GP Network News, Issue 10, Number 39 - 5 November 2010

5 Nov 2010

Collaborative Care

The Federal Council of the AMA today has reaffirmed that it does not support nurse practitioners working independently of doctors.

AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said that the AMA supports meaningful collaborative care arrangements between doctors and nurses under new measures that came into effect this week, and welcomes Health Minister Roxon’s public confirmation that the arrangements will not make nurse practitioners substitutes for doctors.

Dr Pesce said the Government and the health professions must be vigilant to ensure that the new arrangements provide the best possible care for patients and that some proposed models of care do not attempt to work against the spirit and the intent of the new legislation.

“Doctors support genuine collaborative care arrangements where doctors and nurses work together to provide complete ongoing care for their patients,” Dr Pesce said.

“It is important that the family doctor remains involved in patient care through the collaborative arrangements." Click here to read more

Improved surveillance strategies needed to manage vaccine safety

An article in the current edition of the Medical Journal of Australia advises that the passive surveillance that currently exists in this country with regard to adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) cannot be relied on as the sole means of surveillance.  The article calls for more active surveillance strategies and suggests that the way forward is to establish a coordinated, uniform approach to AEFI reporting, coding, collation and analysis. Click here to tell us what you think.

Another round for RAMUS

The 2011 application round for the Rural Australia Medical Undergraduate Scholarship (RAMUS) Scheme opens on 9 November 2010 and closes on 17 January 2011.

The Scheme assists selected students from a rural background study medicine at university and aims to attract more doctors to rural and remote Australia.

Guidelines for applying and the application form will be available from 9 November from here.

AMA submission to Health Workforce Australia - Clinical Supervisor Support Program

The 2008 national partnership agreement on hospital and health workforce reform includes a specific component to expand clinical training supervision capacity and competence.  $28 million has been set aside to expand clinical supervision capacity across the health professions.

Health Workforce Australia (HWA) prepared a discussion paper to consider supervision across professions and the educational continuum from professional entry through to postgraduate and vocational training. The AMA prepared a submission to HWA on the discussion paper. Click here to read our submission.

Will the RACGP standards deter small practice or accreditation itself?

Recent media has highlighted doctors' concerns that RACGP Standards for General Practice (4th edition) will make if difficult for solo GPs and small practices to meet the accreditation standards. This may either see the demise of small practice or see increasing numbers turn their back on accreditation.

The AMA raised similar concerns with the College in our submissions on the review of the previous standards and current standards in their draft form.  In particular, the AMA warned that if the attainment of the standards was not manageable, affordable or achievable for the majority the College risked practices walking away from accreditation.  In addition, the AMA highlighted the significant cost impost on smaller practices of the requirement for a height adjustable bed and spirometers, undertaking valid and reliable patient surveys, and increasing to 75% the percentage of medical records with a health summary.  The AMA got a win on the spirometers and they remain optional equipment rather than mandatory.

The College acknowledges that the work involved in accreditation is disproportionaly large for solo practices and has advised that practices will have greater flexibility in demonstrating how they meet the Standards and will be accredited using a "common sense" approach.

Nevertheless, the imposition of the greater costs of accreditation for small practices is an issue.  The AMA will continue to monitor this issue.

AMA working on Medicare Locals submission

The government issued a discussion paper on 29 October 2010 with a two week deadline for submissions.  The AMA submission will focus on the need to ensure that Medicare Locals do not become de-facto fund holding bodies in the long run and that their success will be judged on the extent to which they support and encourage general practice to provide greater access to health care services. Medicare Locals will be failures to the extent that they diminish general practice capacity in this area.

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

NPS seeks GP nominees for its Medicines Line

As part of the ongoing clinical governance for the NPS Medicines Line service, an advisory group is being formed, and the NPS is seeking nominations to recruit a practising General Practitioner.

The closing date for receipt of nomination(s) is Friday 19 November 2010.

If you are interested, please contact Sarah Spagnardi, Medicines Line Manager on or 02 8217 8685 for further information.

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In this Issue

Collaborative Care

Improved surveillance strategies needed to manage vaccine safety

Another round for RAMUS

AMA submission to Health Workforce Australia - Clinical Supervisor Support Program

Will the RACGP standards deter small practice or accreditation itself?

AMA working on Medicare Locals submission

NPS seeks GP nominees for its Medicines Line

Save up to 20% more on your I.T.

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.
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