Regional health in focus for new AMA president
THE newly elected AMA Queensland president is set to put rural and remote health in the spotlight, including working to improve access and draw more medical graduates to regional areas.
Dr Dilip Dhupelia was elected the new AMA Queensland president while Dr Michael Cleary has been named the vice-president.
Dr Dhupelia is the director of Medical and Clinical Services for Queensland Country Practice, Queensland Rural Medical Service for Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service and works part time as a GP in Toowong in Brisbane's inner west.
He has a particular interest in rural and remote health issues, having worked for many years in regional areas.
Dr Dhupelia said urban patients had access to a broad range of health services and technological advances more quickly than those in regional and remote areas.
"Regional Queenslanders deserve healthcare of a similar standard to that enjoyed by city residents,” Dr Dhupelia said.
"There is no lack of medical graduates but too few of them choose to practice outside the south-east.
"There has been significant bipartisan investment in Queensland to support rural doctor training over recent years but this investment now needs to equate to a more equitable distribution of specialists, rural generalists, general practitioners and health workers to meet the need of almost one third of Queensland's population.”
Dr Dhupelia said it was not only important to encourage young doctors to work outside the south-east but also essential to provide more support for the families of doctors who decided to relocate to regional and rural areas.
Dr Dhupelia said he would also advocate for certainty of postgraduate training for junior doctors, so that the workforce maldistribution could be addressed.
AMA Queensland's new vice-president Dr Michael Cleary has more than 30 years experience in the health sector and is an adjunct professor at the University of Queensland.
Dr Cleary works in a leadership role as the executive director of the Princess Alexandra and QE II Jubilee Hospitals in Brisbane.