Doctor’s Health Advisory Service Western Australia

For doctors in crisis, or not sure where to go for help with personal or health problems:

This confidential 24-hour health service is available to all doctors and medical students.  It can be utilized by the person themselves, or by a concerned family member, friend, colleague or staff member. Callers do not need to identify themselves.  Calls are taken by a panel of experienced male and female GPs, and calls are exempt from the mandatory reporting requirements of the Medical Board of Australia.

Problems dealt with include stress, depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, grief or concerns about illness. Sometimes the contact can be about impaired performance in a colleague. The panel GPs usually discuss the options available to callers when they are faced with a dilemma, or advise the caller on the most appropriate referral services.

Available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week

Phone  (08) 9321 3098

Background

The Doctors’ Health Advisory Service of Western Australia (DHAS WA) became a formal Association in November 2016.  It was formerly known as “Colleague of First Contact” which was established in the 1980s with the assistance of the Australian Medical Association of WA (AMA WA), and renamed DHAS WA in 2011. The main service provided by DHAS WA was a 24/7 advice line for doctors and medical students, staffed by a panel of experienced GPs.  Since 2016 DHAS WA has received funding from the Medical Board of Australia (MBA), to help support and expand its services. The AMA WA has been subcontracted to provide secretarial support to DHASWA.

Importantly, DHASWA has always been, and remains, a wholly independent entity separate from any other organisation including the AMA, and is exempt from the Mandatory Reporting requirements of MBA.

Objectives

The purpose of DHAS WA is to improve “the health and wellbeing of the medical profession in the public interest for the benefit of the community”. Its main objectives are:

  1. Providing confidential support to medical practitioners including medical students concerning their personal health problems.
  2. Promoting health education and training of medical practitioners to the medical profession including the promotion of self-care;
  3. Promoting the education and training of medical practitioners who treat medical practitioners;
  4. Promoting the development of resources to assist in the development, implementation and promotion of medical practitioner’s health services.
  5. Promoting, in the public interest, measures to assist medical practitioners in maintaining their health and wellbeing;
  6. Promoting a healthy lifestyle and healthy workplace for medical practitioners;
  7. Working in collaboration with the Medical Benevolent Association WA to meet common goals;
  8. Establishing and promoting dedicated health networks to support medical practitioners;
  9. Promoting research into medical practitioners health and cooperate with learned colleges, universities and professional medical organisations to meet shared objectives;
  10. Promoting measures to assist medical practitioners to manage their health and wellbeing, both at work and away from work, including liaison with media, hospital and health services, regularity authorities, medical defence organisations, learned colleges, universities, professional medical organisations and other training organisations.

 

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