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President's Message for June 2017 

I have recently had a change of jobs from a management role in a tertiary referral hospital to a team leader role in regional Queensland working in a small team. Having come from a management role the opportunity to step back into being a full-time clinician has been professionally reaffirming. The efforts of this small team in ensuring their patients are getting the best care in medical imaging and their sense of team are truly fantastic and I feel privileged to be a part of it. It also reminded me of the important role MRP’s play in our healthcare system every day and the ability to connect with other professional groups in ensuring our patients are getting the best care. To the Medical Imaging Team at Nambour General Hospital thank you for the opportunity to be reinspired by what we do.

The abolishment and replacement of the 457 Skilled Visa was announced in late April. ASMIRT has been involved in the process of which professional groups are represented as requiring skilled migrants. Following consultation with the Department of Education and Training, Medical Diagnostic Radiographer and Medical Radiation Therapist were professions “flagged” for possible removal from the Skills Occupation list. We will keep you informed as we hear more details from this development.

For our radiation therapy members, we recently expressed our position on the proposed cuts to the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grant (ROHPG) funding. We strongly support the need to maintain and strengthen the ROHPG Scheme to ensure that Australian cancer patients continue to receive affordable and accessible radiation therapy treatment. Already the Central Adelaide Local Health network from Government South Australia has shared with us similar concerns.

Something ASMIRT has not had much involvement on historically has been with our focus on achieving equality in health status and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians. With our recent re-joining of Allied Health Professionals Australia (AHPA), ASMIRT is proud to become a signatory to a Statement of Intent with Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), a national member based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health organisation. This affirms ASMIRT’s commitment to closing the gap on Indigenous Health.

It is that time of year where we have called for membership renewals. As some of you will have noted there has been a price increase. This is a normal process for any business like ours in ensuring it is striving to provide our members with better services. The cost of running businesses like ours is continually a challenge for the Board and one we are committed to a process of continual improvement. ASMIRT still represents one of the most economical memberships of all the Allied Health professional bodies in Australia.

In recent messages we have been focussing on the ‘why’ of becoming a member such as alignment of values with our members and the ASMIRT vision and mission which have undergone change. We want to empower our members to fulfil their ‘why’ through, advocating for their patients, influencing policy and practice at all levels, advancing the profession and leading in research and learning.

We often hear from members, as was posted on Facebook (19th April at 19:47), which referred to their membership being about insurance “which I get through work”. Insurance is just one of the features of membership that enables the central ‘why’ to being a member. We are however listening to you and we will soon have our insurer (BMS) get some information out about the difference between Vicarious Liability (VL) which you get from work, and Professional Indemnity Insurance. If you are one of many thinking you are protected through VL, you will want to keep an eye out for this information.

Our invitation to RANZCR to join the Radiographer Commenting Project Steering Committee had a disappointing response. We hope they will still consider their input and involvement as we progress. We have had a great response (800+ members) to the Radiographer Commenting Credentialing System Survey, which was circulated so we could grasp a better understanding of your views of the radiographer commenting project the Society is undertaking. It is great to see that on the whole this process is positively supported.

Of course there are some who have concerns and we hope to address some of the concerns as we progress with this development. I go back to my opening paragraph; this is about ensuring we are empowering you, our member, in playing your part in improving the healthcare system, the safety and wellbeing of our patients. 

Your President,

Patrick Eastgate

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