GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 8 - 4 March 2011

4 Mar 2011


United General Practice Australia (UGPA) held their first meeting for 2011 on Thursday 3 March. UGPA called on the Government to ensure there is strong GP leadership within Medicare Locals and that this is reflected in Governance structures. It also called on the Government to rule out Medicare Locals becoming involved in fundholding for MBS and PBS services.

UGPA clarified that it only supported integrated care models involving general practice nurses and nurse practitioners as part of a practice team with GPs having ultimate responsibility for overall patient care.

The Government should encourage the replication of the best models of after-hours services through Medicare Locals and that GPs be supported and encouraged to provide these services. A link to the full UGPA press release is available here.

Productivity Commission Disability Care and Support draft report

The Productivity Commission released its Disability Care and Support draft report on 28 February. Submissions in response to the draft report should be lodged by 30 April, with the final report due to government on 31 July 2011. The public inquiry is looking primarily into a long term disability care and support scheme. A link to the draft report is here.

AMA President, Dr Pesce said the AMA supports the draft’s overall objective to provide people with a disability with consistent access to essential care and support based on their level of need. It is crucial that the right support is provided in a timely manner with the highest priority given to those with most need, Dr Pesce said. A national scheme that provides individually tailored support and early intervention, where possible, would increase the productivity and social participation of people with disabilities and boost their independence. A link to the full press release is here.

Rotavirus and Risk of Intussusception - Important information from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO)

The CMO, Dr Jim Bishop, has written to immunization providers about a recent finding of a small increased risk of intussusception following rotavirus vaccine. A link to the letter is here.

The letter advises of new evidence suggesting a small increased risk of intussusception in infants following rotavirus vaccination. The CMO recommends continuing to vaccinate young infants against the rotavirus but that parents and carers be informed of the rare risk and how to be alert for signs and symptoms.

In addition to the CMO letter, a range of information has been released onto the Immunise Australia website and can be accessed here.

The material includes:

  • Rotavirus vaccine and intussusception summary information for providers
  • Rotavirus vaccine and intussusception information for parents
  • TGA Report

The Medical Advisory Unit of the Department of Health and Ageing has confirmed they will be distributing hard copies of the provider information and parent information through a mailout to all immunization providers. The mailout is expected to commence within 2 weeks.

Good Report Card for GPs

The NSW Bureau of Health Information recently released their report Healthcare in Focus. The report finds that 93% per cent of Australian adults rated the medical care received in the past 12 months from their GP as good or better, 38 per cent rated the care as excellent and another 38 per cent as very good. In addition the report demonstrates that GPs in the majority know their patient’s medical history, spend enough time with them, coordinate their care, communicate clearly with them and provide an opportunity for questions about recommended treatment.

Debunking government claims about limited access to primary care services, the report shows 74 per cent of patients needing an urgent GP appointment could access one the same day, the majority within four hours.

A link to the 104 page report is here.


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In this Issue


Productivity Commission Disability Care and Support

Rotavirus and Risk of Intussusception

Good Report Card for GPs

Buying Technology? Beat your best price by up to 20%

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