GP Network News, Issue 12 Number 29

20 Jul 2012

ANF Pay Claim Update

The AMA has lodged its submissions and evidence to Fair Work Australia regarding the application by the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) for a low paid bargaining authorisation. The AMA is opposing the ANF's claim, highlighting that medical practices are already bargaining at the local level with nursing staff, which is delivering flexible working arrangements and above award rates of pay. The AMA is also leading expert witness evidence showing that nurses are not low paid in the context of general community standards.

The AMA is playing the lead role in this case on behalf of GP and other specialist practices and is representing around 200 members. A number of other organisations are appearing in the case, including the Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the submissions of these organisations consistent with the position adopted by the AMA.

Hearings in the matter are scheduled to run from 3 to 7 September 2012.

New GP Landing Page for AMA Website

The AMA has developed a dedicated area on its website that brings together information, material and resources about general practice and issues of interest to GPs.

The AMA Council of General Practice (AMACGP) believed it was important for the AMA Website to have relevant information and resources about general practice in one easily accessed area. You can view this area dedicated to GP issues by clicking here.

Some of the information provided includes:

  • A summary of the policy areas the AMA is working on for GPs;
  • An outline of some of the recent advocacy wins the AMA has had on behalf of GPs;
  • AMA submissions and media releases focused on General Practice issues;
  • Resources and Practice Support Tools to assist GPs;
  • Latest editions of GP Network News; and
  • Facts about general practice and upcoming events.


COAG Drops the Ball on National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, this week said that all Australians with a disability, and their families and carers, have been severely let down by a lack of leadership and cooperation at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra.

Dr Hambleton said that self-interest, petty bickering and political point scoring by the bigger States have dampened the hopes and wants of some of the nation’s most disadvantaged people.

“The Federal Government presented COAG with a workable proposal to establish the first stage of an NDIS from next year, but the bigger States disappointingly have decided not to participate at this stage, demonstrating a lack of genuine goodwill towards building a scheme to improve the lives of people with a disability and their carers,” Dr Hambleton said.

Dr Hambleton commended the South Australian, Tasmanian, and ACT Governments for getting on board with the NDIS, and urged the other State Governments to put the interests of people with a disability ahead of political squabbling. The NDIS is an investment in the future and in the quality of the lives of people with disabilities.

The AMA has established a taskforce to ensure medical profession input to the NDIS and the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS), which is for people who are severely injured and require the same levels of support. The taskforce had its first meeting this week.

Click here for full media release.

New Arrangements for Bulk Billing Claims

The Department of Human Services has announced that, from 1 September 2012, bulk bill forms will only be available online. Medicare will continue to accept the old paper bulk bill forms until 31 December 2012 to give practices time to either sign up for electronic claiming or access the new online forms.

In addition, from 1 November 2012, bulk bill and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) claims will only be paid by EFT and cheques will no longer be an option. All providers currently receiving cheques for bulk bill or DVA services will need to provide bank account details for each service location.

There are several Medicare claiming channels that your practice can choose from. The Medicare Business Development Officers can help you to make the best choice. Call them on 1800 700 199 to find out what the right claiming solution is for you.

More information about ways to claim can be found at:

Building Your Practice Seminar

If you own an existing practice or are considering building or renovating a new practice, the Building Your Practice Seminar to be held on Saturday 18 August 2012, from 8.30am to 4.30pm, at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, will have something for you.

Expert presenters will discuss what you need to know about often-overlooked areas including:

  • Dealing with local council and town planning issues
  • Designing your practice
  • Working with builders and gaining permits
  • Financing your practice
  • Business models


The program will incorporate a number of breakout sessions tailored for general practices, specialist practices and day procedure centres – focusing on PIP/SIP, accreditation, and tips on practice development. Other vital areas such as industrial relations, human resources and employment issues e.g. hiring and firing, risk management and how to develop best-practice policies and procedures will be discussed.

Additionally, sessions on strategic planning, IT, security, sub-letting and marketing your practice will also be covered. A select group of exhibitors will be on hand to respond to your queries. Access for AMA members is at discounted rates.

Further details may be found here. Please call Andrea Ravas on (03) 9280 8768 for more information or register now.

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


The AMA Platinum Edge Credit Card


The benefits of the AMA Platinum Edge Credit Card really add up. Earn points4 plus a complimentary flight1 if you enrol in Membership Rewards Ascent2.

• 3 > 2 > 1 > GO*.

Earn points for everyday purchases faster with 3-2-1*. Whether you choose to enrol in Qantas Direct12 or Membership Rewards Ascent, you can receive 3 points for every dollar spent at major supermarkets1*, 2 points for every dollar spent at major petrol stations10* and up to 1 point per dollar on other purchases10*. Plus you can choose to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points by enrolling in the Qantas Direct12 rewards program.

* Earn rates are subject to change on three months’ written notice

• Complimentary flight2.
Take off on a complimentary domestic economy return flight2 each year you’re enrolled in Membership Rewards Ascent1.

• $250 David Jones Gift Card6
You can also enjoy a $250 David Jones Gift Card if you apply for your Card, are approved and spend $500 within the first two months of receiving your Card. Offer ends 31 December 20126.

Learn more and apply today

Cards are offered, issued and administered by American Express Australia Limited. Credit provided by American Express Australia Limited (ABN 92 1088 952 085). Australian Credit Licence No. 291313.
®Registered Trademark of American Express Company.

In this issue

ANF Pay Claim Update

New GP Landing Page for AMA Website

COAG Drops the Ball on National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

New Arrangements for Bulk Billing Claims

Building Your Practice Seminar

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