Gold Coast Medical Community / Medical Network / Medical Conferences

Our history


The Gold Coast Medical Association (GCMA) evolved from the South Coast Local Medical Association (SCLMA), which held its first meeting in 1949. At that time, there were less than 20 general practitioners operating in the region. 


From the outset, the local members identified their aim as being the promotion of the scientific, medico-political and medico-ethical interests of the members. Underlying this philosophy was their desire to form a bond of union between members of the medical profession, and a medium through which their opinions may be ascertained and expressed.

 Throughout the Association’s 60-plus year history, it has faced a succession of significant issues and challenges. But in facing these changes and challenges, and the various ups and downs within the Association itself, the GCMA has remained true to its original ideals and is still today the only organisation that represents the broad spectrum of medical services and specialties available in the region.

In line with the technologies now available, the GCMA website serves as another vital link between members, providing a convenient and immediate source of information about the services available in the local community.


communication & awareness


The GCMA disseminates regular press releases to local print, television and broadcast media in order to create public awareness of health matters and medico-political issues. The Association has been a leader in the field of community awareness and publicity campaigns since 1985, setting the standards for other local medical associations to follow.

In recent years, major campaigns instigated by the GCMA include the Gold Coast Hospital crisis, which resulted in a public rally attended by 2000 people, as well as public campaigns on youth suicide, menopause, bowel-scan awareness, palliative care, mental health first aid, a 'Walk the Talk' campaign to highlight the exercise programs of its members and encouraging their patients to exercise, and an 'Organ Donation' awareness campaign.

On the 4th of November 2000, the inaugural GCMA Health Expo brought together Gold Coast private health providers, institutions and related medical fraternities direct to the general public. 'Good Health' seminars provided attendees with information on topics such as cancer prevention, dental health, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and women’s health. These Expo's have been held in subsequent years. In 2012, the event was held in conjunction with the Gold Coast Council's Women's Health & Wellbeing Expo that attracted large numbers over the two days.

The initial communication link between GCMA and local practitioners was MediLink. This publication was later expanded into a full colour magazine titled The Medical Link which is distributed to all local medical practitioners within the Gold Coast region. It is now in its 18th year of publication and keeps members informed of all association activities, new health services available in the local community, developments on national issues relevant to the medical profession and other items of more general interest.


local & national political issues


Severe under-funding of the Gold Coast Hospital has been a cause championed by the GCMA since the hospital opened in 1960. In addition to securing major grants and funding allocations from time to time, the GCMA has served as a respected voice on other key issues such as fluoridation of local water supplies and support for junior doctors at the Gold Coast Hospital.

On a national basis, the GCMA, through its close ties with the Queensland branch of the AMA, has provided frontline feedback on: bulk billing, government proposals to restrict provider numbers for graduates, professional liability and insurance, HIV testing for pre-operative patients, managed care and introduction of new advertising laws.

Over the years, the GCMA Committee has established and maintained regular lines of communication with local, state and national politicians, as well as various media representatives, and is regarded as the pre-eminent local authority on health and medical-related issues.


fundraising & sponsorship


While not a fundraising organisation, the GCMA has been inspired by the enthusiasm of individual members participating in Gold Coast marathons and triathlons that have raised considerable funds for a host of local charities, including the Alcohol Rehabilitation Program, Lifeline, the Disabled Sport and Recreation Association and, in more recent years, the Gold Coast Care for Children Fund. GCMA also sponsors awards for excellence in study by medical and nursing students at both Griffith and Bond Universities.


medical conferences


In 2009, the Gold Coast Medical Association combined with the Fiji Medical Association and the Fiji College of General Practitioners to present a medical conference in Fiji, strengthening ties between these associations. In 2011, GCMA presented the inaugural Gold Coast Medical & Health Sciences Conference. In 2012, the two-day conference will be combined with the annual Griffith University Research conference.