GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 14 - 15 April 2011

15 Apr 2011

Testing for Vitamin D deficiency

Dr Brian Morton, Chair, AMA Council of General Practice, in the upcoming edition of Australian Medicine discusses the evidence supporting testing for Vitamin D deficiency. The article points out that identifying and treating those with Vitamin D deficiency prevents more expensive morbidities in the longer term. Dr Morton advises that if the Government is serious about preventive health and about the long term costs of health care in Australia then they need to be careful about implementing shortsighted policy designed only to reduce outlays on pathology services. See Australian Medicine Online on 18 April 2011 to read the full article.

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR)

The AMA this week welcomed the release of the Draft Concept of Operations - Relating to the introduction of a PCEHR system and the opportunity it provides to raise concerns and provide input to the way the PCEHR will operate. As a long time supporter of e-health systems and shared electronic records, the AMA wants to ensure the right information goes onto the record and that treating doctors have access to it. AMA Vice President, Dr Steve Hambleton said that initially the record should include current medication, discharge summaries, and pathology and diagnostic imaging results. To ensure the PCEHR is trusted, only medical practitioners should contribute medical information to the clinical part of the record. The AMA will be responding to the Draft Concept of Operations with a detailed submission. Click here for more.

Doctors’ Health

This week the AMA released its revised Position Statement on the Health and Wellbeing of Doctors and Medical Students. AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said it is important that doctors and medical students look after their own health as well as their patients throughout their training and professional careers. The AMA recommends that all doctors should have their own general practitioner rather than attempting to diagnose and treat themselves. Click here for more.

Certifying Illness

The AMA recently updated its Guidelines for Medical Practitioners on Certificates Certifying Illness 2011. The guidelines outline the responsibilities of medical practitioners, patients and employers, list certificate requirements, and provide information about dating the certificate and when to, and when not to, issue one. Click here to view.

Emergency Training

Recent natural disasters in Australia (and overseas) including fires, floods and cyclones have demonstrated the important role that doctors play in emergency situations. In the course of these disaster situations many doctors have expressed their willingness to be more involved in disaster management planning and recovery. The AMACGP is taking up this issue with the Australian Government and has requested that the role of general practice be incorporated into Emergency Response Plans across the country.

For any General Practitioners who are interested in becoming more actively involved in the planning and response measures taken in disasters/emergencies, the Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI), which is part of the Attorney Generals Department, offers a number of general courses that may be of interest. The courses are aimed at a variety of target audiences but some of the courses specifically list medical and other health professionals in the list of people who could participate. Some of the courses that may be of interest include: Beyond Command and Control: New Leadership for New Crises (4-6 May 2011); Facilitate Emergency Risk Assessment (10-13 May 2011); Liaise with Other Organisations (31 May - 2 June 2011); and Engaged and Resilient Communities Workshop (17-19 May 2011). For more information on these courses click here.

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

Discounts for Doctors - $25 Off

Attention AMA members – if you’re planning to rent a car during April, Hertz can help.

Rent for five days or more, with a Hertz NeverLost GPS unit, and receive $25 off your rental*.

To book, call Hertz on 133039 or visit and quote CDP #283826 and Promotion Code #156030

* Conditions apply. Valid at participating Australian locations on Compact, and above standard vehicle groups until 31 May 2011, excluding Easter weekend. Hertz standard terms, conditions and credit qualifications apply.

In this Issue

Testing for Vitamin D deficiency

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record

Doctors’ Health

Certifying Illness

Emergency Training

Hertz Discounts for Doctors

Email the AMA

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AMA is the peak medical organisation in Australia representing the profession’s interests to Government and the wider community.
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