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GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 22 - 10 June 2011

AMA 2011 Family Doctor Week – 18 to 24 July; First Medicare Locals announced; Health Alert - Important advice from DoHA on E.coli outbreak in Europe; Bowel Cancer Week 5-11 June; General Practice Training – what lies ahead?; After Hours Reform; Adverse Event reporting made easier; ONEPATH is one of Australia's leading providers of wealth, insurance and advice solutions; Email the AMA; Post new comment

10 Jun 2011
AMA 2011 Family Doctor Week – 18 to 24 July

The AMA’s annual Family Doctor Week is only a few weeks away. From Monday 18 to Sunday 24 July this year's Family Doctor Week theme is Your Family Doctor: Excellence in Health Care. A feature of the week will be AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton’s National Press Club address on Wednesday 20 July. There will be a range of other media activity to highlight the importance of having a family doctor. A special AMA Family Doctor Week webpage will also feature so stay tuned to what will be happening that week.

First Medicare Locals announced

The first 15 Medicare Locals were announced this week and are due to commence operating in less than a month. AMA President, Dr Steve Hambelton, urged the Government to rethink its poorly thought out plans for Medicare Locals and work with the medical profession to develop a model of care with a greater chance of success. He said that the AMA noted that the Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, made the following commitments at the recent AMA National Conference:

  • Medicare Locals will support and assist GPs to provide better care for their patients;
  • Medicare Locals are not intended to and will not displace the central role of the GP in the primary care system.  They will need to include local GPs in their governance and board structures – we are crystal clear on this.  And we have absolutely no plans to cash out Medicare benefits and have these funds held by Medicare Locals; and
  • We don’t want to usurp the role of the GP.

The Government should stall the Medicare Locals rollout until a consultation process is in place and these commitments are fully locked in, Dr Hambleton said. The full AMA press release is here.

Health Alert - Important advice from DoHA on E.coli outbreak in Europe

As you may be aware a significant outbreak of Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichis coli (EHEC) 0104:H4, a highly pathogenic bacterium subgroup of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) is occurring in Germany. Any patient with a history of travel to Germany and onset of diarrhoea in the last 2 weeks should have a stool sample collected and sent for testing for bacterial pathogens including STEC. Any positive samples can be forwarded to a reference laboratory for H and O antigen identification. Updated information, details on symptoms to watch for, treatment and the reporting of any confirmed local cases are available on the Department of Health and Ageing’s website.

Bowel Cancer Week 5-11 June

This week is Bowel Cancer Week and new research released by the Cancer Council shows although more than 80% of people aged 50+ are aware of a simple, at home screening test for bowel cancer, less than half of those aware of FOBT have actually done the test. The Cancer Council recommends all Australians over 50 have a Faecal Occult Blood Test every 2 years. Ms Tang, Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Bowel Cancer Screening Committee acknowledged GPs were hard-pressed to include all health messages in a consultation, but urged them to make FOBT screening a routine recommendation for patients over 50. A copy of the Cancer Councils’ full press release is here.

General Practice Training – what lies ahead?

A supplement in the latest Medical Journal of Australia examines the past and the future for general practice training, including challenges in areas like keeping programs up to date, Indigenous, rural and remote health and aged care. Past experiences, contemporary issues and what lies ahead are some of the topics examined in the supplement here.

After Hours Reform

The key elements of the Government’s After Hours reform are:

  • Establishing a new after hours telephone-based GP Medical advice diagnostic service to be launched on 1 July (early 2012 in Qld)
  • Funding Medicare Locals to be responsible for the planning and funding of local face-to-face after hours primary care services

The Government has circulated a list of FAQs in relation to this initiative. The six page list is for both patients and GPs and includes advice on how GPs can advise their patients of the new service. The list is available here.

Adverse Event reporting made easier

A link to the TGA Blue Card is now available from the ‘For Health Professionals’ tab on Medicare Australia's website. This inclusion is the result of AMA advocacy following advice from members about the difficulties in reporting adverse events following the cessation of printing the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits and the complexities in navigating the TGA's website.

The AMA worked with the TGA and Medicare Australia to provide an easy access point to the TGA's reporting mechanisms. From this link reporting adverse reaction to a medicine can be done either online, via the Blue Card or via the Adverse Medicines Events (phone) line.

 

We welcome your comments and suggestions as well.  Please tell us what you think.

 


ONEPATH is one of Australia's leading providers of wealth, insurance and advice solutions

 

OnePath Life has a comprehensive range of life and income insurance products available to members of the AMA.

With OnePath Life’s ProSecure Income Replacement Plan, you can be paid a monthly Disability Benefit if you fall ill or get injured and are unable to work. With no medical or blood tests, you can receive immediate cover on acceptance. For more information call OnePath Life on 1800 658 679 or click here.

ProSecure Income Replacement Plan is issued by OnePath Life Limited (OnePath Life) (ABN 33 009 657, 176 AFSL 238341). OnePath Life is a wholly owned subsidiary of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) ABN 11 005 357 522, an authorised deposit taking institution (Bank) under the Banking Act 1959 (Cth). OnePath Life is the issuer of the product but it is not a Bank. Except as set out in the issuer's contract terms (including the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)), this product is not a deposit or other liability of ANZ or its related group companies. None of them stands behind or guarantees the issuer. You should read the PDS (available online or by calling 1800 658 679) and consider whether this product is right for you. OnePath is committed to providing the AMA and its members with the highest level of support, including a financial contribution, towards the AMA’s activities and programs.

 

 

In this Issue

AMA 2011 Family Doctor Week – 18 to 24 July

First Medicare Locals announced

Health Alert - Important advice from DoHA on E.coli outbreak in Europe

Bowel Cancer Week 5-11 June

General Practice Training – what lies ahead?

After Hours Reform

Adverse Event reporting made easier

ONEPATH is one of Australia's leading providers of wealth, insurance and advice solutions

Email the AMA

Post new comment to the website

 




AMA is the peak medical organisation in Australia representing the profession’s interests to Government and the wider community. Your Federal AMA General Practice Policy team can be contacted via email gpnn@ama.com.au or by phone (02) 6270 5400. You can unsubscribe from GPNN by emailing unsubscribe@ama.com.au

 

Related document (Members only): 
Health Reform FAQ (227.68 KB)

Published: 10 Jun 2011