GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 44 - 11 November 2011
The AMA yesterday congratulated the Government on the passing in the Senate its world-leading tobacco plain packaging legislation.
AMA Vice President, Professor Geoffrey Dobb, said the new laws would save lives and are another significant milestone in tobacco control in this country. Plain packaging will remove the perception of glamour or trendiness falsely associated with smoking, and which draws people, especially young people to take up or continue the killer habit.
Click here for the full press release.
In response to the AMA’s call for an audit of the GP Super Clinic Program, the Auditor General has confirmed that the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) intends undertaking this work once its current audit of the Primary Care Infrastructure Grants Program has been completed.
In his reply to the AMA, the Auditor General advised that the ANAO would be informed by an evaluation of the GP Super Clinic Program that has been commissioned by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA). The AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, has subsequently written to DoHA seeking urgent clarification of the scope of the evaluation, details of the external organisation that has been appointed to undertake this work and its progress to date.
There has been no previous advice from DoHA about this evaluation and GP groups appear to have been excluded from having any input to date. Dr Hambleton asked for confirmation that organisations including the AMA will be offered an opportunity to participate. From the AMA’s experience, it is highly unusual for an evaluation of such a major program to bypass key stakeholders.
AMA Federal Council at its recent meeting adopted the revised AMA Out-of-Hours Primary Medical Care Position Statement. The revisions were worked up and proposed by the AMA Council of General Practice to reflect more current developments in the provision of primary health care during the out of hours period.
Earlier this week the AMA lodged its submission on the exposure draft of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records Bill 2011. The submission highlights that the safety objects of the legislation will be undermined by the opt-in design of the system and the ability of patients to effectively remove clinical documents from their PCEHR. The submission also makes several suggestions to improve the transparency of the governance arrangements for the PCEHR and to clarify the operation of the civil penalty provisions.
The AMA recently lodged the above submission to the Productivity Commission detailing concerns about the impact of the new national registration scheme and that the administrative efficiencies and economies of scale promised have not been realised. Concerns highlighted in the submission include:
The AMA is participating in the national consultation process being undertaken by Health Workforce Australia, which has been tasked with developing a Rural and Remote Health Workforce Innovation and Reform Strategy.
The submission lodged earlier this week is broad ranging and stresses that:
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Source: The University of Canberra Lifewise/Natsem report 2010.