The Medical Services Committee of NSW is a unique institution. Incorporated into NSW legislation in 1984, following the NSW Doctors’ Dispute, the committee has legislative oversight of all Acts of Parliament in NSW that impact on the practice of medicine. Sydney General Surgeon Dr John Dixon Hughes was its Chairman from 1984 to 1996 and its administrator from 1996 to 2018, marking 34 years of continuous service to this important committee. A graduate of the class of 1953, John has over 60 years’ experience as a surgeon, including 21 years as an honorary surgeon at Sydney Hospital.
The Australian Association of Surgeons played a critical role in the 1984 Doctors’ Dispute. Dr Dixon Hughes’s continued service at all levels of that association, including as President, was an important contributor to the successful outcome of the dispute and the maintenance of clinical independence for doctors working as VMOs in the NSW public hospital system.

During that time, John also contributed to infection control in NSW hospitals by serving as the Chairman of the NSW Health Infection Control Advisory Group from 1996-2005. For long and distinguished service to organisations that support the independence of the Australian medical profession, we hereby present Dr John Dixon Hughes with a Bruce Shepherd Medal.