GP Network News, Issue 13 Number 14

12 Apr 2013

Dr Brian Morton, Chair AMACGP

AMA Position Statement on Community Aged Care Services

The AMA this week released a new Position Statement on Community Aged Care Services, which sets out the role of doctors in the assessment and provision of aged care services in the community.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that comprehensive community aged care services will give older Australians the confidence to remain living in their own homes for longer.

“Most older Australians have longstanding relationships with their GP, who is best placed to determine which community services will work best for their patient”, Dr Hambleton said. He added that doctors should undertake assessment of a patient’s needs, and refer the patient to a service that would then coordinate the provision of the required service.

“The AMA believes that the ongoing need for and provision of community care services should be overseen by GPs.”

The AMA Position Statement on Community Aged Care Services is available here. It complements the AMA Position Statement on Access To Medical Care for Older Australians.

Click here to view the full press release.

Immunisation Rates

Dr Hambelton commenting this week on the findings of the National Health Performance Authority report Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2011-12 highlighted that the rate of immunisation in some areas is of significant concern. The AMA previously warned the Government that removal of the funding which supported GPs with immunisation activities posed a health risk to the community. With rates of immunisation in some areas below that for herd immunity protection, and increased incidences of measles and whooping cough outbreaks, we are potentially seeing the impact of the Government’s failure to maintain a multi-pronged approach to immunisation.

For more click here.

AMA calls for national health policy for young people

One of the key recommendations of the AMA Position Statement on the Health of Young People, released this week in conjunction with National Youth Week, is a call for a National Health Policy for Young People.

Dr Hambleton said its is important to support and advise young people about staying healthy and avoiding unhealthy practices and substances. GPs are a trusted source of information and as family doctors can help young people make educated choices and to be in control of their health and lifestyle decisions.

The position statement, examines many issues including access to health services, the education and training needs of medical practitioners, the transition from paediatric to adult medical care, health promotion and health information, and the influence of marketing on young people.

Click here to view the full press release.

GPs needed to lobby

Dr Brian Morton, Chair of the AMA Council of General Practice, is calling for GPs to join with the AMA in lobbying their local politicians on GP issues in the lead up to the Federal Election.

To this end, the AMA is establishing a Federal/State GP Forum, which will bring together a number of interested GPs from electorates across Australia and provide them with the resources required to lobby their local politicians and media.

Click here to read more and find out how to become involved.

AMA President meets Minister for Health

This week’s edition of Australian Medicine reports on a meeting between Dr Hambleton and Health Minister Tanya Plibersek. The meeting included wide-ranging discussions ahead of a top-level meeting of health ministers later this month.

Topics discussed included: the Government’s review of chronic disease items and the need to ensure that the review not be a cost-cutting exercise; AMA concerns that a lack of support and technical assistance meant many medical practices are ill-prepared to meet the 1 May deadline under the e-health Practice Incentive Program; the need for action to avoid a repeat of last year’s medical intern crisis; and the medical home concept and what, if anything, it might add to current care arrangements.

The meeting was part of regular contact between the AMA and senior political figures from all sides of politics. Earlier in the month Dr Hambleton met with Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton.

Click here to read the full article in Australian Medicine.

AMA welcomes living organ donor paid-leave scheme

AMA Vice President, Professor Geoffrey Dobb, said this week that the Government’s new paid-leave scheme will provide welcome support for living organ donors and will hopefully contribute to an increase in Australia’s organ donation rate.

People can register their decision to become an organ and tissue donor at any Medicare branch, or at the Australian Organ Register website, or by calling Medicare Australia on 1800 777 203.

Click here to view the full press release.

Reminder: NPS Health Practitioner Class (general practitioner) Director nominations invited

Pursuant to last weeks invitation to nominate for the Health Practitioner Class Director (general practitioner) position on the National Prescribing Service (NPS) Board of Directors, GPs wishing to nominate should complete the Application Form and send it along with a current curriculum vitae to by Monday, 22 April 2013. If you have any questions, please contact Georgia Morris on 02 6270 5466.

To obtain further relevant documentation, including the NPS Guide for Director Applicants, please contact Melanie Ford at

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

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