The federal AMA has not been known, until recently perhaps, for its deep and principled interest in health reform. You could even say that the former president Dr Rosanna Capolingua made quite a name for herself in opposing any mention of anything carrying the faintest whiff of health reform.
So here’s a telling turn of the circle in Canberra.
John Flannery, who is now packing up his media manager’s desk at the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (the Commission expired with the completion of its report), is about to return to the AMA – from whence he came.
For those with an interest in Flannery’s background and his thoughts about health reform, the universe and everything else, he has obliged us with the following:
“I joined the AMA back in 2001 when Dr Kerryn Phelps poached me from the office of Simon Crean, where I had been coordinating the then Opposition’s media around opposing the introduction of the GST.
I was at the AMA from January 2001 until April 2008, when I joined the NHHRC.
Prior to that:
1996-2000 – Media Adviser to Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley
1994-1996 – Media Adviser to Trade Minister, Bob McMullan
1990-1994 – Public Relations Manager, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, Canberra
1988-1990 – Freelance writer, PR consultant and quiz show writer, Sydney – University Challenge, The Oz Game, Double Dare, Family Double Dare
1985-1988 – NSW Promotions Manager, International Public Relations, Sydney
1984-1985 – Public Relations Officer, Spastic Centre of NSW
I am a Communications graduate from Mitchell College (now CSU) in Bathurst.
I hope to use the knowledge and skills I gained at the NHHRC to help the AMA, under new President Dr Andrew Pesce, play a leading role in a new era of health reform through engagement with the Government and engagement with the other health professions, and by providing the public with informed and expert information about the health system.
This will involve championing the role of the medical profession, while at the same time working cooperatively with all stakeholders, especially patients and communities, to ensure all Australians, no matter where they live and no matter their means, can find quality health care and advice when they need it.”
The circle has turned, and the tune is changing at AMA headquarters.