Former Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dr Bill Boyd.
Former Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dr Bill Boyd.

AMAQ board criticised in explosive letter

IN more explosive claims gripping the Australian Medical Association Queensland branch, its board and chairman have been accused of acting "irrationally" over their treatment of past president Bill Boyd.

But the AMAQ has denied the allegations maintaining that the board's actions were in the best interests of the members.

Dr Boyd, a Mackay gynaecologist, has been mired in controversy after making the decision to give his President's Award to controversial LNP MP Christian Rowan, who was censured by the AMA's federal council in 2014 during the bitter doctors' contract dispute with the Newman Government.

The decision - regarded by some as provocative - prompted the AMAQ board to scrap the gong and threaten its past president with expulsion if he did not fail to resign from the organisation's council.

In a defiant move, after being warned not give the award to Dr Rowan, a past AMAQ president, Dr Boyd got dressed up in his presidential robes and gave it to him anyway in May - five months ahead of when it's usually handed over at the doctor group's annual black tie dinner. Dr Boyd's term as president ended soon afterwards.

Dr Boyd, who is on holidays in Scotland, has not commented publicly on his choice for the award, but in a letter to fellow AMAQ councillors, obtained by The Courier-Mail, he wrote: "Doctors are healers. Are we to nurture hate for certain of our members forever? Are we to teach that hate to our upcoming, junior colleagues as we have seen in theatres of civil war abroad? I think not."

A separate unsigned letter, written by an AMAQ council member to new Queensland branch president Dilip Dhupelia, criticised the board and its chairman over their treatment of Dr Boyd, a Mackay gynaecologist.

While the letter's author did not agree with Dr Boyd's decision to give an AMAQ award to Dr Rowan, he went on to tell Dr Dhupelia: "You told the Council that Bill chose Chris as the recipient because Chris is a potential important Member of Parliament. It is quite reasonable that Bill thought the award had the potential to make a powerful friend in the Queensland Parliament, a parliamentarian who could plausibly be considered as even a future Minister. Having Chris as an AMAQ ally in Parliament, even as a backbencher, would be a significant positive relationship to promote future AMAQ interests."

The letter accuses the board and its chairman of potentially harming the AMAQ by their actions.

"The narrative of events appears to demonstrate that the Board and the Chair have acted irrationally," the author said.

"Recalling that the first duty of directors of a corporation is to act in the best interest of the corporation, the directors of AMAQ have appeared to act in a manner that they knew, or ought to have known, would cause material harm to the Association," the author said.

In a statement, Dr Dhupelia said AMAQ directors were aware of their obligations under the Corporations Act and had acted with due care and diligence.

"Actions taken by the Board are always taken in the best interest of the membership of AMA Queensland," he said.

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