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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The Australian Medical Association last night re-elected Dr Richard Choong for a second term as State President.
One of the youngest Presidents in the history of the AMA (WA), Dr Choong, a Port Kennedy General Practitioner, was elected unopposed at the Association’s Annual General Meeting held in Nedlands. He was first elected as State President in June 2012.
Dr Choong said it was a great honour to once again be elected President and thanked the AMA members and staff for their continued support and encouragement.
The AMA’s strong voice in WA depends on a strong membership base. And I am happy to report that the Association’s membership is at an all-time high. The past 12 months have seen us actively work towards recruiting new members and in this, we have been most successful,” Dr Choong said.
“Driving membership will remain a particular focus over this next term, but ensuring the voices of existing members are heard will always take priority,” he added.
As practice principal of Port Kennedy Medical Clinic in the fast-growing Rockingham region,
Dr Choong knows only too well the major issues and concerns that fellow GPs have to contend with across the State.
“Over the past year, we have put General Practice back on the health map,” Dr Choong said.
“As the foot soldiers of the health system and as the clinicians who are most in touch with the community, GPs need proper support, adequate resources, funding and most of all, respect.
“It is certainly disrespectful on the part of government to ignore the cries of GPs doing it tough in rural WA and even certain metropolitan pockets,” Dr Choong said.
In the run-up to the State Election earlier this year, the AMA (WA) released its list of Critical Health Issues and recommendations to the Government. These included Research, Rural Health Care, Capacity Issues, Mental Health, and Relief from the Efficiency Dividend.
“The State Government has committed additional funds to Research and while it may have fallen short of the figure the Association had wanted, it will go a long way to secure WA’s medical future,” Dr Choong said.
But he stressed more concrete action was needed especially in the areas of Mental and Rural Health.
“These are the critical ongoing issues that WA Health is grappling with and I will continue to lobby the corridors of power on these matters.