GP Network News, Issue 12 Number 24
Previous issues of GP Network News have provided updates on the progress of an application by the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) to Fair Work Australia (FWA) for a low paid bargaining authorisation for practice nurses. In effect, this seeks to impose an enterprise agreement on around 900 medical practices named in the union’s application.
The AMA is opposing the ANF’s claim and close to 200 practices have provided the AMA with the authority to appear on their behalf in these proceedings. Hearings were originally set down for the end of this month, however, these have been delayed following AMA submissions regarding a number of defects in the ANF’s application.
The case will now be heard over the period of 3 to 7 September 2012. It has also been reallocated to a more senior member of the tribunal, Vice President Watson.
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that the latest report from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) on the Primary Care Infrastructure Grants Program (PCIG) shows clearly that the Program is a far better investment in primary care than the troubled GP Super Clinics Program.
“There is strong demand for the grants, which means that local GPs in private practice are in for the long haul and want to provide their patients and communities with more services and better services.
“They should not have to compete with Government-subsidised competition from GP Super Clinics where they are not needed,” Dr Hambleton said.
The PCIG program was established with funding of $117 million over four years to upgrade around 425 GP facilities. According to the ANAO, DoHA is making steady progress in implementing the PCIG program in a manner consistent with the objectives set by the Government.
The PCIG was only announced in 2010-11, yet the rollout of the Program appears to have been rapid. The AMA believes this is the direct result of focusing funding on existing practices that can move quickly to enhance infrastructure in a way that supports improved access to services for patients and the training of the next generation of GPs.
This is in stark contrast to the Government’s GP Super Clinics Program that commenced in 2007-08 and which has been plagued with problems. Only 25 clinics are operating to date, well short of Government targets. Total funding for this program is $650 million to support the establishment of 64 clinics across the country. The ANAO is currently auditing the GP Super Clinics Program.
The AMA Council of General Practice has developed a free GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit, a one-stop shop for commonly used practice support tools for general practitioners. The GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit has links to about 300 commonly used administrative or diagnostic tools.
The AMA GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit will help reduce the time spent locating relevant tools for administrative and diagnostic purposes.
The Toolkit is divided into 5 categories/tabs:
State/Territory specific tools such as forms for WorkCover, S8 prescribing etc, have also been included in the State/territory specific tabs.
Instructions on how to access the Toolkit are available in the member only area of the AMA Website. This will require members to log in to the AMA Website on a one off basis, following which you can access the Toolkit via your desktop. The page also contains instructions on how to find particular information/tools available in the Toolkit.
If you have not logged into the AMA Website before, you can request a password on line or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. If you have problems putting a link to the Toolkit on your desktop or accessing any of the links, please contact email@example.com.
Members can access the AMA GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit by clicking here.
We welcome your comments and suggestions as well. Please tell us what you think.
When you are looking to insure one of your most important assets - your income, it helps to find a policy that could help pay the bills if you can’t work due to illness or injury.
OnePath Life, Smart Investor’s Life Company of the year for the past four years, has developed ProSecure Income Replacement Plan exclusively for professionals. This protection is available to AMA members and can provide up to 75% of your monthly earnings (to a maximum of $20,000 per month).1 To find out more click here or call 1800 658 679.
ProSecure Income Replacement Plan is issued by OnePath Life Limited (ABN 33 009 657 176, AFSL 238341). You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement, available online at ww.onepathprofessionalinsurance.com.au/AMA or by calling 1800 658 679 in deciding whether to acquire or continue holding this product.
1 The monthly amount payable for the Total Disability Benefit is the lesser of (1) the monthly benefit that you choose to insure (to a maximum of $20,000) and (2) 75% of the first $20,000 per month of your pre-claim earnings plus 50% of the next $10,000 per month of your ‘pre-claim earnings’ less ‘other payments’. Please refer to the Glossary in the PDS for further information on ‘pre-claim earnings’ and ‘other payments’. It is in your interest to not insure more than the maximum you can be paid. The monthly amount payable excludes business expenses.