A/Prof Owler has replaced former AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, whose three-year tenure has ceased.

According to A/Prof Owler, one of his first priorities will be to enter into discussions with the Government regarding the AMA’s concerns about patient co-payments and other health-related budget decisions, including public hospital costs, Indigenous health funding and a range of medical tests such as prescriptions, blood tests, pathology, radiology and other areas which particularly affect people with chronic illnesses.

“I think there’s been a lot of focus on GP co-payments but people need to realise that it’s not just about that,” A/Prof Owler said.

A/Prof Owler is confident of securing positive meeting outcomes with the Government and aims to persuade the Government against the $7 co-payments for GP visits and medical tests.

“I think the Minister has indicated his willingness to talk about these issues. And I hope, particularly for those people that I mentioned, the most vulnerable in society, that we can get the outcome that we need,” A/Prof Owler said.

A/Prof Owler is best-known from his involvement with the “Don’t Rush” road-safety advertising campaign, in which Australians are encouraged to make wiser decisions when it comes to speeding.

He is also a prominent campaigner for stronger laws to minimise alcohol-related violence, and greater community education about the health harms caused by alcohol abuse.

Team VIVA! congratulates A/Prof Owler on his appointment and wishes him all the best in his new role as national President of the AMA. You can follow A/Prof Owler on @amapresident via Twitter for the latest AMA news and developments.