GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 22 - 10 June 2011
|AMA 2011 Family Doctor Week – 18 to 24 July|
The AMA’s annual Family Doctor Week is only a few weeks away. From Monday 18 to Sunday 24 July this year's Family Doctor Week theme is Your Family Doctor: Excellence in Health Care. A feature of the week will be AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton’s National Press Club address on Wednesday 20 July. There will be a range of other media activity to highlight the importance of having a family doctor. A special AMA Family Doctor Week webpage will also feature so stay tuned to what will be happening that week.
The first 15 Medicare Locals were announced this week and are due to commence operating in less than a month. AMA President, Dr Steve Hambelton, urged the Government to rethink its poorly thought out plans for Medicare Locals and work with the medical profession to develop a model of care with a greater chance of success. He said that the AMA noted that the Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, made the following commitments at the recent AMA National Conference:
The Government should stall the Medicare Locals rollout until a consultation process is in place and these commitments are fully locked in, Dr Hambleton said. The full AMA press release is here.
As you may be aware a significant outbreak of Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichis coli (EHEC) 0104:H4, a highly pathogenic bacterium subgroup of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) is occurring in Germany. Any patient with a history of travel to Germany and onset of diarrhoea in the last 2 weeks should have a stool sample collected and sent for testing for bacterial pathogens including STEC. Any positive samples can be forwarded to a reference laboratory for H and O antigen identification. Updated information, details on symptoms to watch for, treatment and the reporting of any confirmed local cases are available on the Department of Health and Ageing’s website.
This week is Bowel Cancer Week and new research released by the Cancer Council shows although more than 80% of people aged 50+ are aware of a simple, at home screening test for bowel cancer, less than half of those aware of FOBT have actually done the test. The Cancer Council recommends all Australians over 50 have a Faecal Occult Blood Test every 2 years. Ms Tang, Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Bowel Cancer Screening Committee acknowledged GPs were hard-pressed to include all health messages in a consultation, but urged them to make FOBT screening a routine recommendation for patients over 50. A copy of the Cancer Councils’ full press release is here.
A supplement in the latest Medical Journal of Australia examines the past and the future for general practice training, including challenges in areas like keeping programs up to date, Indigenous, rural and remote health and aged care. Past experiences, contemporary issues and what lies ahead are some of the topics examined in the supplement here.
The key elements of the Government’s After Hours reform are:
The Government has circulated a list of FAQs in relation to this initiative. The six page list is for both patients and GPs and includes advice on how GPs can advise their patients of the new service. The list is available here.
A link to the TGA Blue Card is now available from the ‘For Health Professionals’ tab on Medicare Australia's website. This inclusion is the result of AMA advocacy following advice from members about the difficulties in reporting adverse events following the cessation of printing the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits and the complexities in navigating the TGA's website.
The AMA worked with the TGA and Medicare Australia to provide an easy access point to the TGA's reporting mechanisms. From this link reporting adverse reaction to a medicine can be done either online, via the Blue Card or via the Adverse Medicines Events (phone) line.
We welcome your comments and suggestions as well. Please tell us what you think.
ONEPATH is one of Australia's leading providers of wealth, insurance and advice solutions
OnePath Life has a comprehensive range of life and income insurance products available to members of the AMA.
With OnePath Life’s ProSecure Income Replacement Plan, you can be paid a monthly Disability Benefit if you fall ill or get injured and are unable to work. With no medical or blood tests, you can receive immediate cover on acceptance. For more information call OnePath Life on 1800 658 679 or click here.