The argument for airborne transmission

“The argument as to whether this virus always spreads by droplets other than in extreme circumstances – that is a scientific argument which has been pretty resoundingly rejected around the world now, but one on which we still rely for guidance,” AMA (WA) President, Dr Andrew Miller said.


He pointed out that if we are dealing with airborne transmission, we are “dealing with a very different beast".


Dr Miller wants to see workers in full body PPE with gas-style masks, staff only working at one hotel quaratntine facility, better ventilation, and hotels completely shut off to the public while operating as a quarantine facility.


The federal AMA has also been trying to convince the government that airborne spread is a problem.


Federal AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said, “The latest cases of COVID-19 transmission in Victoria are yet another failure of infection control systems in hotel quarantine and show the need for urgent action nationally.

“It’s most likely that these cases are the result of airborne spread, yet the experts advising Government, the Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG), have continually played down airborne transmission in the spread of the virus in hotel and healthcare settings.”

The WA Government recently announced it has banned hotel quarantine workers from taking second jobs. Perhaps they are starting to listen.


Click on the link below to watch a short demonstration of small particles being sucked under the door of a quarantine hotel and dispersed in the hallway.



RACGP fellowship exams
From disappointment to success

A lot can happen in five days. On Monday 1 February 2021, GP registrars in WA were told their exams scheduled for Friday 5 February 2021 were cancelled due to the lockdown – a hugely disappointing announcement. Many registrars had spent months preparing, often in their own time, and many had already experienced one round of cancelled exams in December 2020 due to a technical error. The next round of GP exams was not scheduled until July 2021, so further delays were unthinkable, affecting individuals and also the GP training pipeline, as well as city and rural workforce supply during the pandemic.


This is where the AMA (WA) stepped in. CEO Dr Bennie Ng held several meetings with the RACGP WA and key personnel at the Department of Health. General practitioner Dr Hemant Garg was instrumental in pulling the exemption application together, while AMA (WA) Councillor Dr April Armstrong worked with other government departments. Meanwhile our national President Dr Omar Khorshid, through our doctors-in-training committee member Dr Rebecca Wood, was in direct contact with the RACGP Censor-in-chief Dr Tess van Duuren to outline the case. Truly a WA team effort and a WA win!

The battle for better working conditions

The AMA (WA) has tried to explain to the State Government that 78 per cent of doctors value working conditions such as permanency over money. Unfortunately the Government has ignored this and instead has made token payments of up to $1,000 to public hospital doctors. The AMA (WA) will keep advocating on behalf of doctors who only want what every other public sector and frontline health worker has – job security through permanent contracts.



In case you missed it…

The February edition of Medicus was released just yesterday to all WA doctors (not just members) as we want to keep you informed about our sustained advocacy on behalf of the profession and the wider community. Read our exclusive Q&A with Premier Mark McGowan and Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup in the lead-up to the State Election next month, our special Health Watch report about the incredible pressure being placed on the doctors and nurses in metropolitan Perth’s EDs due to record-breaking ambulance ramping, and much more.




You don’t have to be an intern to attend!

Interns and RMOs are invited to our intern forums to help nut out some of the nitty gritty issues around working at a hospital. Find out about pay slips, leave entitlements, managing workplace relationships, and choosing your specialty. Come along armed with questions. Enjoy drinks and nibbles afterwards.


Registration for the events starts at 6.00pm with a 6.30pm start.  Choose from one of three sessions:

  • 25 February – Atlas Club, level 2, 8–10 The Esplanade, Perth
  • 10 March – AMA College, Level 2, 57 Shenton House, Joondalup
  • 17 March – Fiona Stanley Hospital Education Building, ground floor, G.1 lecture theatre.


Doctors in training meeting – save the date

The first DiT meeting of 2021 was a success with  more than 20 doctors attending.


We discussed topics including:
• Enterprise bargaining update
• COVID-19 vaccinations
• Digital Health Advisory Committee
• GP exams
• Single employer model for GPs.


Our next meeting will be on 8 March at 6.30pm. Come along! We look forward to seeing you at the AMA (WA) offices or via Zoom.

AMA (WA) member exclusive

Onslow Beach Resort – the coastal outback

Experience WA’s coastal outback at the Onslow Beach Resort, the gateway to the Mackerel Islands. Receive 10% off the best available rate for accommodation.


Houghton Wines – exclusive offer to AMA (WA) members

Get a 20% discount and free freight when purchasing a dozen of the Iconic CW Ferguson or a 20% discount and free freight on a six pack of Wisdom Chardonnay.


Various categories of benefits are available and these can be viewed online.



Review of the WA Health Consent to Treatment Policy

WA Health is seeking responses for comment on the draft policy and procedure documents related to the WA Health Consent to Treatment Policy. Clinicians employed by WA Health are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft documents via an online survey which closes on 2 March.



Mental Health Network
Steering committee members – expressions of interest

The Mental Health Network (MHN) is calling for expressions of interest for the following steering committee members:

Neuropsychiatry and Developmental Disability Mental Health Sub Network – contact Caitlin Parry, MHN Secretariat,

Forensic Mental Health Sub Network – contact Bridget Harvey, Co-chair, Forensic Mental Health Sub Network Steering Committee,


The Neuropsychiatry and Developmental Disability Mental Health Sub Network Committee is also seeking expressions of interest for the positions of Clinical Co-chair and Community Co-chair. Applications close 9.00am Monday 22 February 2021.

Advance Care Motor Neurone Disease Planning Workshop

You’re invited to an Advance Care Planning Workshop for people with Motor Neurone Disease, their families and healthcare professionals. This free workshop will inform people how to develop an advance care plan and let health providers know what they want.


9.00am–12.00pm, Tuesday 23 Feb, Bendat Basketball Stadium, Floreat.



REDFEB – wear red and raise awareness for heart disease

This February, Heart Research Australia invites all Australians to wear RED for someone close to their heart to help keep families together for longer. In addition to encouraging people to wear red and donate, Heart Research Australia is promoting a free Heart Smart Pocket Guide containing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack as well as an action plan that could save lives.



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