GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 37 - 23 September 2011

23 Sep 2011

President meets Tasmanian GPs to discuss Medicare Locals

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, visited Tasmania this week to talk to local doctors about the establishment of Medicare Locals and to hear members’ views.

The President met with GPs in Hobart and Launceston, with similar concerns expressed to those raised recently during discussions with South Australian GPs. In particular, there is concern about the lack of GP involvement in governance and management structures.

The President met with the Chair and the CEO of the Tasmanian Medicare Local, known as General Practice Tasmania, to seek clarification regarding their governance structure and roles. The General Practice Tasmania indicated that while the board of its Medicare Local is skilled based, efforts are being made to ensure a central role for GPs, which is enshrined in its constitution. See video

The President also met with the CEO of Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) to discuss the Tasmania State Budget cuts and the consequent impact on the delivery of health services in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Government will need to find $100 million in savings this financial year and it is anticipated that $70 million of this will come from the Royal Hobart Hospital.

We will update you as the President continues his tour in other states/territories over the coming months.

Senate Inquiry into Mental Health Funding

As reported last week the AMA has provided the Senate Inquiry into the Commonwealth’s Funding and Administration of Mental Health Services with a supplementary submission. To view the supplementary submission click here.

The supplementary submission provided additional comments on:

  • Department of Health and Ageing analysis confirming that the 2011/12 Budget provided only modest additional funding for mental health and used cuts to Medicare rebates for mental health services to help pay for the mental health package.
  • The inappropriate use of BEACH data to justify the cuts.
  • Online services as treatment or an information/education platform.
  • Intellectual Disability Health Check Medicare item.

Given the substantial number of submissions received (over 1000) the due date for the Committee to deliver its report is now 20 October (previously 20 September).

The revised due date provides further opportunity to support the AMA’s campaign to have the government reverse its decision to cut funding under the Better Access program by signing the Online Petition. Add your signature to the over 3100 already collected. Click here to sign the petition.

Primary Care Infrastructure Grants (PCIG) – Performance Audit

As reported last week the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is conducting a performance audit of the administration of the Primary Care Infrastructure Grants (PCIGs).

The AMA is seeking feedback on your experiences with administration of the PCIG to inform our contribution to the audit.

The audit will focus on the first round of grants and if you were a first round applicant then the AMA is particularly interested in your feedback on:

  • the PCIGs fitness for purpose;
  • the communication, application and assessment process;
  • DoHA's management of financial approval and the funding agreement process;
  • DoHA's monitoring, evaluation and reporting on performance of the Grants; and
  • whether DoHA applied "lessons learned" from the first round to the second round.

Second round applicants are also welcome to provide feedback on their experiences with the PCIG.

Don’t miss this opportunity to have your say. Email your feedback to Responses will be de-identified and aggregated.

AMA anti-violence kit

Following recent media reports about another incidence of violence against health professionals, GP members are reminded that the AMA has an anti-violence kit available to help make practices safe for GPs, staff and patients. The kit is a useful resource that offers practical information about identifying, assessing and controlling risks and what to do after an incident. The kit is member only and is available here.

Educational resources for anaphylaxis recognition and management

Recent increases in food allergy/anaphylaxis and geographical barriers to accessing education have highlighted the need for accurate and consistent information on anaphylaxis management.

The Australasian Society for the Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) has prepared online and face-to-face educational materials on anaphylaxis recognition and management. These standardised consensus modules have been prepared by ASCIA in association with various health and education departments around the country, the RACP, the RACGP, rural doctors representatives as well as pharmacy and dietetic groups.

Online educational modules for various groups including doctors, pharmacists and dietitians are available on the ASCIA website, with course content freely available without charge to registrants. Course content is suitable for general practitioners, trainees, as well as specialist groups and ASCIA plans to expand content over the next 12 months. Face-to-face training is also available from time to time via arrangement with allergy/immunology specialists using ASCIA resources prepared in parallel.

A revised anaphylaxis management wall chart is also available here and is a handy reference for treatment rooms and emergency departments.


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

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In this Issue

President meets Tasmanian GPs to discuss Medicare Locals

Senate Inquiry into Mental Health Funding

Primary Care Infrastructure Grants (PCIG)

AMA anti-violence kit

Educational resources for anaphylaxis

AMA Platinum Edge Credit Card from American Express

Email the AMA

Post new comment to the website



AMA is the peak medical organisation in Australia representing the profession’s interests to Government and the wider community. Your Federal AMA General Practice Policy team can be contacted via email or by phone (02) 6270 5400. You can unsubscribe from GPNN by emailing