Professor Judith Dwyer honoured for lifetime contribution to Australia’s health

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) awarded the 2014 Sidney Sax medal to Professor Judith Dwyer today, honouring her lifelong commitment to delivering high quality health services in Australia, particularly in the area of Indigenous health.

Speaking at the organisation’s annual conference in Sydney, AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven said that the award recognised the extraordinary dedication and achievements of Professor Dwyer.

“With more than 20 years of experience in community, hospital and government settings, Professor Dwyer has earned huge respect among her peers and made an immeasurable impact with her research. In particularly, her research focusing on health system governance and design has touched the lives of so many across Australia.”

“This is a singular honour, and I am truly delighted to receive it,” Professor Dwyer said in a statement to conference delegates. “I had the great pleasure of spending a little time with Sid Sax when I was a young health policy and management enthusiast, and he was the chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. He was a generous and wise advisor on anything to do with health policy and programs, or the careers of young managers.”

Professor Dwyer, who currently works in the Health Care Management Department at Flinders University, also raised an issue that she believes Dr Sidney Sax would have seen as critical today.

“I have recently had a powerful reason to be grateful for Australia's public health system, during the final illness of my sister Sue, a loved and respected professional actor. Sue lived on a low income for most of her life as theatre people do. I watched her receive first class diagnostics and treatment without charge at the Princess Alexandra in Brisbane. One day I saw her pay $20 for four expensive drugs at the hospital pharmacy. It reminded me that I love this country, for allowing her the dignity of being able to afford her treatment.

“In times like these, the role of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is critical. There is now, once more, much to be done in defending Medicare and the principle of universal access that has served the Australian community so well.”

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, community and primary healthcare services, and advocates for universal, high quality and affordable healthcare to benefit the whole community.

Media enquiries:

Dom Lavers

Communications Officer, AHHA

0421 190 600