Greetings from the president

There are Koreans in Sydney who continue to face disadvantage and have difficulty in accessing health care. This is often an old grandmother. She is poor, speaks little English, lives alone, with children busy or distant, reliant on public transport and the good will of friends in similar situations for social supports. She just manages to keep her life together until ill health strikes. It is this person that we wish to assist first and foremost. Of course it could be a grandfather, man, woman or child. Our goal is to ensure that no Korean faces disadvantage when it comes to accessing health care.

We are blessed in Australia to have a great health care system, and have many locally and overseas trained doctors in all fields of medicine that serve the Korean community with compassion and competency. Specialists, general practitioners and young doctors of Korean heritage work throughout Sydney caring for the Korean as well as wider community. However, it is clear that there is a need for medical practitioners to engage as a group to better serve our community.  Hence, Korean Australian Medical Society was formed in November 2012, as a charity.

The main goals of our charity are to improve health care outcomes through educational activities and improved access to health professionals, facilitating where required. To ensure that the medical services are readily accessible for the community through increased awareness, and to become advocates for the specific needs of our community to the relevant partners in health and government.

We are now celebrating our first anniversary and reflect on some our activities.
A series of medical educational meetings for doctors have addressed key medical issues relevant to our community. These have provided opportunities to meet one another and foster new friendships. Educational forums for the general public have also been undertaken in partnership with other health care organisations under the umbrella of Korean Health Committee. This has enabled us to develop strong partnerships with other Korean community workers building a team, ensuring a comprehensive approach to our projects. Media coverage with newspaper educational columns and radio interview has also provided educational opportunities. We hope to build on this in the coming year with a number of exciting projects in place.

Advocating for our community remains priority and we hope to continue to provide a point of contact for the local as well as international organisations fostering strong long-term partnerships.

In reflecting on our achievement over the past year, we are proud to have had the opportunity to engage in a much more effective way with each other and with our Korean community. More over, we remain ever so grateful for the opportunity to give a little back to our community who have nourished and supported us and enabled us to become who we are today.

from Dr Alice Lee, President of KAMS