GP Network News , Issue 12 Number 15

20 Apr 2012

AMA advocates for more support for IMGs

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, has written to Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, urging the Government to fund extra specialised support and supervision for international medical graduate (IMG) doctors, especially those working in rural and regional Australia.

The AMA recommends that new funding should be allocated to General Practice Education and Training (GPET), an organisation with the capacity and infrastructure to provide this additional support for IMG doctors working in general practice.

Dr Hambleton said that the AMA has a long-standing interest in the role of IMG doctors in Australia and that the lack of support with supervision and oversight is unfair on IMGs, who are often working in very challenging environments and are professionally isolated.

Click here for the full press release.

Comment on the AMA Draft Guide to using the PCEHR

Don’t miss the opportunity to comment on the AMA draft guide for doctors on how to use the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR), which is due to commence implementation from 1 July 2012.

The Draft AMA Guide to Using the PCEHR has been circulated for feedback from doctors and is available on the AMA website until 27 April 2012 for professional and public comment prior to final publication.

The guide will assist medical practitioners to make choices about participating in the PCEHR system and explains how they might use the PCEHR in their day-to-day practice.

MJA focus on E-health issues

The latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) highlights the fact that Australia currently has no governance system to ensure the clinical safety of e-health initiatives such as the PCEHR. The authors of the editorial, which include former AMA President, Professor Mukesh Haikerwal, are calling for a new clinical safety governance mechanism to monitor, investigate and report patient harms arising from errors occurring in an e-health environment.

Another article in the same issue of the MJA presents the associated risks of using clinical software on mobile devices, suggesting cautious use in the absence of regulatory guidelines. Securing data and ensuring the reliability of medical information are challenges, according to Dr Juanita Fernando, from the Mobile Health Research Group at Monash University.

Click below to view the abovementioned articles from the MJA website:

A call for national e-health clinical safety governance

Clinical software on personal mobile devices needs regulation

AMA National Conference Workshop for success

At the 2012 AMA National Conference, there will be a number of sessions of interest to general practitioners.  One in particular is the workshop on the Practice Development Lifecycle.

This workshop will outline the phases of business for medical practices, and uncover the tipping points that occur at each stage that lead to success or limitation in growth.  It will also examine the key roles played by the medical practitioners including leadership skills and their ability to foster a successful team.

Presenting this workshop is Andrea Ravas, Principal Consultant at mppracticesolutions.  Andrea Ravas, brings to her role many years of experience as a practice manager and registered nurse, and is regarded as an expert in the area of practice management. 

The 2012 AMA National Conference: Leading in Medical Care, will take place in Melbourne from the 25-27 May. For a copy of the program click here.  To register or for more information please visit or contact 02 6270 5474.

AMA resources for medical fees

The AMA encourages medical practitioners to determine their own fees based on their own practice costs. To guide medical practitioners in determining their fees and to assist those considering moving from bulk billing to patient billing, the AMA provides members with tools and resources, which are available at

There is a checklist for those medical practitioners who have decided to move from bulk billing to patient billing and a template letter to explain to their patients why their fee is different to the Medicare rebate.

The AMA Gaps Poster illustrates why patients might have to pay a gap. The poster shows the effect of the difference between the indexation of Medicare Schedule fees and the Consumer Price Index and average weekly earnings.  Download a A4 size poster that you may print, or you can order a colour A3 size poster by emailing or calling on (02) 6270 5400

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In this Issue

AMA advocates for more support for IMGs

Comment on the AMA Draft Guide to using the PCEHR

MJA focus on E-health issues

AMA National Conference Workshop for success

AMA resources for medical fees

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