Doctor’s award presented without approval
QUEENSLAND'S very own medical soap opera gripping the Australian Medical Association's state branch has taken a new twist with revelations the President's Award given to controversial LNP politician Christian Rowan was not properly approved.
Mackay gynaecologist Bill Boyd is threatened with expulsion from the doctor group's governing council after creating and presenting his own AMAQ President's Award to Dr Rowan.
The move is seen as highly provocative given the MP was censured by the AMA's Federal Council over his management of the bitter 2014 doctors' contract dispute in Queensland, with his actions described as "grossly disrespectful of and contrary to the interests of the members of the AMA" and an "abrogation of his responsibilities towards the AMA".
A photo posted on social media shows Dr Boyd, dressed in his AMAQ presidential robes, giving the award, dated May 3, to Dr Rowan - five months ahead of the usual presentation at the AMAQ's annual black tie dinner. Dr Boyd's term ended in May.
Sources have told The Courier-Mail Dr Boyd went to the trouble of having his own version of the award printed and framed before presenting it to Dr Rowan without official approval.
The AMAQ board has since taken the radical step of scrapping the award, which is meant to be apolitical and for meritorious service to the AMA or to patient advocacy.
Dr Boyd's choice was seen by many in the organisation as "inflammatory", given Dr Rowan was sidelined as AMAQ president during the 2014 doctors' industrial dispute with the LNP Newman government.
Dr Rowan was elected to State Parliament as the LNP Member for Moggill in January, 2015.
In an address to State Parliament on May 15, Dr Rowan, who is the Opposition's spokesman on communities, disability services and seniors, thanked Dr Boyd for his "brave and loyal presidential decision".
Under the protection of parliamentary privilege, he accused AMAQ chief executive Jane Schmitt and board chairman Shaun Rudd of "bias" in moving to have the board abolish the award under the "inaccurate guise of organisational risk".
"I hear the CEO's contract will not be renewed but her immediate position and that of others is untenable," he told the House.
Ms Schmitt, who is not a member of a political party, would not comment but The Courier-Mail understands her contract has been extended.
In a statement yesterday, Dr Rudd and current AMAQ president Dr Dilip Dhupelia said: "AMA Queensland members have diverse backgrounds and beliefs.
"As such, the organisation has always functioned in an apolitical manner. To suggest that the organisation, or its CEO, does otherwise is fundamentally untrue."
Speaking from Scotland, where he is on holidays, Dr Boyd said he could not comment on the controversy.
He said he would return to Brisbane in mid-July.