AUSTRALIAN Medical Association Queensland president Dr Christian Rowan said a priority for the organisation this year would be to achieve a satisfactory outcome with the State Government in relation to new individual contracts for public hospital doctors.
Dr Rowan said on Monday (Jan 06) helping Queenslanders help themselves would also be a priority with two major campaigns focusing on reducing obesity rates in rural areas and highlighting the social costs of illicit drug use.
"We have set ourselves the goal to really make a difference this year in the lives of Queenslanders by focusing on health issues we can all do something about individually, such as the obesity epidemic - especially in rural areas," Dr Rowan said.
"We are currently working on a significant and confronting campaign targeting the high obesity rates in rural and regional Queensland.
"It is unacceptable that obesity-related illnesses increase and life expectancy rates decrease the further Queenslanders live from urban areas."
Dr Rowan said on-going contract negotiations was another issue the organisation was preparing to tackle.
"We are calling on the State Government to get the balance right in relation to individual employment contracts so our most experienced medicos can focus on what they do best and that is helping Queenslanders," he said.
"The State Government made some major improvements last year to the overall health system that AMA Queensland wholeheartedly endorses but new individual employment contracts still need some work.
"It is encouraging that Queensland Health is working with us so we can attract and retain the best staff as well as keep the health system accountable.
"Uncertainty is bad for the health system and bad for patients and we hope this matter can be resolved positively for both sides in the coming weeks."