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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
It is incredible that the Federal Parliamentary inquiry into the impact of Fly-In Fly-Out in Australia had taken more than a year and a half and yet had only come up with the most obvious conclusions and recommendations, the Australian Medical Association (WA) said.
“The Parliamentary report is a welcome step forward in examining the impact of FIFO on the health and the economy of Australia. But for it to take as long as it did, and to be punctuated by two overseas research trips, raises questions about how serious members of the Committee really were about their subject,” AMA (WA) President
Dr Richard Choong said.
“It is pleasing that the Committee has recommended further research by the Federal Government into an overall plan to handle the impact of FIFO on health and others issues in Australia – exactly what the AMA (WA) called for in August 2011 and again in January 2012.”
Dr Choong said it was now up to the Federal Government to take immediate action to accept and implement the recommendations.
“Since we first proposed many of these recommendations in mid-2011, the impact of FIFO on health issues has become even more serious. Cost cutting steps taken recently by some mining companies are also having an impact on the provision of health services,” Dr Choong said.
“The Federal Government has to act immediately on the recommendations and not allow them to be lost in the smoke of the Federal Election campaign,” Dr Choong said.
He said it was obvious that the Committee had taken heed of the proposals made by the AMA (WA) and an extensive survey conducted of AMA (WA) members.
“We are very glad to have taken much of the lead on many of these issues, especially the health of FIFO workers when they are off work, the impact of FIFO on mental and sexual health and associated issues.
“The evidence given to the Committee by immediate past AMA (WA) President
A/Prof David Mountain was especially powerful and was recognised in the report as were our calls for more research to be conducted into the subject,” Dr Choong said.
“FIFO is not a cancer on Australia or a salvation for our cities as suggested by the report’s title. FIFO is a reality and is having a major impact on a range of health issues on thousands of Australians and their communities.
“The time has come to deal with the impact of FIFO on Australians,” he said.
“Today’s report is a reasonable start.”
For further comment or to contact Dr Choong, please call Robert Reid: