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Australia Needs a National Doctors' Health Strategy

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Australia needs to implement a national health strategy for doctors

Chanaka Wijeratne, Margaret P Kay, Mark H Arnold and Jeffrey CL Looi

Med J Aust 2022; 217 (7): 338-341. || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51714
Published online: 3 October 2022


A well resourced and well governed national response is required (Box). The response should support the health and wellbeing of the medical professionals in all workplace settings, private and public practice, hospital, and community care. For many years, the Australasian Doctors’ Health Network ( of doctors’ health services has provided confidential helplines for medical practitioners. These existing doctors’ health services have the Medical Board of Australia as the main funder, with funds disbursed via the Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) Doctors’ Health Services.


Positive role‐modelling from all doctors, in all specialties, can support doctors’ access to health care. Improving access will reduce doctors’ self‐treatment and use of informal (“corridor consultation”) options. Proactive strategies to recruit and train a pool of general practitioners, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists willing to care for doctors will build a valuable resource for the profession.

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