GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 9 - 11 March 2011

11 Mar 2011

New AMA Health Reform landing page

The AMA is active in participating in and influencing health reform policy and this week launched a Health Reform landing page on its website. The page provides links to all AMA activity and information related to national health reform policy.

Links include:

  • AMA Media releases
  • AMA health reform policy
  • AMA Position Statements
  • AMA Submissions
  • Health Reform speeches
  • Health Budget 2010-11
  • National Health and Hospital Reform Commission
  • External links

A link to the page is here.

Australia to host the World Medical Association (WMA) Council

For the first time since 1994 Australia will host the WMA Council Session which will be held in Sydney next month. The 188th Council session will be held from April 5-9 at Sydney’s Westin Hotel.

The Council will convene a range of meetings and forums, featuring some of the leading authorities in global health, to enhance collaboration across the international medical community and advance the WMA’s policies.

The Session will include the election of the new WMA Chair which will be closely watched because one of the contenders is former AMA President, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, who is currently Chair of the WMA’s Finance and Planning Committee.

A highlight will be the Symposium – Medical Leadership: The View From Down Under – which is being hosted by AMA and the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA).

Speakers include BMA President, Professor Sir Michael Marmot; His Excellency The Hon Brendan Nelson, Australia’s Representative to NATO and WHO; Chairman of NZMA, Dr Peter Foley; Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing, Jane Halton; and former AMA President, Dr Bruce Shepherd.

The WMA is made up of 95 National Medical Associations (NMAs), providing a forum for its member associations to communicate freely, cooperate actively, achieve consensus on high standards of medical ethics and professional competence, and promote the professional freedom of physicians worldwide.

AMA members and international guests will be able to connect, communicate, and socialise at a gala dinner hosted by the AMA at the Opera Point Marquee, Sydney Opera House, on the evening of Friday 8 April. The dinner is a unique opportunity to take in the visual delights of Sydney Harbour, enjoy fine food, wine and entertainment, and establish important contacts in the local and international medical communities.

AMA members are welcome to attend the symposium (register here) and gala dinner (register here). State and Territory AMAs are invited to send representatives to any session listed in the Council agenda.

Multidisciplinary Team Care Arrangements (TCA) in the management of patients with chronic disease in Australian general practice – research paper

The MJA recently published a paper on Multidisciplinary TCA in Australian general practice. The study, undertaken by a cohort of 8 contributors, explored factors associated with frequency of multidisciplinary TCA and their impact on patient-assessed quality of care. The data was collected over a two year period from July 2006, from a randomised controlled trial in 60 general practices in NSW, the ACT and Victoria.

The paper indicates the study’s findings were consistent with the purpose of TCAs – to provide multidisciplinary care for patients with long-term complex conditions. The paper noted that significant barriers to TCA use remain, especially in rural areas and for men, and these may be more challenging to overcome in larger practices. A link to the 10 page paper is here.

Medicare Australia (MA) Telephony Modernisation program – call for GPs to participate on a working group

As part of its telephony modernisation program MA is extending the use of its Natural Language Speech Recognition (NLSR) technology to introduce Open Speech and a self service Medicare Card enquiry facility for the Provider (132 150) enquiry line.

MA is setting up an NLSR Working Group to provide input into design and assist in testing and refinement of these initiatives and is seeking about 20 GPs and/or Practice Managers to sit on the group. MA has advised that nominees will preferably be individuals who regularly contact MA by telephone to obtain Medicare card details and entitlement information.

Membership on the working group will involve teleconferences and videoconferences with members being invited to travel to Sydney and Adelaide for a 2 day intensive design and testing session. All travel and accommodation costs will be met by MA, although no sitting fee will be payable. It is expected the working groups will commence in early April 2011 with an extensive pilot of both services scheduled for launch in June 2011. The pilots are likely to run for 8-12 weeks. Those GPs interested in nominating should forward their details to the AMA at for forwarding on to MA.


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

Keep patients occupied with FOXTEL Business

By introducing FOXTEL in the waiting room, you can give your patients a great source of entertainment and create a welcome diversion to unexpected wait times if patients are occupied.

FOXTEL provides a range of entertainment from channels like The LifeStyle Channel and FOX SPORTS is sure to appeal, and music on MTV Classic can create an uplifting atmosphere. Not to mention programs on Nickelodeon and CARTOON NETWORK to keep little ones entertained.

There’s never been a better time to treat your practice, and your patients, to all the benefits of FOXTEL with this offer from FOXTEL Business.

FOXTEL can also take the hassle out of sourcing and installing a TV in your practice, with their TV Package offer.

^ Min cost: $990 on a 12-month direct debit Business Value Package. * Min cost $2529 on a 12-month direct debit TV Bundle Business Value Package. Standard Terms: Free standard direct-feed metro install or $250 credit towards non-standard install (single direct-feed outlet only). Offer ends 31/5/2011. AMA members and new business customers only and for installation in practices (not for residential premises).

Click here for more information, and full terms and conditions.

In this Issue

New AMA Health Reform landing page

Australia to host the World Medical Association (WMA) Council

TCA research paper

Medicare Australia Telephony Modernisation program

FOXTEL Business

Email the AMA

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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
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