The Australian Medical Association has announced it will increase the number of registered medical assistants and give them access to a range of services from primary care to maternity.
Key points:The association says it will give the AMA and other allied health and health systems more freedom to recruit doctors and other staff to help with health servicesThe AMA says it has to “get it right”The announcement comes after the Australian Medical Council (AMA) released a report calling for a more diverse range of health professionals in the country.
“Our medical staff will now have greater flexibility to work across multiple healthcare settings to ensure that everyone is supported and is getting the best value from their health care,” AMA Chief Executive Professor John Wollaston said in a statement.
“We will ensure that our healthcare systems are staffed with qualified health professionals to deliver high-quality care for everyone, wherever they are.”
The AMA has been looking to recruit more medical assistants over the past two years, but it has been hampered by the lack of specialist training and lack of qualified doctors.
The AMA’s move is expected to come in two parts.
First, the AMA will provide an online portal for health professionals and allied health systems to apply for medical assistantships, which will provide more options for applicants.
The second part of the change will see the AMA open a new, “career pathway” to assist qualified medical assistants with training and employment opportunities.
“This is a time of transition for all of our medical staff, and it is our hope that the new pathway will help them develop their skills to be effective, competitive and effective in their roles,” Professor Wollastons statement said.
“The AMA welcomes the opportunity to provide a career pathway for medical staff to make an impact on the Australian community.”
Professor Wolleston said the AMA was looking to attract up to 250 additional medical assistants.
“I have worked with doctors and nurses for many years, and have witnessed the impact that they can have on patients, families and communities,” he said.
“It is clear that we need more of these people to fill the gaps that exist in our health services.”
Health Minister Tony Burke said the change would help increase the size of the workforce in the health sector.
“As we continue to grow our health workforce, we must ensure that we have a skilled and skilled-bodied workforce in place to provide the best care to patients and communities.”
Health professionals in this country have a vital role to play in delivering the care that Australians deserve,” he told reporters in Canberra.”
Medical assistants will now be able to apply to be an accredited medical assistant in their state and to receive further training to help meet the needs of those they serve.
“Health groups have welcomed the move.
The Australian Medical Women’s Health Association (AMWHA), the Association of Australian Medical Colleges (AAMI) and the Australian College of General Practitioners (ACGP) have all supported the AMA’s proposal.”
There is no better way to strengthen the Australian health workforce than by increasing the number and quality of medical assistants,” said AMWHA chief executive Officer Lisa Miller.”
By increasing the amount of medical staff who can be trained, and by allowing them to get the skills to deliver the best quality care, we can create a more inclusive and caring workplace for everyone in the Australian healthcare system.
“The AAMI said the association’s recommendation was “the right thing to do”.”
We believe the AMA should focus on recruiting more doctors and allied healthcare staff, rather than increasing its number of doctors, to provide services to all Australians,” Dr Richard Stoddart said.