Dr Duncan-Smith said he felt proud and privileged to assume leadership of the Association at such a critical juncture for WA’s health system and public health in general.
A University of Western Australia graduate, Dr Duncan-Smith is a consultant plastic surgeon and burns surgeon, who played a crucial role in the Bali Bombing Disaster of 2002 as one of the two treating Consultant Burn Surgeons. He has experienced first-hand what can be achieved with a medical workforce working in unison with medical administration towards a common goal, with the excellent health outcomes for survivors of both the Bali Bombing and Ashmore Reef disasters.
He is a humanitarian doctor, undertaking 15 overseas volunteer surgical aide trips in his career, including Mongolia, Indonesia and Vanuatu.
The new AMA (WA) President said he looked forward to working on real solutions to address the many challenges evident in the health system.
“The AMA (WA) does not shy away from its responsibility to pursue the highest standard of health for the WA public and provide frank and fearless advice as we see fit,” Dr Duncan-Smith said.
“We appreciate the need to have open channels to ventilate our differences and find solutions where they are available.
“However, there is simply no avoiding the crisis in the public hospital system evident in chronic ambulance ramping and the lack of hospital beds.
“I look forward to articulating my own vision, the policies of the AMA (WA) and taking practical solutions to these issues to the Government and the public.”
Dr Duncan-Smith paid tribute to Immediate Past President Dr Andrew Miller.
“Dr Miller resumed his term in 2019, but no one could have foreseen what befell global health in 2020 with the onset of the pandemic,” he said.
“Dr Miller never shirked the workload or his leadership role as an informed, authoritative voice serving the interests of the medical profession and the wider public.
“His advocacy on COVID-19 has made him a widely sought-after commentator in local media and throughout the nation.
“During his term he helped steer State legislation and the implementation of Voluntary Assisted Dying to an outcome on 1 July this year that is safer, fairer and more workable than the original proposal.
“Dr Miller’s exceptional skills and passion will not be lost to the AMA (WA), as he remains on our Board as Immediate Past President and will have a role in our media team going forward,” Dr Duncan-Smith said.
Dr Katharine Noonan and Dr David McCoubrie were elected as AMA (WA) Vice-Presidents.
ABOUT THE AMA (WA)
- The Western Australian branch of the British Medical Association (BMA) was established in 1899, with Dr A.R. Waylen the inaugural president.
- There were 62 presidents of the Western Australian branch of the BMA (all one-year terms).
- Dr D.M. Clement was the last president of the BMA branch, in 1960 and the inaugural president of the Australian Medical Association (WA), in 1961.
- Dr Mark Duncan-Smith becomes the 45th president of the AMA (WA).
- Under the Constitution of the AMA (WA), a President can only serve two successive years.