GP Network News, Issue 12 Number 28

20 Jul 2012

AMA Family Doctor Week 16-22 July 2012

This week the AMA celebrated Family Doctor Week. The AMA is proud to highlight the important role that family doctors (also known as general practitioners or GPs) play in providing health care to the Australian community.

To highlight the role that GPs have over the lifespan, this year’s theme is For A Lifetime of Trusted Care. In recognition of this theme the AMA has produced a series of messages through short You Tube videos featuring AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, talking about being a GP and treating patients at all stages of life.

Throughout Family Doctor Week, the AMA released a number of press releases and policy documents on issues important to general practice. Issues covered included GP Teaching, the PCEHR, Medicare Locals, GP infrastructure and Chronic Disease.

In addition, the AMA will be issuing press releases over the weekend on Rural Health and the Findings of the Mental Health Impact Survey.

All videos and press releases can be found on the Family Doctor Week webpage.

The highlight of the week was the President’s Press Club speech in which he marked the 50th anniversary of the AMA by releasing the publication, More Than Just A Union: A History of the AMA. In his speech Dr Hambleton highlighted the need for changes to the Government’s Medicare Local model to ensure that they are GP led. He also outlined several initiatives that the AMA is calling for to improve access to GP and other primary care services including the streamlining of Medicare Chronic Disease Management items, the expansion of GP infrastructure grants, improved incentives for teaching and training, restoration of funding for GP mental health services, assurances that existing practices will not lose after hours funding under Government reforms, and support for general practices and other specialties to implement the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record.

View the National Press Club speech.

View the press release about More than Just A Union: A History of the AMA.

Primary Health Care Organisations – Lessons from New Zealand

Dr Hambleton last week visited a number of New Zealand primary health care organisations (PHOs) – the New Zealand equivalent of Medicare Locals. Dr Hamilton visited PHOs in Auckland, Wellsford, Whangarei, Rotorua and Hamliton.

Feedback from GPs and PHO representatives alike highlighted that PHOs in New Zealand were playing an increasingly important role in primary care delivery and GP leadership of PHOs was the key to success. PHOs in New Zealand are working locally with GPs and the community to support improved population health, quality improvement, ehealth and initiatives to better manage patients in primary care – reducing avoidable hospital admissions.

AMA Calls For Boost To General Practice Teaching And Training

The AMA Council of General Practice (AMACGP) this week released a proposal to the Government to double the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) teaching payment, to increase it to a realistic level to help general practices cover the significant costs of providing training.

Currently only 13.6 per cent of general practices, and fewer then 30 per cent of PIP-accredited practices, are involved in teaching medical students. Dr Hambleton, said that the current PIP teaching payment, which is $100 per session and which has not increased since 2005, does not cover the opportunity costs of teaching.

“The Government says it wants more students to consider a career in general practice, but it must increase essential support for practices if it is serious about meeting that objective. The inadequacy of the current incentive is discouraging practices and individual GPs from becoming actively involved in teaching and training.” Dr Hambleton said.

Click here for the AMA Proposal to Increase the PIP Teaching Incentive.

To view the full press release click here.

AMA Chronic Disease Plan: Improving Care for Patients with Chronic and Complex Care Needs

The AMA today released its AMA Chronic Disease Plan: Improving Care for Patients with Chronic and Complex Care Needs, a considered response to meeting the growing challenge of chronic disease in an ageing population.

Dr Hambleton said the plan sets out ways to improve the treatment of people with complex and chronic disease in primary care and will ultimately provide savings for the overall health budget.

The AMA plan streamlines access to a broad range of allied health and other support services and supports a more proactive approach to the delivery of care. It offers patients with multiple chronic conditions and related complex care needs improved access to GP-coordinated quality primary care, enhances existing arrangements and supports patients to spend more time with their GP when they need to.

To view the full press release click here.

2012 GPET Convention – Early bird rates close on Monday 23 July, register online today! 

The annual GPET Convention will be held on 5-6 September at the Sebel Albert Park in Melbourne. The theme for this year ‘Seeking wisdom for our changing world’, will explore how we continue to deliver excellence in primary healthcare in the ever changing landscape of general practice. The program promises to deliver fantastic speakers, workshops and paper sessions.

GPET is pleased to welcome three inspiring keynote speakers to this year’s Convention. Prof Michael Kidd AM, general practitioner and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Flinders University, will deliver the opening keynote exploring the future of general practice training.

Dr Larry Green MD, Professor of Family medicine and the Epperson-Zorn Chair of Innovation in Family Medicine and Primary Care at the University of Colorado Denver, will deliver the keynote on day two of the Convention. Larry’s presentation will focus on seeking and imparting wisdom, reflective practice and implementing change.

Ms Brigitte Muir, Adventurer, will present the closing keynote and is sure to inspire and motivate us all with her amazing story – Brigitte is the first Australian to climb the highest peak on each continent and the first Australian woman to climb Mount Everest. Don’t miss her breathtaking presentation.

To read more about the Convention keynotes or to download the updated Convention Program visit the GPET Convention website.

Follow the official GPET Convention Twitter account @GPETConvention and join the Convention conversation at #GPET12.

Draft Australian Immunisation Handbook

The Draft 10th Edition of the Australian Immunisation Handbook has been developed by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) in accordance with the procedures and requirements for meeting 2008 NHMRC Standard for Clinical Practice Guidelines.

The Draft Handbook is now available for public comment with submissions to be provided by 15 August 2012.

To view the Handbook and for instructions on making a submission click here.


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

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In this issue

AMA Family Doctor Week 16-22 July 2012

Primary Health Care Organisations – Lessons from New Zealand

AMA Calls For Boost To General Practice Teaching And Training

AMA Chronic Disease Plan: Improving Care for Patients with Chronic and Complex Care Needs

2012 GPET Convention – Early bird rates close on Monday 23 July, register online today! 

Draft Australian Immunisation Handbook

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