Promoting Choice

We must be the patient’s doctor;
not the government’s doctor;
nor the doctor of big business

Dr Bruce Shepherd AM
Freedom of choice in health care
Representing Doctors
Representing Doctors
Welcome to Australian Doctors’ Federation

A Better Future for Patients and Doctors

Why the Australian Doctors’ Federation?

A doctor’s responsibility must always be to do the best for their patients with the treatment options they can provide.  When citizens can no longer trust their doctor or lawyer to give them independent advice or treatment, they have lost their freedom.

The importance of the doctor-patient relationship is backed by a legal duty of care by doctors to their patients, as well as an ethical and legal responsibility for the doctor to act in accordance with accepted science.

From time to time, governments and commercial organisations will propose schemes and plans that will require doctors to act according to the directions and goals of organisations which have no direct responsibility for the outcome of medical treatment. The Australian Doctors’ Federation will always oppose any intervention which has, or is likely to have, a negative impact on the doctor-patient relationship.  Conversely, the Australian Doctors’ Federation will support policies and proposals which have a positive impact on the doctor-patient relationship.

Who is the Australian Doctors’ Federation?

The Australian Doctors’ Federation is the only organisation established and dedicated to protecting the independence of the doctor-patient relationship.

“I argued that we must be the patient’s doctor; not the government’s doctor; nor the doctor of big business.”

– Dr Bruce Shepherd AM, Founder

The Australian Doctors’ Federation (ADF) is financed by subscriptions from its members.  It does not seek or accept government grants or corporate sponsorship and hence it is an independent voice in Australian healthcare. The Australian Doctors’ Federation is independent from the Australian Medical Association (AMA), however the ADF will support the AMA in areas where it is promoting the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.

The ADF believes in a friendly and cooperative working relationship with all organisations who are promoting and supporting the highest standards of medical care for Australian patients. The ADF makes submissions to government on important issues impacting on the doctor-patient relationship. Given that the ADF has ongoing involvement with working doctors across all disciplines, we believe our advice is practical, relevant and real, and hence valuable for determining the likely beneficial effects of government or administrative action on patient outcomes. As such, the ADF has been involved in all major issues impacting on the doctor-patient relationship since its establishment in 1989.

Australian Doctors’ Federation

Our Principle Objectives


Ethical Standards

To maintain, improve, advance and promote the ethical standards, integrity and reputation of the medical profession


Health Care & Research

To research, develop, establish and promote health care policies for the benefit of all Australians & to promote community support for medical research

Choice of Health Care

To maintain, improve, advance and promote health care for all Australians and ensure that there is freedom of choice of health care

Community Awareness

To increase the Medical Profession’s awareness of the community’s continuing and changing health care needs

Join the Australian Doctors’ Federation

Supporting any and all actions that strengthen and enhance the doctor-patient relationship across Australia.

Australian Doctors’ Federation

Latest News

Vale John Allan Buntine

Vale John Allan Buntine

John attended Melbourne High School where, in the final year, he gained the Exhibition in Biology, first class honors in Physics and Chemistry and a Senior State Government Scholarship in addition to a Commonwealth Scholarship to attend the University of Melbourne...

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