GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 49 - 16 December 2011
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton said the new Health Minister, Ms Plibersek’s Ministerial experience along with her commitment to social equity and social justice makes her well equipped to take on the demands and challenges of the Health portfolio. The AMA looks forward to a close working relationship with the new Minister, Dr Hambleton said. The AMA will be seeking a meeting at the earliest opportunity to discuss a range of issues including primary health care reforms and the need to reverse the cuts to the Better Access mental health services available through general practice.
The AMA also acknowledged the contribution of former Minister Nicola Roxon, with Dr Hambleton wishing her well in the next stage of her political career. The full press release is here
The AMA applauded the Prime Minister’s decision earlier this week to appoint the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, to Cabinet and adding Social Inclusion to his portfolio. There is a lot of unfinished business in mental health and aged care and many conflicting views about the way ahead in both areas, AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton said. The AMA will seek an early meeting with the Minister to discuss a range of issues, especially mental health funding arrangements for patients seeing GPs under the Better Access program. The full press release is here.
The AMA is extremely disappointed that the Forum on Food Regulation held last week failed to endorse the traffic light system of labelling for packaged food. AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that the Forum had followed the lead of the Federal Government, which last week, caved in to industry pressure to put self-regulation ahead of legislated action to protect and improve people’s health. It has opted for a deliberation process that may decide on a front-of-pack labelling system, but not a traffic light system. The AMA wants to know the Terms of Reference for this process, who will participate, how it will be conducted, what sort of collaboration is envisaged, and how the decision will be made, Dr Hambleton said. The full press release is here.
The AMA has released a background paper on the role of financial incentives in preventive health. The paper explores the effectiveness and limitations of using financial incentives and disincentives to encourage better preventive health decisions. In the paper the AMA:
Dr Brian Morton, Chair of AMACGP, in this week’s Australian Medicine provided a brief review of this year’s events. The review touching on issues related to Mental Health, Medicare Locals, and GP Super Clinics. Some of the good news stories for the year including the promise of GP referred MRI items and the implementation of the Coordinated Veterans’ Care Program. Click here to read the article in full.
The AMA encourages medical practitioners to determine their own fees based on their own practice costs. To guide medical practitioners in determining their fees and to assist those considering moving from bulk billing to patient billing, the AMA provides members with tools and resources, which are available at http://ama.com.au/feeslist. There is a checklist for those medical practitioners who have decided to move from bulk billing to patient billing and a template letter to explain to their patients why their fee is different to the Medicare rebate.
The AMA Gaps Poster illustrates why patients might have to pay a gap. The poster shows the effect of the difference between the indexation of Medicare Schedule fees and the Consumer Price Index and average weekly earnings. Download a A4 size poster that you may print, or you can order a colour A3 size poster by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling on (02) 6270 5400
As another year rolls by your GP Network News team would like to take this opportunity to wish you compliments of the season and a happy and peaceful Christmas break. Our first edition for 2012 will be published on January 13 and we look forward to bringing you all the latest GP news.
Rent a car for 7 days or more with Hertz and you’ll only pay for 6. That’s on top of all the usual benefits you’d expect with your Hertz rental including your usual AMA rate discount.