GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 45 - 18 November 2011

18 Nov 2011

Vocational training standards for general practice are changing

The AMA has given its in principle support to proposed changes to the RACGP vocational training standards in a submission lodged earlier this week. The new draft standards involve significant change and a move to an outcomes based approach. Given the significant changes, the AMA emphasised the need for the RACGP to:

  • ensure the changes don’t lead to additional costs and/or dilute the training experience for trainees;
  • ensure the standards are underpinned by relevant criteria and recognise the need for a continued time based minimum for training;
  • recognise and address the limitations of competency based training to preserve the quality of training;
  • provide appropriate information and support to supervisors and trainees about the changes; and
  • involve a GP registrar in the development of the standards.

Read our submission here.

Learn more about the RACGP draft vocational training standards here.

Federal AMA President to visit Brisbane

The AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, will be visiting Brisbane next week on 22-25 November 2011. Dr Hambleton will be joined by AMA Queensland President, Dr Richard Kidd, as they meet with local doctors to discuss key policy changes and their impact on the profession. Topics up for discussion include:

  • GP Mental Health services;
  • AHPRA;
  • Inadequacy of Medicare patient rebates;
  • GP Super Clinics;
  • Local Health Networks and clinical engagement;
  • Medicare Locals; and
  • Personal Electronic Health Records.

In Brisbane South an evening meeting will be held on Tuesday 22 November from 7pm for a 7.30pm start at Sunnybank Community and Sports Club, Cnr Granadilla & McCullough St, Sunnybank. Drinks and canapes will be served.

In Brisbane North a breakfast meeting will be held on Wednesday 23 November from 6.45am for a 7am start at the Virginia Golf Club, Elliot Road, Banyo. A light breakfast will be served.

Doctors who would like to take advantage of this opportunity to meet with their presidents should email April Saccoccio at or phone (07) 3872 2222 and advise their intention to attend.

During his visit Dr Hambleton will also be meeting with Local Medical Associations in Hervey Bay and Redcliffe.

Pandemic Report released

The recently released Review of Australia’s Health Sector Response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009: Lessons Identified acknowledges the vital role that the clinical sector plays in providing early warning of disease severity. This role had previously been ignored in the Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza (AHMPPI), as had the role that GPs might play in a pandemic situation less severe than that already planned for.

The report identifies the important and valued roles that committees like the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and General Practice Roundtable (established as a result of H1N1 2009) played in providing expert advice to Government decision makers. The report expresses a need for the roles that these groups play to be formalised within the AHMPPI.

The review provides 25 recommendations for ensuring a flexible and rapid response to a pandemic crisis. The recommendations cover governance and decision making, communications, surveillance, border measures, public health measures, health sector capacity, laboratory capacity, national medical stockpile deployment, vaccination and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The report is available in either HTML or PDF format. To view the report click here.

The AMA has strongly advocated that pandemic planning arrangements need to take better account of the role of GPs and the contribution they can make in planning for and responding to a pandemic crisis. The AMA welcomes the Review’s findings and looks forward to working with the Government in implementing the recommendations.

Clinical Care Guidelines for Type 1 Diabetes

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has recently released the National Evidence-Based Clinical Care Guidelines for Type 1 Diabetes for Children, Adolescents and Adults prepared by the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group and the Australian Diabetes Society.

This guideline is an update of the NHMRC approved Clinical practice guidelines: Type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents (2005). The scope of the guideline has been extended to address the needs of adults and the transition period from adolescence to adulthood, including pregnancy. This is the first Australian evidence-based guideline for type 1 diabetes that addresses clinical care across the whole lifespan.

Click here for the new guidelines.

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

Life insurance for professionals - cover up to $2.5 million

Research has shown that 95% of Australian households are dangerously underinsured and one in five Australian families will lose at least half of their income at some point in their lives. Sadly too many Australians don’t stop to consider the impact on their families.

OnePath Life has developed a new life insurance product for members with a Life Benefit of up to $2.5 million called Professionals Life Cover Plus. It is designed for professionals who are looking for higher cover options that other insurance products may not provide. With no medicals or blood tests required, immediate cover upon acceptance and an optional Major Illness and Injury Benefit, Professionals Life Cover Plus can help your family with loan repayments, household bills and other everyday expenses in the event of major illness or injury or death.

For more information visit or call 1800 658 679.  

Source: The University of Canberra Lifewise/Natsem report 2010.

In this Issue

Vocational training standards for general practice are changing

Federal AMA President to visit Brisbane

Pandemic Report released

Clinical Care Guidelines for Type 1 Diabetes

OnePath- Life Insurance for professionals

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