Self-righteous doctors and unqualified advice a dangerous mix

A number of medical professionals have contacted the SSAA expressing their frustrations with ignorant commentary from Australia’s peak doctor’s group, ranging from centralised gun storage thought bubbles to a firearms policy document bearing more holes than a sighting-in target. It came as no surprise to see a doctor expressing similar concerns in the mainstream media; this time, in response to calls to limit the role pharmacist’s play in treating chronic pain.

Dr Jessica Borbasi’s piece in The Australian on January 31 appropriately labelled the Australian Medical Association (AMA) as “out of touch…with the broader medical profession and the society it serves. The AMA has been aggressively pushing an array of “progressive” agendas (including the not-so-sweet sugar tax),” she wrote. “But when it comes to demarcation disputes between GPs and other health professionals — to say nothing of long-overdue real reform that could have immediate benefits for thousands of patients navigating an archaic industry — special pleading about injustice is the AMA’s stock standard response.

“If the AMA won’t allow us to address the structural problems in the health system — and cries foul in the “Mediscare” context every time a new idea is proposed — then enabling other health professionals to take on some of the burden should be supported,” she added. The AMA’s opposition to pharmacists playing an increased role in healthcare comes as the AMA New South Wales branch took a sloppy swipe at the SSAA on Twitter.

While the SSAA has previously voiced our concerns about a select group of doctors giving advice outside of their area of expertise, it is clear that we are not the only ones taking issue with the AMA’s unwanted foray into issues they are simply unqualified to speak on. The SSAA did write to the AMA offering access to our wealth of research into firearms. This offer still stands.

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