GP Network News, Issue 12, Number 07 - 24 February 2012
The AMA welcomes the announcement by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek that all 1000 general practice training places for this year have been fully subscribed.
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that this is good news for patients as access to quality general practice care will continue to improve as more doctors enter GP training and start work in the community in coming years.
Dr Hambleton said that the Commonwealth has made a significant effort in recent years to address GP shortages. By 2014 the number of first year GP training places will be 1200, which is double the number available in 2007. This on top of the Commonwealth’s move in 2010 to provide funding for training in the private sector and the expansion of the prevocational GP training program.
More needs to be done, however, especially at State and Territory level to ensure training places for the increased number of medical students.
“There must be an agreed national plan to provide sufficient quality prevocational and specialist training places, matched to the number of medical graduates, if we are to meet community need and improve access to medical services,” Dr Hambleton said.
With Health Workforce Australia expected to deliver the National Training Plan (NTP) to Health Ministers next month, Dr Hambleton said the Commonwealth should convene a specific COAG meeting at the earliest opportunity to reach agreement with the States and Territories on the way forward for the NTP.
Click here to see the AMA media release in full.
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The AMA, in a media release this week, strongly supported DonateLife Week and the work of the Government and the Organ and Tissue Authority to generate greater awareness and understanding of organ and tissue donation in the community.
AMA Vice President, Professor Geoffrey Dobb, said the key to increasing organ donation is to get people talking about it, but that it must be informed talk.
As well as discussing organ donation with family members Professor Dobb said that people should also talk openly and ask questions about organ and tissue donation when they visit their family doctor.
Click here to read the media release in full.
The AMA Council of General Practice met last weekend in Canberra and developed a range of recommendations that will be considered by AMA Federal Council when it next meets. In particular, the AMACGP reaffirmed the need for the AMA to push for the reform of MBS chronic disease arrangements, improved support for international medical graduates working in general practice, and for appropriate remuneration for GPs to recognise the additional workload involved with the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record.
On February 16 the Administrative Appeals Tribunal granted a stay on the 1 March 2012 implementation of the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) decision to cancel all pain-killers containing detropropoaxyphene. The AAT has ordered a stay in the ban on two of the four pain killer drugs, namely Di-Gesic and DoloxeneDi-Gesic until a hearing in late May. The stay is a result of a review sought by Aspen Pharma. However, the AAT has directed the company in the meantime to circulate strong safety warnings to doctors and pharmacists with each product. AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton said given the stay in the deregistration, doctors would need to look carefully at the risks versus benefits of prescribing the drugs, particularly given the availability of other pain management drugs.
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