New President for AMA Tasmania
The Tasmanian branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMA TAS) has announced GP Dr John Saul has been elected AMA Tasmania's new President.
Dr Saul will take over from outgoing president Dr Helen McArdle who held the position for two years - the maximum allowed by the AMA.
Dr Saul expressed his thanks to the outgoing President and his excitement to take on the role.
"I have always loved general practice; it has been a very gratifying and privileged career for me spanning some 40 years. But there is no denying these are incredibly challenging times for all of us working in the health sector.
"I would like to thank my colleague, outgoing President Dr Helen McArdle, for her outstanding leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Following in Helen's indelible footsteps, I am proud to be leading AMA Tasmania alongside my Vice President, Dr Annette Barratt," Dr Saul added.
"Looking forward, AMA Tasmania will continue to work with the best interests of doctors and patients at the core of everything we do, especially as we all adapt to this new normal way of life as a consequence of COVID-19.
"Like every other president AMA Tasmania has had, I will be working to improve the health system by driving positive and meaningful change.
"There is no denying coronavirus was an unwelcome visitor; the legacies it has left on our health system are both good and bad.
"While the crisis we are currently presented with has provided us with better access to telehealth and accelerated electronic prescribing tools that benefit both doctors and patients, it has also highlighted the areas in which much more needs to be done.
"In this role, I am looking forward to working with AMA both at the state and national levels, particularly alongside my general practice colleagues across Australia.
“Together, we will continue to drive system improvements as we emerge from this health crisis and advocate to government the need to modernise Medicare through reform and the provision of additional funding that will future proof general practice, keeping people healthier and out of the hospital.
"Unless significant improvements are made, the future of general practice in Tasmania is not sustainable, with far-reaching impact on the already overburdened public hospital sector, leading the community's health to deteriorate even further.
"We know the pandemic has shone a light on the importance of general practice being at the centre of a patient's care; however, it has also shown the inadequacies of the public hospital system and the long-term under-resourcing of general practice.
"We have seen what can be achieved when a group of highly dedicated and skilled people band together for the greater good. My hope is that we can harness the COVID focus and transition to a new and improved Tasmanian health system. There is much to be done."
Taken from AMA TAS.