Strength in unity key for state’s peak medical body, as Dr Michael Page becomes President of the AMA (WA) | AMA (WA)

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Dr Mark Duncan-Smith and Dr Michael Page

Strength in unity key for state’s peak medical body, as Dr Michael Page becomes President of the AMA (WA)

Wednesday June 7, 2023

Dr Michael Page is the new president of the AMA (WA) after last night’s annual general meeting.

Dr Page was elected unopposed, with Dr Mark Duncan-Smith stepping down after serving two years in the role. Under the Constitution of the AMA (WA), a president can only serve two successive years. Dr Katharine Noonan and Dr Simon Torvaldsen were confirmed as AMA (WA) vice presidents at the AGM.

Dr Page (41) is a chemical pathologist with appointments at Western Diagnostic Pathology, PathWest and UWA. He has specific interests in aspects of cardiovascular disease including genetic lipid disorders. He has been involved with the AMA (WA) for nearly a decade, and previously served as Co-Chair of its Doctors in Training Committee. He is married to Dr Sarah Strathie-Page, a dermatologist, and the couple have two primary schoolaged children.

Dr Page stressed the importance of unity for WA’s peak medical body.

“I firmly believe in the need for the West Australian medical community to have a strong and unified voice,” he said. “Our health system best serves its patients when it functions as a whole, and we must ensure that it can do so now and into the future.”

The new president wants to address the needs of the whole medical community through his leadership.

“General practice requires not only direct funding but structural support to ensure its central role in the community delivery of healthcare is not eroded by inferior models of care, and that it has a strong pipeline of medical graduates keen to pursue a career in it,” Dr Page said. “This is essential to keep patients well in the community, supporting the capacity of our stretched hospital system to care for the sickest.

“Doctors in training bear much of the brunt of hospital understaffing, working under increasingly difficult conditions to deliver care to their patients, and are undervalued by the State Government that relies on them to keep the ship afloat.

“Hospital specialists are asked to do more, with less. Burnout is inevitable. These issues need to be addressed if we want to maintain a world-class healthcare system delivering world-class care to West Australian patients.”

Dr Page was positive about the outcomes ahead.

“With your incredible AMA (WA) team – our dedicated staff, and your colleagues and representatives who volunteer their time to represent the profession – my role is ensuring the AMA (WA)’s views are made clear at every available forum, so that we can build a better healthcare system, a healthy medical workforce and a healthier community at large,” he said.

Dr Duncan-Smith wished his successor well and reflected on his own time in office.

“It was an honour and privilege to be the AMA (WA) president for the last two years and to be able to assist with guiding WA through the initial COVID-19 period,” he said.