GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 26 - 8 July 2011
The AMA’s current online survey to assess the impact on general practitioners and their patients of the Government’s cuts to GP mental health rebates under the Better Access Program has been completed by over 750 GPs so far. The survey runs until midnight, 8 July, so you still have time to have your say. Please click here for the survey. Responses will be reported in aggregate form only. The survey also includes an opportunity to provide comment on the impact of the Government’s decision on you and your patients.
The AMA has also launched an online petition in response to the Government’s cuts to GP mental health rebates. You can support our campaign to have the Government reverse this unfair and unnecessary decision by signing the online petition, which is available here.
The reputation and skills of all international medical graduates (IMGs) working in Australia were questioned in a report on A Current Affair earlier this week.
AMA Vice President, Professor Geoffrey Dobb, said that the story was sensationalism at its worst and an unfair and unwarranted attack on the thousands of highly skilled IMGs currently working in our health system. The full AMA press release is here.
The Medical Board of Australia should not have increased doctor registration fees following the poor treatment received by thousands of doctors during the first year of operation of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), AMA Vice President, Professor Geoffrey Dobb said earlier this week. The Medical Board has increased registration fees for 2011-12 to $670, an increase of $20. This follows on from last year’s increases of nearly 85 per cent. Given AHPRA’s performance, fees should have gone down, not up, Prof Dobb said. The full AMA press release is here.
The Immunisation Branch of the Department of Health and Ageing has advised that from 1 July 2011, Prevenar 13® (a13-valent conjugate vaccine) will replace Prevenar 7® (a7-valent conjugate vaccine) on the National Immunisation Program in all states and territories except the Northern Territory. Northern Territory will continue to use Synflorix®.
Prevenar 13® provides protection against an additional six serotypes, which can cause Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD), that are not covered by Prevenar 7®. This includes disease associated with the increasingly predominant serotype 19A. Click here for more information.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (Prevenar 13®) will be provided to children at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. A fourth dose may also be provided to medically at risk children at 12 months of age.
Medically at risk children should also receive a dose of 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax 23®) between 4 and 5 years of age. Click here for more information.
The National Immunisation Committee, of which the AMA is a member, was recently reminded that all GPII practices are required, at a minimum, to meet the following requirements:
Practices are reminded that failing to meet the above requirements in a compliance audit would result in loss of GPII status and the likelihood of having to repay GPII payments.
For more on the requirements of the GPII click here.
The AMA is pleased to be involved in this audit and met earlier this week with the ANAO team. The meeting was primarily an ANAO interview undertaken with participating AMA GP members as part of the process.
The audit’s focus is on:
The final report is due to be tabled in the Parliament in November this year.
The new look AMA Doctors-in-Training web pages have arrived at http://ama.com.au/dit. With quick links to information on advocacy, resources and commercial member benefits, doctors will be able to keep up to date with the work of the AMA relevant to junior doctors. Take a look at the revised web pages here.
The Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) is conducting a training course that combines the “Facilitate emergency risk assessment” and the “Determine treatment options” units at Mt Macedon, from 3pm 1 August until 1pm 4 August 2011. Places are still available. The units are nationally recognised and are part of the Advance Diploma of Public Safety
Applications for the course close on Monday 11 July. Click here for more information.
There was an error in the phone number in last week’s article on this. If you have stopped receiving your free medical magazines give the Australasian Medical Publishing Company (AMPCO) a call on 02 9562 6666.