GP Network News, Issue 10, Number 45 - 17 December 2010
As part of the consultation process for this initiative the government has released a discussion paper inviting comments by 27 January 2011. AMA attended a consultation forum on this to discuss the scope of the measure. We highlighted the importance of reimbursing telephone consultations as well as video consultations.
In the election, the Government announced support for tele-health services including $250 million for MBS rebates for tele-health consultations. There is also $56.8 million in incentive payments to help medical professionals with the purchase of hardware, software and support to enable effective use of the system and $35 million for training.
A link to the paper is here.
On 16 December 2010 the AMA attended a Rural Stakeholder Forum in Melbourne convened by Minister Roxon. Dr Geoff White attended for AMA. The forum was an opportunity for the Minister to update stakeholders on the progress of rural health reforms and also an opportunity for the profession to highlight the major issues facing the bush. The main issues raised by the profession were the National Rural Generalist Training Pathway and a rural incentives package. The package is designed to encourage more doctors to work in rural areas and to boost the number of doctors in rural areas with essential obstetrics, surgical or emergency skills.
Dr Brian Morton, Dr Cathy Hutton and Ms Michelle Grybaitis represented the AMA at the National Immunisation Strategy Forum on 15 December. Key issues discussed included: vaccine distribution and storage, workforce and training, delivery and administration, surveillance and monitoring including adverse events. The AMA supports development of a strategy and welcomes the opportunity to be involved believing there should be a focus on GPs in delivering vaccinations.
The AIHW released its report, Health expenditure Australia 2008-09 on 14 December.
The report highlights total health expenditure reached $112.8 billion, or $5,190 per person in 2008-09. This amount was $6.2 billion more than the previous year. A link to the full report is here.
At a cost of $5 million, the Government launched its MyHospitals website on 10 December. The website was set up under the NHHN Agreement and presents general data on individual hospitals, both public and private, throughout Australia including waiting times for ED and elective surgery for 2009-10.
The AMA has urged government to include more timely data and more useful data such as bed numbers and bed occupancy rates. AMA press release is here.
A link to the MyHospitals website is here.
A recent report released by the NSW Government Bureau of Health Information showed that 93% of Australians considered the medical care they received from their GP in the last twelve months was good, very good or excellent. The full 94 page report can be viewed here.
The RACGP has issued a new patient feedback guide that aims to assist practices in collecting patient feedback. From mid 2011 this will be a mandatory requirement as part of the RACGP Standards for General Practice 4th edition. The guide will assist GPs and practice staff to gather relevant information from patients. A link to the guide is here.
This is the final edition for 2010 and the GP Network News team wishes you compliments of the season and best wishes for a peaceful, relaxing break over the holidays.
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