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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The future of health – especially changes in employment opportunities in the sector – was the major subject of discussion at the recent AMA (WA) Intern Sundowner.
Held at Acqua Viva on the magnificent Swan River, WA Health Minister the Hon. Roger Cook congratulated our State’s newest medical graduates and spoke of the dramatic changes in the health system that they would experience in their working lives.
“I always take the opportunity to come to the AMA intern events.” Mr Cook said.
“Not only is the AMA incredibly effective as an industrial organisation but it’s a great advocate for health and healthcare. I commend you to get involved with the AMA as it’s such an important contributor to health and our health debate.”
In front of an audience of around 100 interns, the Minister went on to tell the audience that the Government’s Sustainable Health Review was about to be released and that its recommendations would help provide a road map for health in the future.
“These recommendations will seek to provide a blueprint for the health system for the next 10 years and give us a guide to how we can best invest our resources, not so much in terms of bricks and mortar and hospitals, but the way we configure our services, the way we engage our workforce and the way in which we engage the community. This is about delivering a health system of which we can be proud,” he said.
Mr Cook reminded the interns that they were the ones responsible for the future of health.
As Health Minister, I can protect you from a lot of things, but the one thing I cannot protect you from is change.
“The procedures you learn today and tomorrow will soon be done by nurses and other staff.
“The intuitive judgement you make about the way you deliver healthcare in the future will be done alongside algorithms and artificial intelligence.
Perhaps giving an insight into some of the recommendations we could see in the Sustainable Health Review, Minister Cook said the future of health was going to be about collaboration.
“Now and in the future, more than ever, it’s going to be about your capacity to think, your capacity to collaborate, your capacity to work in a multi-disciplinary environment, not just with allied professionals, not just nurses, but with people with an IT background, people with a logistics background, people who come from a whole different perspective.
AMA (WA) President Dr Omar Khorshid congratulated the interns for making medicine their career choice and said the main item of advice that he could pass on after 20 years in the health sector was the value of getting involved, whether it be through the AMA or through craft groups.
“By coming together you will find common interests, common understanding and common answers to problems. I can recommend it,” Dr Khorshid said.
Co-Chair of the AMA (WA) Doctors in Training Committee Dr Jason Laurens also spoke about the value of membership.
“Your AMA membership is extremely important, because membership numbers provide power,” Dr Laurens told the audience.
“When we go to the Minister, we can say that we represent a majority of doctors and we can say this is what we want and this is what we need to work efficiently as doctors.”
Dr Laurens advised the interns not to forget about their own health.
“We work horrible hours and we are with people at their most vulnerable time – but we need to look after ourselves.”
Dr Laurens also reminded the interns that the annual AMA (WA) DiT Hospital Health Check would be held this year, to add data from a junior doctor perspective to use to: “argue our case, even embarrass hospitals on their practices”.