GP Network News, Issue 13 Number 38

26 Sep 2013

Dr Brian Morton, Chair AMACGP

Coalition's pre-election promises will strengthen primary care

In the latest edition of Australian Medicine, Dr Brian Morton, Chair of the AMA Council of General Practice, discusses how the Coalition's pre-election promises will strengthen primary care, mainly by providing $52.5 million for general practice infrastructure grants, $119 million to double the practice incentive payment for teaching medical students, and $40 million for up to 100 additional intern places per year.

Read Dr Morton’s article.

GPs Awarded

AMA congratulates all the winners of the 2013 GPET Awards, announced during the 2013 GPET Convention held recently. Dr David Chessor, who practises in Kempsey in NSW, was honoured as GP Registrar of the Year and Dr Alastair Stark was named GP Supervisor of the Year.

Managing the Risks of Fatigue

The medical profession has a strong commitment to high quality patient care. This commitment often translates to working patterns that may leave you exposed to higher than acceptable risks of fatigue.

Research shows that fatigue can affect people in the same way as alcohol and can lead to higher risks of medical error - which impacts on patient care. The AMA has played a leadership role in raising awareness of the risks of fatigue for medical professionals and in the development of practical solutions to minimise these risks. More information is available on the AMA website.

To help doctors determine whether they are at risk of fatigue, the AMA has also developed an on-line Fatigue Risk Assessment tool, which can be found in the AMA GP Desktop Support Toolkit.

What’s in this week’s Australian Medicine?

This week’s edition of Australian Medicine introduces you to the Ministers and Assistant Ministers who have carriage of the disparate elements of the health portfolio; shares some intriguing insights to Aboriginal health in the Northern Territory; reports on the NHS's failed electronic health record for hospitals; looks at how child deaths are down by almost half globally since 1990; and reports on Wales becoming the first nation in the United Kingdom to introduce a soft opt-out system of organ donation.

Australian Medicine is available online.

MJA Insight - good reading for GPs

MJA Insight this week features several articles of interest to GPs, including a report on the decline of MRSA infections but a rise in resistant gram-negative infections; the threat to the quality of health reporting in Australia posed by the extensive loss of experienced journalists when major newspaper companies shed jobs during 2012; and the future of Medicare under the Coalition government.

MJA Insight.

GP survey on the use of alcohol guidelines

To help address the growing misuse of alcohol, including amongst pregnant women, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has developed Guidelines on Alcohol Consumption.

Promoting the use of the NHMRC Guidelines by health professionals has been identified as an important way of engaging with women who are pregnant, and this survey is being undertaken, to ensure the perspectives of GPs inform the project.

To inform strategies to promote the guidelines, GPs are invited to participate in the survey. It will only take approximately 10 minutes to complete. All responses will remain anonymous and be reported in aggregate.

Assist at Gallipoli - Anzac Day 2014

Volunteers with medical expertise are sought to assist with the Visitor Services at Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2014.

Conservation Volunteers, under the supervision of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, manages the Gallipoli Volunteer Visitor Services team at the commemorative services. Volunteers undertake a range of responsibilities including the care of ‘Assisted Mobility’ visitors. Volunteers with a medical background offer valuable skills for this very important task.

The 13-day experience will see volunteers assist with vital duties in caring for visitors at the Gallipoli commemorative services as well as touring the battlefields and Istanbul. Applications close on the 15th Nov 2013.

New BEACH publications

The BEACH program released two new articles this month, titled Self-monitoring blood glucose. Non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes in Australian general practice, discussing the benefits of self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) in non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, and Suicide related contacts - experience in general practice, a short article about the rate of suicide related contacts in general practice.

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus – Update

Situation updates on the MERS-CoV are now being issued every fortnight by the Department of Health and Ageing. The 19 September 2013 update is here.

Twenty-three new cases in Saudi Arabia, one in Qatar, and the confirmation of a probable case in Tunisia have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO).

As of 18 September 2013, the WHO had received reports of 132 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV. Fifty eight cases have died, and the case fatality rate is 44%. As of 30 August 2013, at least 52% of confirmed cases had underlying conditions that may have made them more susceptible to respiratory conditions, in some cases, multiple underlying conditions.

DVA Provider Enquiry Number

Never remember what number to call DVA on when you have a provider enquiry? It’s 1300 550 457 (metro) or 1800 550 457 (regional).

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