GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 32 - 19 August 2011

19 Aug 2011

Dr Steve Hambleton's speech to the AMA Parliamentary Dinner – The Unfinished Business of Health Reform

On Wednesday night at the AMA Parliamentary Dinner AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, addressed the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader and politicians from the House of Representatives and the Senate together with members of the medical profession. Dr Hambleton highlighted that in recent weeks there have been announcements on hospital reform, aged care, a national disability insurance scheme and that health is now back on the agenda.

According to Dr Hambleton, while the National Health Reform Agreement is not what it had the potential to be two years ago, it is a significant achievement in the current environment and it has responded to some of the key AMA questions. There is now greater clinician involvement in decision-making, greater transparency, more Federal funding for our hospitals and we can track health dollars to ensure they are spent on health.

Dr Hambleton stressed the importance of medical practitioner involvement in hospital and primary care governance. He concluded by stating the AMA view on mandatory detention of asylum seekers, emphasizing that it is inherently harmful to the physical and mental health of detainees. He urged both sides of politics to do all that is possible to ensure detainees have access to quality health care. The full speech is available here.

GP Online Red Tape Survey – Ends at Midnight Tonight

Filling in paperwork, meeting compliance requirements for government funding and programs, and jumping through hoops to provide scripts for patients all add up to hours of work. For every hour that you are tied up doing paperwork, about four patients miss out or face delays in accessing your care.

The AMA’s GP Red Tape survey, ends at midnight on Friday, 19 August 2011 so there is still time to participate. We want to know what gives you the biggest red tape headaches and why so that we have solid evidence in the fight to reduce/remove the red tape where it causes the most grief. The findings will help the AMA target its efforts to reduce red tape in the areas that waste clinical skills and time.

GP Mental Health Funding Cuts Campaign

The AMA campaign to have the Government reverse its decision to cut funding to MBS items for GP Mental Health services continue with the President attending a series of meetings throughout this month with Senators and MPs.

This week the President met with Greens Senators Dr Richard Di Natale and Penny Wright as well as Liberal member Rowan Ramsey. Further meetings with Independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Karen Andrew (Lib) have been scheduled for next week to seek their support in getting the Government to reverse its decision.

There is still an opportunity to support the AMA’s campaign by signing the Online Petition. Have your say and add your signature to near 3,000 already collected. Click here to sign the petition.

Professional Services Review (PSR) New Acting Director

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that the AMA welcomes the appointment of Dr Bill Coote as the Acting Director of the PSR for a three month period. A permanent appointment will be made following Cabinet consideration. “The appointment of Dr Coote, a senior respected member of the medical profession who has high community standing, considerable experience in medical practice and medical education is a strong signal that the PSR will be in safe hands” Dr Hambleton said.

2011 AMA Safe Hours Audit

A reminder that the 2011 AMA Safe Hours Audit of the working hours of junior and salaried doctors, including GP Registrars is currently underway. The Audit will gather information as part of the ongoing AMA Safe Hours campaign. If you have not already completed the online audit, we encourage you to do so. Everyone who completes the audit will also go into the draw to win an iPad 2. Once you complete the audit you will be able to access an instant risk assessment report, which shows an analysis of the fatigue risks of your roster.

It takes around 10 minutes to complete the audit and you will need to be prepared with details of your actual working, non-working and sleeping hours for the week of 8-14 August 2011. You will also need to have on hand the hours you worked in the previous week as well as your roster for the week following the audit period. Participants will have until 14 September to complete the audit.

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) seeking EOI for Membership of Advisory Committees

The TGA is seeking expressions of interest from experts for various positions on two advisory committees. The Advisory Committee on Prescription Medicines is seeking 15 expert advisors from a variety of areas including general medical practice and the Advisory Committee on Medical Devices is seeking expert advisors in the fields of biomaterials and in vitro diagnostics.

These committees provide advice to the Minister for Health and Ageing on prescription medicines and medical devices. Appointments will commence on 1 January 2012. Information including, remuneration, terms of reference as well as details on how to apply is available from the TGA website. Applications to the TGA must be received by close of business Wednesday 31 August 2011.


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In this Issue

AMA President speech to AMA Parliamentary Dinner

GP Online Red Tape Survey

GP Mental Health Funding Cuts Campaign

Professional Services Review  New Acting Director

2011 AMA Safe Hours Audit

Therapeutic Goods Administration seeking EOI

AMA American Express Card

Email the AMA

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