GP Network News, Issue 12 Number 48

7 Dec 2012

AMA Checklist to Help General Practices Prepare For e-Health Incentive Changes

With time running out for general practices to meet the new Practice Incentives Program (PIP) e-Health Incentive requirements, the AMA has issued a comprehensive checklist to help general practices undertake the many, sometimes complex, steps, needed if they are to remain eligible for incentive payments.

Concerned about the tight deadlines and lack of timely coordinated Government support and advice for GPs, the AMA has fast tracked its checklist to help the general practice community be better informed about what is required of them before 1 February 2013.

The checklist provides links to application forms and information on what needs to be done to meet these requirements.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, this week called on the government to extend the 1 February deadline to allow practices adequate time to ensure their software and upgrades met all the requirements.

“The AMA supports the PCEHR, but we also support fair and orderly processes to allow general practices to properly prepare for its full implementation,” Dr Hambleton said.

The AMA is interested to know the extent to which general practices will be ready for the PIP eHealth incentives by 1 February 2013. Please click here to respond to our poll.

Click here to access the checklist. AMA members can also access the checklist via the AMA GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit.

For more information view the full press release here.

AMA Slams Public Hospital Funding Cuts

At its recent meeting in Canberra, the AMA Federal Council unanimously passed an urgency motion condemning recent cuts to public hospital funding by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments.

Dr Hambleton said that, in December, Commonwealth payments to State and Territory Governments for public hospital services were reduced as a result of adjustments for population estimates and a health cost index.

These adjustments come on top of recent cuts to public hospital funding by State and Territory Governments.

“The cuts must stop – the public hospital system has nothing more to give. The AMA calls for all levels of government to increase, not decrease, resource allocation to health,” Dr Hambleton said.

View the press release here.

AMA President talks about training in general practice

Dr Hambleton was profiled in The Australian this week relishing his experiences as a trainee doctor. In the article he notes how motivating working with patients as a trainee was and highlights how interesting the life of a rural GP is.

To view the article click here.

Veterans’ MATES: Topical issues: emollients and corticosteroids

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Veterans’ MATES project team have prepared the thirty-third topic of the Veteran’s MATES project. This topic, Topical issues: emollients and corticosteroids, focuses on the use of topical corticosteroids for the treatment of dermatitis.

GPs who treat veterans’ have been sent copies of the therapeutic brief and veteran brochure, along with other topic-related materials. In January 2013, the veteran brochure, Top ten tips to relieve dry itchy skin, will be mailed to veteran patients who have been dispensed at least two higher potency topical corticosteroid prescriptions in the 12 month period 1 August 2011 to 31 July 2012, with at least one product being dispensed in the four month period 1 April 2012 to 31 July 2012.

For more information visit the Veterans MATES website.

Australian Rotary Health - Indigenous Health Scholarship

If you know an Indigenous student studying medicine or another health degree encourage them to apply for the Australian Rotary Health Indigenous Health Scholarship. The scholarship provides $5,000 per year to assist Indigenous students with their day-to- day expenses while studying.

Applications close on 8 February 2013. More information on the scholarship is available from the Australian Rotary Health website.

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


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 In this issue

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 by phone (02) 6270 5400. You can unsubscribe from GPNN by emailing