President’s Blog: Bargaining from a healthy position | AMA (WA)


President’s Blog: Bargaining from a healthy position

Friday February 9, 2024

Dr Michael Page, AMA (WA) President

A big year for the AMA (WA), doctors, patients and health in WA has begun. As noted by the Editor of The West Australian last month, health looms large as the defining issue of the State Election that is to occur in early 2025. The State Government has lost its air of unassailability, and the opposition parties will be energised by an influx of new candidates.

There is, therefore, a huge opportunity for commitments to be made to modernising and building the capability of the health system to meet the needs of future generations of Western Australians. We have ageing hospitals and insufficient capacity across the system, and many major decisions about the replacement for King Edward Memorial Hospital will be made in coming months. Infrastructure, clinical training, leadership, systems and governance all need to be planned with vision and foresight.

We have commenced bargaining for the replacement AMA (WA) – WA Health Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, with our Bargaining Committee, comprising Doctors in Training and senior members from each Health Service Provider, actively engaged in the process. Our Log of Claims, a statement of what we wish to see from the agreement, is well-considered and reasonable. Ultimately, making working conditions better for doctors is good for the employer too, as it aids with recruitment and retention, and of course, good workplace morale and culture contribute to good patient outcomes. The wages component is important too, because doctors’ wages have lagged behind inflation for several years, training costs are increasing, and we need to be competitive with the other States and Territories.

You can read more and keep up to date with the bargaining process at our dedicated landing page: