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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
A specialist anaesthetist has been elected to serve as President of the Australian Medical Association (WA) for the next year.
Dr Andrew Miller was elected last night at the AMA (WA)’s Annual General Meeting held at AMA (WA) headquarters in Nedlands.
Dr Miller said he was extremely proud to have been elected to head the AMA (WA) which for more than a century has represented medical professionals in the State and fought for improving public health and health services.
Dr Miller served as Vice-President for the past two years under former President Dr Michael Gannon, who was elected AMA Federal President at the end of last month.
Dr Miller was educated at Wesley College and the University of WA and eventually followed the path set by his father, Colonel Ian Miller, into anaesthesia.
Colonel Ian Miller was head of anaesthesia at Fremantle Hospital for almost thirty years, and served as a doctor in the Australian Army that included a tour of duty in Vietnam.
“I have an extensive medical background and I’ve worked in both public and private medicine. I’ve also worked in General Practice. While that experience was relatively short, some of the best experiences I have in medicine come from my time in general practice where you are actually the primary doctor getting to know the patient one-on-one,” Dr Miller said.
“I also have a degree in law that has led to my involvement in governance and strategy for national organisations, operating in the areas of medical indemnity, policy and advocacy for the medical profession,” he said.
Dr Miller is also a director of several commercial enterprises and is a Graduate and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr Miller said he was excited to lead the AMA (WA) in the run-up to the coming state election, to be held in March 2017.
“I’m looking forward to discussing the planned health policies of all political parties,” Dr Miller said.
“As AMA (WA) President I will favour the political party, be it government or opposition, that promises to genuinely consult with the AMA on changes to the health system and how best to find savings and improve morale and engagement.”
“Unfortunately bureaucrat influence has taken precedence over many parts of health and they are making substantial changes in order to cut hospital budgets, while leaving clinicians in the dark, destroying valuable culture” he said.
“Bureaucrats are not the system. They are an important part of the system but they should not run the health system. It should be run in true partnership with doctors and nurses and the allied health care professions who actually treat patients.
“What we want is the most efficient system for the dollars available. If the pie is shrinking and cuts have to be made then the clinicians are the best people to decide what should go.
“We don’t decide how many dollars are there to spend but nobody knows better than we as a group do how to get the most effective spend of those dollars.
“I am proud to have spent my working life in medicine, and I am proud to have served in a number of positions in the AMA.
Dr Miller thanked the outgoing President for his strong leadership over the last two years.
“In one of the most difficult climates for medicine in many years, especially when health was being heavily targeted for budget cuts, Dr Gannon provided a strong voice and continued to fight for public health and patient care,” he said.
Dr Miller said he would stand against anything that would threaten the relationship between doctors and patients.
Dr Omar Khorshid and Dr Mark Duncan-Smith were elected as AMA (WA) Vice Presidents at the Annual General Meeting.