GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 17 - 6 May 2011
In its budget submission lodged in early February 2011, AMA argued for a redirection of GP Super clinic expenditure into the provision of GP infrastructure grants to existing practices (no net cost) and for an additional $175 million for a further 575 GP infrastructure grants. AMA also argued for GPs to be able to order rebateable MRIs for a range of conditions, additional funding into chronic disease management, an increase in the rebate for non VR GPs and better indexation of all GP MBS rebates.
The budget is to be delivered on 10 May and is of course confidential. There has been speculation in the media that means testing of the private health insurance rebate will be introduced, health and medical research will be cut and a significant mental health package with possible negative consequences for GPs and their patients.
AMA Vice President Dr Steve Hambleton appeared before the Senate Inquiry yesterday and told the Senators that “Far from reducing red tape, the introduction of the national registration scheme has in fact diverted considerable health care delivery hours away from direct patient care. Thousands of doctors and other health practitioners, large numbers of health care providers such as hospitals, and member organisations like the AMA have spent countless hours and administrative resources dealing with individual and generic problems with registration.”
“We have to restore the medical profession’s confidence in the regulatory system and we have to do it fast. The AMA would like to see AHPRA staff dedicated to the medical profession. AMA is asking that AHPRA and the Medical Board set up arrangements to work with the medical profession to streamline the registration arrangements.”
The 2011 AMA National Conference will be held at the Brisbane Hilton from Friday 27 to Saturday 28 May. Information is available here. All AMA members are invited to attend the conference. Plenary sessions this year will address the important issues of mental health and Indigenous health. Online registration forms for both delegates and observing members is available here.
The RACGP Foundation supports general practice research through the provision of grants, scholarships, fellowships and awards each year. The applications for the 2011 grant round are now open. Award details and application forms are available here. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 8699 0496.
A recent article in The Australian reported that from next month GSK intend to disclose the (aggregate) amount it pays to doctors, health professionals and research institutes in fees and grants. GSK general manager, Deborah Waterhouse, said the company was ‘…very committed to enhancing the transparency of how we manage our business…whether we go to the level of individual physician data being published…we need to consult…and understand what is possible from a privacy standpoint…’. The article says that the move could allow patients to tally payments to their doctor. AMA vice-president, Dr Steve Hambleton, said privacy concerns would have to be carefully addressed.
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