AMA policy sets agenda | AMA (WA)


Medical professionals in writing

AMA policy sets agenda

Friday December 24, 2021

Australian Medical Association (WA)

As Western Australia grappled with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the AMA (WA) has continued to strongly advocate for a safer and more effective health system.

WA’s flawed hotel quarantine system and our ability to handle a COVID-19 outbreak dominated headlines in early 2021, as the AMA (WA) commissioned a COVID-19 Resilience Survey, inviting every doctor in the State to have their say on how prepared WA’s health system was.

Ironically, within days of its release, WA’s Perth and Peel region were thrown into lockdown following a case of COVID-19 in the community, which stemmed from a hotel quarantine breach.

The State Election in March 2021 was the focus of much of the AMA (WA)’s advocacy, with former President Dr Andrew Miller launching the AMA (WA)’s 2021 State Election Priorities.

In the document, the AMA (WA) called for long-overdue action on public health policies now, to generate health gains in the future.

In April, a freefall in workplace morale at Bunbury Regional Hospital resulted in the AMA (WA) reporting the situation to WorkSafe WA as a matter of urgency.

This came on the back of an AMA (WA) survey, the dire results of which led then President Dr Andrew Miller to visit BRH.

The subsequent WorkSafe investigation which spanned five-months, resulted in BRH being officially ordered to improve its “toxic” workplace culture.

A focus on health system morale, safety and quality and governance continued to be a priority for the AMA (WA)’s new President, Dr Mark Duncan-Smith, who was elected in June.

The launch of the AMA (WA) Action Agenda in August 2021 presented viable solutions to the McGowan Government, designed to prevent system collapse. While some of the AMA (WA)’s proposed solutions are yet to be enacted by the WA Government, there has been a commitment to increase public hospital bed capacity and review WA Health Corporate Governance.

The Government did attend the AMA (WA) Emergency Care Summit, which was held in late October.

As we look towards 2022, the AMA (WA) is focusing on ensuring WA prepares for living with COVID-19 as it opens up to Australia and the rest of the world, alongside minimising risk of the health system being overrun.


In addition to our relentless political advocacy, the AMA (WA) continues to actively contribute to parliamentary inquiries, health system reviews and legislative consultations, presenting the views of WA’s medical profession:

  • WA Police Review of the Mandatory Testing (Infectious Diseases) Act 2014
  • Submission to WA Department of Justice regarding Health Services
  • Launch of the AMA (WA) Survey on the Resilience of WA’s Health System
  • Review of the WA Health Consent to Treatment Policy
  • Launch of the AMA (WA) COVID-19 Checklist
  • Review of draft voluntary assisted dying information resources
  • Review of WA Health Promotion Foundation Act 2016 (WA)
  • Inquiry into the delivery of ambulance services in Western Australia
  • Department of Communities consultation for Establishing an Office for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence
  •  Department of Communities on the consultation on the Authorisation of Restrictive Practices
  • Department of Health on their policy related to the Mandatory Testing (Infectious Diseases) Act 2014 WA
  • Infrastructure WA on the State Infrastructure Strategy Draft
  • Launch of the AMA (WA) Senior Doctor
  • Morale+Engagement Survey
  • Parliamentary Inquiry into sexual harassment of women on FIFO mine sites
  • Review of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA)
  • Mental Health Commission on review of mental health services for children and adolescents aged 0-18
  • Consultation of Workers Compensation and Injury Management Bill 2021 (Consultation Draft)
  • Parliamentary Inquiry into response of Western Australian Schools to Climate Change.