AMA changes proceed despite states’ protest

2 minute read

The Tasmanian AMA is on track to become the first state branch of the federal AMA.

Despite opposition from South Australia, Queensland and Victorian associations, AMA members overwhelmingly voted in favour of allowing the federal body to make several constitutional changes.

Almost 3000 members showed up to the national AMA AGM on Wednesday night, which was held virtually on Zoom.

More than 95% of attendees voted to allow five constitutional amendments, which ranged from new circular resolutions processes to allowing the federal AMA to establish state-based bodies.

The primary goal of the more controversial amendments was to allow AMA Tasmania to be subsumed by the federal body, which would allow the smaller state-based organisation access to more resources at a lower operational cost.

In a pre-polling exercise, around 96% of AMA Tasmania members supported this change.

While other state and territory bodies were supportive of AMA Tasmania’s desire to become part of AMA Federal, three urged their members to vote against the resolutions.

State AMAs in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia warned members that they were concerned the proposed changes would leave the federal body with more power and effectively sideline the states.

Federal AMA president Professor Steve Robson has strongly rejected this narrative.

“The changes voted on at the AGM are about unity and future proofing our organisation ― an organisation that is one of the most trusted in the country – one that achieves amazing results for members at every level of government,” he said. 

“But importantly, an organisation that listens to our members and continues to strive to improve the healthcare system for them, and their patients. 

“We recognise the power of unity and the strength that unity represents, and we acknowledge the power in having continued strong policy and advocacy efforts.”

AMA WA members were unable to vote at the AGM, with the state having been kicked out of the federation several months ago. AMA Tasmania is slated to hold its AGM next week, where the next steps can be taken to make it legally part of the federal AMA.

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