GP Network News, Issue 12 Number 30
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that the AMA welcomes the initiatives and recommendations of the Anti-Bullying Forum, which was convened in Canberra this week by the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett.
The Forum brought together teachers, parents, young people, and experts in education, child welfare, psychology and marketing to discuss ideas to address bullying in schools.
Dr Hambleton said the Forum had produced a commendable list of ideas for action in schools and within families, and the outcomes were valuable additions to broader strategies to address bullying more widely in the community.
“Schools have an important role to play in the prevention of bullying, and many schools are making concerted efforts to prevent and address the problem,” Dr Hambleton said.
“Unfortunately, bullying is not limited to school. Cyber bullying can occur at any place and at anytime.
“Young people may be reluctant to disclose that they are being affected by cyber bullying, and may look beyond their parents and teachers for confidants with whom to share and discuss their problems.
“Doctors are a trusted and confidential source of information for young people and their families who are experiencing bullying, including cyber bullying.
“Doctors can help assure children and young people that they are not alone in their experience, and that help is readily available.
Dr Hambleton said that, earlier this year Minister Garrett had launched AMA brochures to inform and assist young people and medical professionals to deal with issues arising from bullying.
A brochure for older children and adolescents, Bullying: What you need to know, explains what bullying is, provides specific information on cyber bullying, and gives advice about how to deal with being bullied and how to identify bullying behaviours.
A second brochure, AMA Guidance for Doctors on Childhood Bullying, contains a childhood bullying fact sheet for medical professionals who are interested to know more about childhood bullying and its health impacts.
“We want young people to know that they can talk about bullying with their family doctor, and we want to make sure that doctors are equipped with easily accessible information and advice to help their young patients,” Dr Hambleton said.
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The role of GPs in providing and coordinating quality health care through all stages of life was the centrepiece of Family Doctor Week 16-22 July 2012, which had as its theme Your Family Doctor: For A Lifetime of Trusted Care. To deliver the message, AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton presented seven short videos, posted on YouTube, which can also be viewed on the Family doctor week hompage, illustrating how family doctors are uniquely placed to provide the breadth and quality of care people need as they develop and age.
Throughout the week, Dr Hambleton also drew attention to issues affecting primary care and what the AMA was doing to promote and protect the interests of general practitioners.
The AMA President used a televised address to the National Press Club on 18 July to urge measures to support and improve access to GP and other primary care services, including streamlining Medicare Chronic Disease Management items, expanding the GP infrastructure grants program, improving incentives for GP teaching and training, restoring funding for GP mental health services, and support for general practices and other specialties to implement the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record.
Dr Hambleton warned the Federal Government that its Medicare Locals program would only succeed if it was led by GPs and reflected their front line experience in the health system.
“The key to getting primary care right is to work with and for GPs, not around or against us,” the AMA President said. “General practices – our family doctors – are key to ensuring that any changes deliver the best possible health care to patients and communities.”
This week the TGA launched a 'Database of Adverse Event Notifications' - an online resource that will give the public access to information about adverse events to medicines that have been reported to the TGA since 1971. The database includes adverse event reports about prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines sold in pharmacies and supermarkets, as well as complementary medicines such as vitamins and herbal remedies, and can be accessed at: http://www.tga.gov.au/safety/daen.htm
It is a resource for GPs to use as well as patients. For GPs it's a correlation of the Product information supplied by the manufacturer and local experience.
This means that patients will be able to look up their medications and go to their doctors with the results of their searches. Although there are several disclaimers provided on the TGA's website about the limitations of the information, including that a report of an adverse event does not mean that the medicine caused the event, GPs may experience an increase in patients raising concerns about their medications.
Round 2 of applications for the 2013 intake of the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) open 6 August 2012. RVTS offers an alternative pathway to FRACGP/FARGP and FACRRM for GPs working in remote and rural locations. The curriculum is delivered via distance education and registrars are supervised remotely. Training commences on 4 February 2013. RVTS is fully funded by the Australian Government. For complete eligibility criteria visit www.rvts.org.au, or contact (02) 6021 6235.
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