victorian Sustainable Healthcare Unit including developing sustainability KPIs, embedding sustainability metrics into procurement contracts and developing a roadmap for net zero healthcare emissions targets


Reduction in vaping related harms


Improved regulation and public safety, and reduced harms around e-Scooters