AMA calls emergency Town Hall meeting

22 Jun 2022

Maria and Omar


AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid has called an emergency virtual Town Hall meeting for 6.30pm Thursday evening (23 June) to discuss our response to the North Queensland Scope of Practice Pilot.

The North Queensland pharmacy trial, as it has been called, will allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense autonomously. It will allow chemists in 37 local government to diagnose and treat 23 conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart failure and asthma without consulting a GP.

The Queensland Government says a recent two-year Queensland urinary tract infection pharmacy prescribing trial was a success, but we strongly disagree, and the lack of transparency about this trial has been a red flag to the AMA.

With no meaningful data available about the UTI trial, which was open to non-pregnant women aged 18 to 65, AMA Queensland surveyed 1,300 doctors and found approximately one in five treated patients for serious complications which were either missed or misdiagnosed by pharmacists in the trial. The complications ranged from antibiotic allergies to ectopic pregnancies to cervical cancer.

The Queensland Government is using this trial as evidence the North Queensland Scope of Practice Pilot should go ahead. The Pharmacy Guild meanwhile says the pilot will bring Queensland in line with countries like Canada, New Zealand, England and Wales. The AMA believes this is entirely disingenuous. The experience in other countries does not mirror what is proposed.

The AMA and AMA Queensland believes the trial places an unacceptable risk on patient health and safety. It will exacerbate workforce shortages and hospital pressures; widen the health gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; fragment healthcare and exacerbate emergency department ramping and hospital logjam; and is a major conflict of interest for pharmacists.

Please join Dr Khorshid and AMA Queensland President Dr Maria Boulton at 6.30pm to 8pm this Thursday, 23 June via Zoom for this emergency Town Hall meeting to discuss all these issues and the way forward.

Dr Khorshid will give an overview of the scale of the problem, and we will hear from the RACGP, and about the threat to Indigenous communities. The North Queensland Doctors Guild will talk about the grass roots response, and Dr Khorshid will facilitate a question-and-answer session.

We hope to see you there. To attend you must register here.

Please note you will receive an email with Zoom links and details on how to attend. This may take up to 48 hours to appear in your inbox as your registration will need to be verified. If you have any issues or questions regarding registering your attendance, please contact

If you can’t get to the Town Hall but want to help stop the pharmacy prescribing trail, click here to register to attend the AMA National conference where action on the pharmacy prescribing trail will be explored further.

Published: 22 Jun 2022