Equity in Health – Constitution vote outcome

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM; the College) is pleased to announce that a special resolution voted on by Fellows to include health equity as an Object into the ACEM Constitution has passed.

The new object

The objects for which the College is established are to:

Strive for excellence and equity in emergency care for Aboriginal, Torres Strait islander and Māori communities in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, through a commitment to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in Aotearoa New Zealand, the process of Reconciliation in Australia and the intent of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The resolution was voted on by 845 FACEMs, with a total of 792 votes (93.73 per cent of voting FACEMs) supporting the resolution .

ACEM President John Bonning says the passing of the resolution is the ‘right thing’ and that he is proud to see the new Object written into the ACEM Constitution.

‘It’s great to see. We had a lot of excellent engagement through the voting period and it is satisfying to see so many voices stand up to say that we can do better and let’s start here.’

‘This Object will build upon the work started with the College’s reconciliation action plans and Manaaki Mana strategy. It is important now that what we have committed to is brought into practice in our emergency departments.’

Dr Bonning acknowledged there were some votes not in favour of the object being incorporated into the ACEM Constitution and indicated that there might be a variety of reasons people voted against the motion, including semantics.

‘Whether people voted ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, we know there is still plenty of work to do within our membership to help improve equity in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Māori.’

Co-chairs of the College’s recently established Indigenous Health Committee (successor to the former Indigenous Health Subcommittee) FACEMs Glenn Harrison and Max Raos are thankful the result is such a positive one.

‘Congratulations to the ACEM Board and all our members in enshrining our values and determination to improve health equity and outcomes for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori patients,’ Dr Harrison says.

‘The Constitutional change is an amazing and historic result – your support for this change and ongoing commitment builds towards ongoing reconciliation.’

Dr Raos says: ‘The move towards equity acknowledges that we are all in this together. A big thanks to everyone who voted. Kia kotahi tātou.’

The new Object takes immediate effect and an updated Constitution is now available on the College website.

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