The AMA: 50 years on

AMONG the voices of lobby groups past echoing through the halls of Parliament House, one of the loudest is that of the AMA.

In 2006, the AMA was voted by politicians as the number one lobby group in Australia. Now, approaching the 50th anniversary of its 1962 inception – when it  evolved from the British Medical Association (BMA) – it’s still seen as one of the most powerful.

But this hasn’t always been the case, nor is its coveted reputation guaranteed in the future, with some arguing the AMA’s clout has diminished in recent years.

With the debate over super clinics still raging, former health minister Nicola Roxon criticised the AMA last October saying: “Those who don’t change with the times are often reduced to an ineffective chorus muttering on the edge of the stage about keeping things the way they always were.”

And last month former PSR director Dr Tony Webber said the AMA risked