GP Network News, Issue 13 Number 2

18 Jan 2013

Anti-Vaccination Book Removed from Sale

The online bookstore Bookworld has withdrawn the anti-vaccination book, titled Melanie’s Marvelous Measles, from sale. This follows condemnation last week in the media by AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, of the book and its publishers.

Aimed at children, the book promoted the dangerous and flawed concept that catching measles was ‘a great idea’ and would make children stronger. The AMA is pleased that Bookworld has shown good sense in making the decision to withdraw from sale this irresponsible book, which encourages children to deliberately catch this serious and potentially fatal disease.

The availability of evidenced based immunisation information resources, such as the Australian Academy of Science publication The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers, provide GPs with a valuable tool for informing patients about the safety and efficacy of immunisation. The AMA has a number of copies available. If you would like a copy please email your request to You can also access the publication electronically via the link provided in the AMA GP Desktop Practice Toolkit.

Heatwave Health Warning

The AMA has joined with the Climate and Health Alliance and the Climate Commission to issue a health alert in response to recent heatwaves, urging people to take care of themselves in hot conditions, to be aware of the dangers of extreme heat, and to follow health and medical advice about how to stay cool.

Dr Hambleton, said that Australia needs a comprehensive and coordinated national strategy for climate change and health that includes local disaster management plans and active communication links between hospitals, major medical centres, local weather forecasters, and emergency response agencies.

Click here to view the press release.

Combating Obesity

There has been increasing interest in the dangers associated with soft drink consumption. The issue has been on agenda of the AMA's Public Health and Child and Youth Health Committee for some time. Earlier this year, AMA Federal Council endorsed a policy motion that highlights the need for greater public education in relation to the dangers of excessive soft drink consumption. The AMA will continue with advocacy efforts in this area, including calling on Government to invest in measures to reduce the consumption of sugary carbonated beverages.  

The AMA position statement on Obesity much like the Rethink Sugary Drink campaign launch this week by the Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia and the Cancer Council calls on the Government to explore options for regulating the production and sale of energy dense/nutrient poor food products.

Click here for the AMA position statement on Obesity.

PIP eHealth and PCEHR update

Consumer uptake - Around 35,000 consumers have registered for the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR), with the rate increasing since mail-outs made by organisations such as Diabetes Australia.

Compliant software - HCN's Medical Director and Medtech Global Ltd's Medtech 32 were added to the NeHTA list of PCEHR compliant software on 10 and 11 January 2013 respectively.

Support - Members should contact their Medicare Local to identify what training and support options are available in your area. Other Help Desk telephone numbers are:

  • PIP Enquiry Line - Telephone: 1800 222 032 Email: -ePIP requirements and application process
  • PIP product register - online enquiry form:
  • Register for a seed organisation HPI-O: HI Service Desk Telephone: 1300 361 457 Email:
  • Register for the PCEHR: PCEHR Service Desk Telephone: 1800 723 471
  • Register for a NASH Organisation PKI Certificate: eBusiness Service Centre Telephone: 1800 700 199(option 2)
  • Complex Seed and Network HPI-O Structures - PCEHR Service Desk Telephone: 1800 723 471

What’s In Store for General Practice in 2013

In Australian Medicine this week, Dr Brian Morton, Chair of the AMA Council of General Practice, looks at the issues and challenges in general practice for 2013, including the advancement of the PCEHR and other telehealth initiatives, and developments in the viable provision of quality general practice care.

Click here to view Dr Morton’s article and provide your views.

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