GP Network News, Issue 10, Number 42 - 26 November 2010

26 Nov 2010

AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2010

The AMA last week released its Public Hospital Report Card for 2010. AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said that the report card showed there had been little improvement in public hospital capacity and performance despite extra Commonwealth funding as part of the National Healthcare Agreement and specific funding for elective surgery.

The report card shows that only 11 new hospital beds were opened across Australia during the reporting period and the elective surgery 'blitz' funded by the Commonwealth did not achieve desired results, resulting in no additional elective surgeries over and above the number that would normally have been expected to be performed.

Median waiting times for elective surgery remain static at 34 days, and well behind the average of 27 days seven years ago.  Hospitals are frequently running at unsafe occupancy levels and therefore have no real capacity to admit patients to wards from emergency departments more quickly or to perform more elective surgeries.

Governments and health policy commentators continue to claim that the public hospital problem areas identified in the Report Card will be resolved once the primary health care reforms take effect. The AMA does not believe that 'fixing' primary health care is the only solution needed to address the woes of public hospitals.  Certainly more Government support to assist mainstream general practice to reduce the demands of acute and chronic disease on public hospitals will be of benefit but hospitals must be appropriately funded and monitored to ensure safe occupancy levels and performance and to deal with the inevitable continued demand for acute care.

The AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2010 achieved saturation media coverage nationally in newspapers, on radio, and television.  It was the biggest health news story of the week.

Click here to view the associated AMA press release and the Report Card.

Mental Health and Insurance - Professional Survey

The AMA, as a member of the Mental Health MoU Working Group, is asking members to participate in a survey being conducted by the Mental Health Council of Australia and beyondblue.

The purpose of the survey is to find out about the experiences of professionals providing mental health services specifically related to their involvement in their patients applications and claims for insurance.

GPs are encouraged to participate and can do so by clicking here.

Pulse+IT

AMA members will have recently received the November edition of Pulse+IT with their November 15 copy of the MJA.  This edition of Pulse+IT, the last for the year, contains a membership survey, which is also available for completion online - click here.

AMA members are encouraged to complete the survey at a convenient time (before 15 December) to ensure any feedback the AMA membership has about the magazine is able to be considered by the editor whilst preparations for 2011 are being made.

One lucky respondent will receive an iPad (RRP $629), shipped in time for delivery by Christmas, courtesy of Pulse+IT.

Aftercare

Following an enquiry from the AMA on behalf of our members seeking clarification about MBS payments for aftercare of public patients when the patient attends a GP, Medicare Australia has provided the following advice:

  1. Where a patient independently chooses to consult a private medical practitioner for aftercare, then the clinically relevant service provided during this professional attendance will attract Medicare benefits.
  2. Where a public patient independently chooses to consult a private medical practitioner for aftercare following treatment from a public hospital emergency department, then the clinically relevant service provided during this professional attendance will attract Medicare benefits.

This means that where a patient independently chooses to attend a private practitioner for aftercare outside of the available public hospital arrangements, a Medicare rebate is payable.  

'Independently chooses' means that the patient has not been directed by the public hospital or by the practitioner who rendered the public services to attend a private practitioner.

 

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


Celebrate the benefits of AMA Membership

RENEW your AMA Membership before 28th February 2011 on your AMA American Express® Card to be in the draw to win up to $7,500 Credit on your Card*.

1st Prize       $7,500 Credit on AMA American Express Card
2nd Prize      $5,000 Credit on AMA American Express Card
3rd Prize       $2,500 Credit on AMA American Express Card


Plus earn at least ONE REWARDS POINT for every dollar you spend.

Look out for your member subscription notice in the mail, or for details on how to renew visit contact your state AMA or phone 1300 133 655.

If you do not have an AMA American Express Card please visit http://ama.com.au/amex and apply today.

For more information and full terms and conditions click here

 

In this Issue

AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2010

Mental Health and Insurance - Professional Survey

Pulse+IT

Aftercare

Celebrate the benefits of AMA Membership

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, Legal Services and Workplace Policy team can be contacted via email gpnn@ama.com.au or by phone (02) 6270 5400
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