A newly-formed medical union gathered in Melbourne at the weekend in a bid to reclaim medicine from the tight-grip of political control.
AMPS (Australian Medical Professional Society) was formed as part of movement to bring back trust and autonomy to the doctor-patient relationship.
The message from medical professionals who attended was clear: Let doctors be doctors and keep the politics out of medicine.
"Doctors whether they, for example regarding masks, regarding vaccines, regarding lockdowns, regarding any issue in the Covid era, if they've evaluated their evidence and if they're acting and advising their patients in good faith, then that is a matter between doctor and patient," Dr Robert Brennan said.
"That's the substance of free speech and that's also the substance of the scientific dialectic and so doctors of all stripes and all persuasions need to be able to have their voice unencumbered by regulators injecting politicisation of science, politicisation of medicine into the discourse."
Dr Brennan added that the turnout at the conference showed the need for an alternative union movement as traditional unions were now 'fronts for the interests of certain political parties and certain other interest groups and lobbies'.
The conference, held in Melbourne's Amora Hotel Riverwalk, hosted a range of international speakers including US author Naomi Wolf, Canadian Dr. Julie Ponesse of The Democracy Fund and Amy Kelly, program director for the War Room/DailyClout Pfizer Documents Analysis Project.
Throughout the pandemic, Australian doctors felt effectively muzzled from having individualised conversations with patients, with some describing the situation as a destruction of medical ethics and the defining first principles of patient care.
"During the pandemic so many doctors were silenced and a lot of doctors didn't agree with what was done in the pandemic response and we felt we lost our profession because of all the censorship and suppression," said anaesthetist, Dr Jeyanthi Kunadhasan who was terminated by the hospital she had worked at for 13 years.
Dr Duncan Syme added that Australian doctors had an increasingly important role to play in the wake of the pandemic.
"This (has been) more about control, and control of the whole population using medicine as a tool to start that control," he said.