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AMSA Advocacy in 2020

AMSA did the following in advocacy in 2020: 

  • Developed and co-launched the Doctors’ Health Service (DrHS) Telemedicine Mental Health Counselling Service for doctors and medical students

  • Secured $680K from Commonwealth to fund free Mental Health First Aid training (online component) for cohorts of medical students across Australia

  • Co-launched the Every Doctor, Every Setting: A National Framework for the Mental Ill-health in Junior Doctors and Medical Students, a high-level framework setting a reform agenda for the mental health of doctors and medical students

  • Ensured medical student entitlements, protections and rights in workforce positions

  • Consulted on the creation of paid COVID-19 Assistant in Medicine (AiM) and Casual Medical Assistant workforce positions for medical students

  • Successfully advocated for the return of final year international medical students, providing application advice and assistance with letters of support 

  • Applied consistent pressure to ensure continuity of education of final year medical students to ensure graduation

  • Relaxed fortnightly work-hours cap enforced on international medical students

  • Ensured full reimbursement of NSW COVID-19 hotel quarantine fee for interns travelling to NSW for internship

  • Secured continued funding for the Junior Doctor Training Program for 2020-2022, nationally funding up to 115 medical internship positions for international medical students each year. 

  • Successfully advocated for flexibility in fulfilling the MBA English language Proficiency requirements for applications in 2020 to the Junior Doctor Training Program for international medical students

  • Declared a Climate Emergency at the AMSA 2020 National Council 1 in March

  • Successfully divested from fossil fuels with investments in green banks

  • Participated as a partner organisation in the launch of the 2020 special report of the MJA–Lancet Countdown on health and climate change

  • Endorsed Zali Steggall's Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020

  • Ran a successful #EndCOVIDforAll Campaign with other national stakeholders, resulting in the Commonwealth pledging $500 million to roll out vaccines in the Pacific and South-East Asia.

  • Endorsed and co-released the ‘Guide to Social Media and Medical Professionalism’ in collaboration with the AMA, NZMA and NZMSA

  • Produced an in-depth submission with feedback and criticism of the AMC National Framework for Medical Internship Review

  • Participated in feedback and shaped discussions of the National Medical Workforce Strategy (NMWS)

  • Wrote a submission in response to the Religious Discrimination Bill 2019

  • Affirmed the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts (SOGICE) Survivor Statement at the 2020 AMSA National Council 1, in March, in favour of its messages of solidarity with survivors of the LGBTQA+ Conversion movement and their allies. 

 

Organisational Relationships Strengthened through Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) in 2020

  • Signed an AMSA-AIDA (Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association) MoU for 2020, continuing a strong relationship starting in 2018. 

  • Signed an AMSA-NZMSA (New Zealand Medical Student Association) MoU for 2020-22, establishing a stronger relationship between medical students in New Zealand and Australia. 

  • Signed an AMSA-CAHA (Climate and Health Alliance) MoU for commencement of the Real Urgent Now (RUN) Project to improve the climate change literacy and media capability among medical students and doctors



AMSA did the following in advocacy in 2020: 

 

Mental Health

  • Developed and co-launched the Doctors’ Health Service (DrHS) Telemedicine Mental Health Counselling Service for doctors and medical students

  • Secured $680K from Commonwealth to fund free Mental Health First Aid training (online component) for cohorts of medical students across Australia

  • Co-launched the Every Doctor, Every Setting: A National Framework for the Mental Ill-health in Junior Doctors and Medical Students, a high-level framework setting a reform agenda for the mental health of doctors and medical students

  • Conducted an AMSA-MDANZ Webinar on Action on Medical Students’ Health: A National Framework, to follow up on the Launch of the National Framework for the Mental Ill-health in Junior Doctors and Medical Students.

COVID-19

  • Ensured medical student entitlements, protections and rights in workforce positions

  • Consulted on the creation of paid COVID-19 Assistant in Medicine (AiM) and Casual Medical Assistant workforce positions for medical students

  • Successfully advocated for the return of final year international medical students, providing application advice and assistance with letters of support 

  • Applied consistent pressure to ensure continuity of education of final year medical students to ensure graduation

  • Relaxed fortnightly work-hours cap enforced on international medical students

  • Ensured full reimbursement of NSW COVID-19 hotel quarantine fee for interns travelling to NSW for internship

  • Successfully advocated for flexibility in fulfilling the MBA English language Proficiency requirements for applications in 2020 to the Junior Doctor Training Program for international medical students

  • Participated in the SPHERE: Sexual and Reproductive Health and COVID-19 Coalition

  • Ran a successful #EndCOVIDforAll Campaign with other national stakeholders, resulting in the Commonwealth pledging $500 million to roll out vaccines in the Pacific and South-East Asia.

  • AMSA Sexual and Reproductive Health submitted a letter to the South Australian Minister for Health regarding SA's access to safe termination of pregnancy during COVID-19 

Medical Internships and Education

  • Secured continued funding for the Junior Doctor Training Program for 2020-2022, nationally funding up to 115 medical internship positions for international medical students each year

  • Recruited participants and helped conduct a focus group discussing the AMC Preparedness for Internship survey

  • Guided student support and education discussions for Early Start Medical Internships in WA

  • Endorsed and co-released the ‘Guide to Social Media and Medical Professionalism’ in collaboration with the AMA, NZMA and NZMSA

  • Produced an in-depth submission with feedback and criticism of the AMC National Framework for Medical Internship Review

  • Participated in feedback and shaped discussions about the National Medical Workforce Strategy (NMWS)

  • Advocated for Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training funding and received $50.3m of Commonwealth funding towards the Training’s infrastructure 

  • Consulted and closely monitored the student support structures, student infrastructure needs and education quality of the new CQU-UQ Central Queensland & Wide Bay Regional Medical Pathway

  • Actively incorporated in the development of student support and representation structures at Charles Sturt University Medical School. 

  • Participated in the AMA Council of Doctors in Training (AMA CDT) GP Single Employer Model Planning Day, shaping the future of GP registrar employment

  • Closely monitored new medical school proposals and CSP/BMP medical student position requests

  • Produced a position statement regarding medical assessments and proctoring standards, which successfully changed proctoring policy at individual universities

  • Ran the inaugural AMSA Careers Week with a number of high-profile and diverse guests

Climate Change and Environment

  • Declared a Climate Emergency at the AMSA 2020 National Council 1, in March

  • Successfully divested from fossil fuels to green investments

  • Joined 18 health representative bodies in a joint statement declaring air pollution in NSW as a public health emergency

  • Participated as a partner organisation in the launch of the 2020 special report of the MJA–Lancet Countdown on health and climate change

  • AMSA Code Green ran a Climate Change Hackathon, the largest climate change hackathon in the country

  • AMSA Healthy Communities presented at Doctors for Nutrition Symposium in South Australia

  • Signed onto The Colombo Declaration, expressing AMSA’s concern about the serious worldwide attacks on healthcare facilities, personnel and their patients

  • Signed onto a joint statement regarding Recognition of Climate Change in National Preventive Health Strategy, along with CAHA

  • AMSA endorsed an open letter written to the Prime Minister from ACF, Climate Council, Solar Citizens about emissions reductions

  • Wrote a submission regarding the Narrabri Coal Seam Gas Project

  • Signed onto a letter by the DEA to Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley, calling for dramatically improved environment protection laws and for human health to be a consideration in the development of policy regarding environmental protection and biodiversity conservation

  • Signed onto the Global Climate and Health Alliance's letter to the heads of all G20, urging them to pursue a healthy recovery from COVID-19 by delivering plans that put us on a path to a healthier world, with strong health systems, clean air and water and a stable climate

  • Endorsed Zali Steggall's Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020

  • Signed onto an open Letter to the Prime Minister calling for urgent climate action, specifically a comprehensive nationally coordinated response to climate change that puts health and well-being at its core, in November.

Big Media Hits 

  1. Live stream interview with AMA representatives at the National Climate Emergency Summit 2020

  2. Live ABC Radio Interview with AMSA President on medical student participation during COVID-19

  3. Times Higher Education Article on Medical Students Drafted into the Australian Health Workforce 

  4. AMSA President Interview on Medical Students and COVID-19 with Dr Harry Nespolon (RACGP President) on the Going Viral Podcast

  5. SBS Article and TV Feature on International Medical Students and COVID-19

  6. MJA Insight article on COVID-19 impacts on medical students 

  7. Ausdoc article on medical students jumping to support GPs and specialists on the COVID-19 frontlines

MOUs 

  • Signed an AMSA-AIDA (Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association) MoU for 2020, continuing a strong relationship

  • Signed an AMSA-NZMSA (New Zealand Medical Student Association) MoU for 2020-22, establishing a stronger relationship between medical students in New Zealand and Australia

  • Signed an AMSA-CAHA (Climate and Health Alliance) MoU for commencement of the Real Urgent Now (RUN) Project to improve the climate change literacy and media capability among medical students and doctors

Other

  • Wrote a letter Minister Stephen Wade calling for safe access to pregnancy care and medical abortion via telemedicine during the pandemic; advocating in conjunction with the South Australian Abortion Action Coalition. 

  • Affirmed the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts (SOGICE) Survivor Statement at the  2020 AMSA National Council 1, in March, in favour of its messages of solidarity with survivors of the LGBTQA+ Conversion movement and their allies. 

  • Launched an AMSA Podcast (Ampoule) to further spread the work of our volunteers and advocacy

  • Conducted multiple upskilling sessions for AMSA volunteers in media, policy, and advocacy tools via accessible online platforms

  • Wrote a submission in response to the Religious Discrimination Bill