Communications and advocacy update: 23 February
23 February 2023
Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria is working on for members, including:
- Commencement of Victorian Parliament for 2023 - Political advocacy
- Independent Review Panel into compulsory treatment criteria and alignment of decision-making laws
- Victorian Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Partnership Action Plan.
Commencement of Victorian Parliament for 2023- Political advocacy
Since Victorian Parliament commenced sitting for 2023 on 2 February, AMA Victoria has met with senior politicians from the ALP, Liberal Party, and Greens to advocate for members and the Victorian medical profession on a variety of fronts.
Amongst other issues, we have held discussions on:
- Putting general practice on a more sustainable footing (at the state level, this can be done by incentivising junior doctors to take up a career in general practice through adoption of a single employer model for GP registrars, and, for those already in practice, by abandoning retrospectively applied payroll tax assessments and putting in place a moratorium period for payroll tax liability);
- Concerns regarding the Victorian pharmacy prescribing trial (we conveyed in no uncertain terms our view that this is a retrograde step for Victoria and the health of all Victorians).
- reasserting the importance of the medical model in the mental health reform process (this can be achieved by drawing upon the wisdom and insights of medical practitioners at the clinical coalface, and by re-orientating funding priorities towards acute medically required care).
- Support for the Health Services Information Sharing Bill (in our view, the net benefit to the community at large and individual patients significantly outweighs any potential risks).
- Addressing profound structural and cultural issues within the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.
- Proactive planning for the closure of Epworth Geelong Maternity Services (we have been assured by the Government that there is capacity across Geelong’s St John of God Hospital and the University Hospital Geelong despite the likely impact of an influx of new patients across these facilities).
- The need for increased funding for specialist inpatient services and beds specifically dedicated to eating disorder care.
AMA Victoria is willing to meet with elected representatives from across the political spectrum to advocate on issues of importance to our members and the medical profession. If there is an issue that you believe warrants raising with Victoria’s elected representatives, please contact Senior Policy Adviser, Lewis Horton, at LewisH@amavic.com.au.
Independent Review Panel into compulsory treatment criteria and alignment of decision-making laws
Last week, AMA Victoria’s Section of Psychiatry met with the Independent Review Panel tasked with providing advice/recommendations to government into compulsory treatment criteria and alignment of decision-making laws in Victoria.
AMA Victoria felt it was a very worthwhile meeting in which the Chair (Shane Marshall AM) provided an excellent opportunity for all of us to contribute and to speak frankly and freely.
The Chair and Panel members were open minded and asked questions that caused us to reflect deeply on some of the more challenging issues being faced by the Panel.
We were particularly appreciative of the fact that our involvement was at an earlier stage of the independent review process, which is not always the case with similar government-initiated consultations.
Our Section of Psychiatry relayed to the Panel that AMA Victoria is happy to assist as its process evolves in the period ahead - whether that be through advice, similar formal meetings, provision of research literature, or dealing with practical real-world issues and challenges.
Victorian Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Partnership Action Plan
The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and the Victorian Department of Health are seeking input into the Victorian Aboriginal Health & Wellbeing Partnership Action Plan. The plan has a particular focus on prevention and cultural safety actions for Victorian Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing. If you would like to contribute to AMA Victoria’s response, please contact LewisH@amavic.com.au.