AMA gets the band back together

3 minute read

The association’s WA members will rejoin the national federation next month. 

The 5000 WA-based doctors booted from the AMA federation in February will be welcomed back into the fold in a month’s time, as the AMA WA reports a “breakthrough” in negotiations with the federal body.  

Come 1 August all AMA WA members will be restored to full AMA Federal member status, giving them access to perks like the AMA Fees List and a free subscription to the Medical Journal of Australia.  

The reunion will come just in time to allow AMA WA members to vote on association president and vice president in the upcoming national AMA election in October. 

One thing they won’t be able to do, though, is nominate for those positions; nominations open on Monday 9 July and close on 23 July.  

WA doctors have also missed out on the chance to vote on a number of constitutional changes that went through in May.  

The changes allowed the federal body broader powers around creating state-based subsidiary branches, in order for the Tasmanian AMA to effectively merge with the bigger national body.  

Despite opposition from the leadership of three other state AMA bodies, 95% of AMA Federal AGM attendees voted to pass the amendments.  

AMA Federal board chair Dr Andrew C Miller – who is not to be confused with the former AMA WA president of the same name – confirmed that the two parties had agreed on a high-level, in-principle set of points to move forward.  

“Both organisations agreed to prioritise the development of a formal agreement over the next month … [aiming] to be completed in time for members to be able to rejoin on 1 August,” he told The Medical Republic.  

“While we are very hopeful that this timeline can be achieved, until the agreement has been executed by both Boards and AMA WA has completed the actions it has agreed to perform, the status quo remains.”  

The schism between the AMA WA and its federal counterpart was the result of a dispute over the proportion of fees that the WA organisation passes onto AMA Federal each year.  

AMA WA president Dr Michael Page told members that the state association had made a commitment to restore funding.  

“This is essential for us to get back to jointly building and delivering value for our members, patients and the communities that we serve,” he wrote.  

“Indeed, we have had many discussions with AMA Federal over the past few months about the ways in which we can work together to make the AMA Federation as good as it can possibly be. 

“We must leverage our size and strength in a unified way to remain relevant, attract new members and maintain the loyalty of our existing ones.” 

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