Physician is Senior Australian of the year
The report says it was clear that clinical staff “felt more evidence is needed” before the position is rolled out. The AMAQ says the trial wrapped up months ago and Queensland Health still had not confirmed if the positions will be rolled out across the state. AMAQ president-elect Dr Richard Kidd says the Queensland Government should abandon the idea of physicians assistants, because it takes training places and jobs from junior doctors and nurses. “Why on Earth start looking at another part of the workforce that they’re not going to employ properly either?” he said. He says there is no room for physicians assistants in a health system already crowded with medical graduates. “The need for physicians assistants – if there ever was truly a need – is going to be eclipsed by the number of young doctors that are going to be out there,” he said. “Why have a physicians assistant when you’re actually producing enough physicians?” Dr Kidd says doctor assistants are not covered under the new national registration system. The AMAQ also says the report into the trial should be made public. Plan ‘on hold’ But Health Minister Paul Lucas has rejected the trial was a waste of time and money and it was a worthwhile exercise. “The evaluation noted that physicians assistants have performed an important role,” he said. “It’s what response to the evaluation that’s important and that’s where I agree with the AMA that the emphasis of governments should be on training more doctors, which we are doing.” Mr Lucas says plans are on hold for the moment. “While the evaluation indicates they have done a good job, really it’s something we have to do nationally,” he said.
The internationally recognised palliative care specialist, 82, was honoured on Friday for his work as a specialist and academic and his passionate advocacy for peace at the Australian of the Year awards ceremony in Canberra. Prof Maddocks said more work needed to be done in the area of palliative care. “There are still people in the other professions of medicine who don’t hand over to us, who don’t bring us in earlier enough,” he told reporters. “Yes there is, there is lots more we can do.” Receiving his award, the emeritus professor at Flinders University in South Australia said he was still keen to promote palliative care as a general part of medicine practice. “We shall all die. Some of us will deny the approach of death. Some will experience difficult treatments and then be told there’s nothing to be done,” he said. “Palliative care affirms that there is always something that can be done.” Mental health and ageing minister Mark Butler said Prof Maddocks had made a significant contribution to the development of palliative care practices throughout Australia. An emeritus professor at Flinders University, the octogenarian from the Adelaide beachside suburb of Seacliff still provides care for the terminally ill and continues to supervise postgraduate students. Prof Maddocks has been a key leader in the Medical Association for the Prevention of War and the Nobel Peace Prize winning group, the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War. The married father of three, and grandfather to five, was appointed Professor of Palliative Care at Flinders University in 1988. Prof Maddocks was the first president of the Australian Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, and the first president of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Palliative Medicine. He was also a specialist physician in the Australian Administration of Papua New Guinea for 14 years, and in 1971 became Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Papua New Guinea.