Ep81: Advocacy from the Top
In episode 78 we heard from some physicians who found themselves taking up the role of advocate, not just for their own patients but for broader system change. And health policy lobbyist Patrick Tobin explained how physicians and the College as whole can best get the attention of parliamentarians. For example, the RACP’s Healthy Climate Futures campaign calls on Government to make the healthcare system more resilient against the shocks of climate heating and extreme weather events.
To complete this series, this episode focuses on what happens to advocacy issues after they land on an MP’s desk, and how they get churned through the Canberra machine to eventually become policy. We hear the perspectives of two physicians turned politicians in interviews that first appeared as part of an RACP documentary called The Advocate’s Journey.
Dr Mike Freelander practiced for 37 years as a paediatrician in Sydney’s southwest before being elected to the federal Division of Macarthur in 2016. for the Labor party. Dr Katie Allen was elected in 2019 as the Liberal Member for Higgins after practicing at the Royal Children’s Hospital and directing the Australian Centre of Food and Allergy Research.
While the federal election in May 2022 rearranged some of the chairs at the table, the RACP is proud of all its members who have taken the brave steps of entering the political fray. The represent all colours of the political spectrum and we are grateful to have such influential champions for health policy.
Dr Rob Lethbridge FRACP (Perth Children’s Hospital)
Dr Mike Freelander MP FRACP
Dr Katie Allen MP (at time of interview)
Written by RACP Professional Practice team. Music licenced from Epidemic Sound includes ‘Ikigai’ by Twelwe and ‘No Show (Instrumental Version)’ by Penny Lane. Photo courtesy of Michael@Unsplash
Please visit the RACP website for a transcript. RACP members can claim CPD credits for listening via MyCPD.