First female President announced as new AMA Tasmania State President

1 Jul 2020

Helen Pres


The Australian Medical Association Tasmania is pleased to announce Dr Helen McArdle, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and Medical Administration specialist has been elected as the first female President of the AMA Tasmania.  
Outgoing President Professor John Burgess commented "Dr McArdle brings to the role a diverse range of skills and experience, including both medical practice, and medical and Board administration. I have no doubt AMA Tasmania and its Board look forward to working with Helen in a post-COVID-19 environment." 
Dr McArdle presents a wealth of AMA experience to her role and has been a highly proactive member in her advocacy to improve the representation of women, international medical graduates (IMGs) and other minority groups within the AMA as evident having herself held the state representative role of Member of Federal Council since 2014. During Dr McArdle's tenure on the AMA Board, she has been a member of several committees including the Public Health and Workforce, Ethics and Medico-Legal, and Chair of the Equity, Inclusion and Diversity and Audit, Risk and Performance Committee's. She will be joined on the AMA Tasmania Board by Dr Scott Fletcher (Vice-President), Dr John Saul (Honorary Secretary), Dr Jenny Misson (Honorary Treasurer) and Dr Annette Barratt (Federal Councillor). 
Dr McArdle holds several positions in Tasmania outside of her work with AMA including Chair of the Post Graduate Medical Institute and Deputy Chair of Southern Cross Care and is also actively involved in both of her speciality medical colleges of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine as well as the Jurisdictional Coordinator of Training for The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators. 
AMA Tasmania provides a vital role in serving the professional needs of medical practitioners throughout the State and ensuring that the interests of patients and the community’s healthcare are protected. Dr McArdle commented, "the AMA is about advocacy and support - advocacy to achieve excellent and sustainable health outcomes for our patients and community, and support for doctors so they can do their job effectively and with confidence that the resources needed for clinical and preventative care are available. 
"Tasmanians deserve high quality, accessible public health services, and political parties must support long-term strategies that focus on this outcome. Healthcare staff must be supported in delivering frontline care, and we will continue to work hand in hand with the State Government and Department of Health on building strategies for our public hospitals and community health services. 
“Now more than ever considering COVID-19 a cohesive and comprehensive health plan is essential for our State that encompasses the acute and primary health sectors firmly placing GPs at the centre of patient care. The only way we are going to be able to manage increasing demand on our hospitals is if we do more in the preventative health space to help Tasmanians not become ill with chronic diseases, as well as provide more care for patients in the community." 
Dr McArdle is looking forward to working closely with AMA Tasmania CEO Lara Giddings, not only the first female CEO of AMA Tasmania but also the first female Premier of Tasmania. Dr McArdle added, "that despite our associations relatively low numbers of female members, it is very gratifying to see that the membership is happy to support me as a woman in this role. Tasmania is leading the country in its female representation at the highest levels of organisation." 
Finally, on behalf of the AMA Tasmania Board and members, Dr McArdle expressed gratitude to outgoing President Professor John Burgess for his dedication and highly effective leadership as President through what has spanned "interesting times", commencing with major public hospital budget, staffing, patient access, and governance challenges, and concluding amid a once in a century global pandemic. >>>ENDS 

Published: 1 Jul 2020