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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
Dr Richard Choong, a Port Kennedy General Practitioner, was elected unopposed at the AMA (WA) Annual General Meeting held in Nedlands.
Dr Choong is husband to small business owner Carolyn and father of 6-year-old Alexandra. He was born in Malaysia and educated in Melbourne and Dublin, Ireland. Moving to Western Australia in 1993, he practiced as a GP in a range of clinics before establishing himself in the growing southern suburbs of Perth. In 1998 he opened the Port Kennedy Medical Clinic to serve the fast growing Rockingham region.
Dr Choong also serves as chairman of the Australian General Practice Accreditation Ltd (AGPAL) – the largest accreditation organisation of general practice in Australia.
Away from his practice Dr Choong enjoys sending time with his family, is a keen golfer and a fishing and photography enthusiast.
Dr Choong said it was a great honour to be elected AMA (WA) President and thanked outgoing President Associate Professor David Mountain for two great years of service.
“As the AMA President in WA, I realise I won’t just serve medical professionals but also the general public. I believe my responsibility is to everyone who has contact with medicine in our great state,” Dr Choong said.
“It is daunting to follow A/Professor David Mountain as President of the AMA (WA). He has left an enormous record of achievement that will be hard to emulate,” Dr Choong said.
Dr Choong said he was guided by a number of principles, especially a desire to always do what is right.
“One of the often ignored areas of need is patient waiting times. The quality of life for Western Australians all over the state is being compromised by unacceptably lengthy waiting periods for required treatments. This is not only a concern in relation to the person’s condition but also the stress this places on them and their families,” Dr Choong said.
Dr Choong said in addition to representing the needs of the public and private hospital sector he intended to use the position of AMA (WA) president to emphasise the importance of general practice and public health related issues.
“I want to promote the role and value of general practice. With a State election due in March next year and a Federal election due by the end of next year, it is time to focus government attention on that part of health which touches most people – general practice,” Dr Choong said.
Other issues he intends to focus on include mental health, rural and remote health services, workforce issues, a lack of funding and resources for training junior doctors and continuing pressure on the Government in relation to the 4 Hour Rule.