GP Network News, Issue 13 Number 1

11 Jan 2013

Immunisation booklets available

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton this week condemned the new anti-vaccination book about measles, Melanie’s Marvellous Measles. The release of this book has highlighted the need for evidenced based immunisation information resources, such as the Australian Academy of Science publication The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers. 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 via the link provided in the AMA GP Desktop Practice Toolkit.

The Australian Academy of Science publication provides an important reference for GPs and their patients. The strong scientific evidence, clear explanations, and easy-to-understand language of the Academy’s booklet will reassure people, including conscientious objectors, about the safety and efficacy of immunisation and help ensure that Australia’s immunisation rates remain high.

Click here to read the President’s recent comments on this issue.

AMA responds to PSA draft guidelines for the provision of immunisation services in pharmacy

The AMA has responded to the Draft for consultation Practice guidelines for the provision of immunisation services in pharmacy released by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia late in 2012.

While the draft guidelines highlight the responsibilities of pharmacists when contracting immunisation services the AMA has suggested a number of changes to the guidelines which should help ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place for the storage and provision of vaccines and the delivery of appropriate and safe immunisation services outside of general practice.

The changes sought by the AMA seek to ensure that immunisation providers contracted by pharmacies:

The response specifically sets out changes to improve the guidelines to help ensure pharmacies providing immunisation services would be subject to the same standards as general practice.

Click here for the AMA’s response.

Click here for the AMA position statement Vaccinations Outside of General Practice – 2011

Reminder: PBAC nominations due

You're reminded that nominations to the general practitioner position on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) close soon.

This is a challenging and stimulating position that provides the opportunity to contribute directly to pharmaceutical benefits policy in Australia.

PBAC is an independent expert committee that advises the Minister for Health on medicines in relation to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. PBAC is required to consider the clinical effectiveness, safety and cost effectiveness of a medication compared with existing therapies. Members must be able to interpret the comparative outcomes of therapy involving a medicine and appraise evidence.

The AMA has been asked to nominate a range of potential candidates including those from a rural practice or remote area who treat aboriginal communities or have an interest/experience in this area. The AMA's Federal Executive Council will assess nominations prior to forwarding them to the Minister for potential appointment.

PBAC meets for three, three-day meetings a year and may occasionally hold additional one-day meetings. PBAC members currently receive an annual salary of $35,880 and all travel costs are reimbursed. This appointment starts this year for four years.

Click here for further information about PBAC.

To nominate, please forward a curriculum vitae no longer than 2 pages (see example) to by Tuesday, 15 January 2013. If you have any questions, please contact Georgia Morris on 02 6270 5466.

DVA Consultation: Draft Mental Health Strategy 2013

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has released its Draft Mental Health Strategy 2013 for consultation. The AMA is preparing a response and GPs who care for veterans are asked to provide feedback on the draft strategy.

The draft strategy can be downloaded from here and feedback can be sent to the AMA by COB 25 January 2013 by emailing

New arrangements for manual bulk bill forms

The latest Medicare Forum newsletter contains an article about the new arrangements for manual bulk bill forms. AMA advocacy ensured that those who do not have access to computers or who work outside of their practice still have access to the carbon bulk bill forms. Click here to view the article.

If you are having trouble finding the electronic form on the Medicare website it is easily accessible under Forms in the AMA GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit.

PCEHR Update

GPs need to be aware that DoHA is actively promoting consumer registration in the eHealth record system (i.e. PCEHR). This is likely to result in more consumers approaching general practices about participating in the PCEHR.

Participation in the PCEHR is a matter for individual practices. The AMA Guide to Using the PCEHR assists practices to decide if and how they will use the PCEHR in their day-to-day practice. The AMA checklist Getting ready for the PIP eHealth incentive and PCEHR provides links to specific forms and information to participate in the PCEHR. Both the Guide and checklist are available on the AMA website.

Australian Medicine’s A Day in the Life of the AMA Photo competition extended

Win an iPad Mini, with 64GB capacity and full WiFi capability, worth more than $500. For a chance to win this great prize, simply submit up to five photos of you and/or your colleagues at work.

You can be as candid or creative as you like. We are looking for pictures that capture key moments in your working life.

Send your entry to by 28 February, 2013. Limit of one entry per member.

Please note, the consent of all people identifiable in a picture must be obtained if they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Particular care should be taken with photos that include patients and their families.

It is a condition of entry that the AMA will be able to use photos submitted for the competition in future publications. They will not be made available to third parties.

The winning entry will be published in the 11 March, 2013 edition of Australian Medicine.


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

Pick up a free day on Hertz

Until 31 March, rent a car for 5 days or more with Hertz and you'll only pay for 4. That’s on top of all the usual benefits you’d expect with your Hertz rental, including your usual AMA discount. To book go to the Hertz website and quote CDP Number 283826 and Promotion Code 178684, or call Hertz Reservations on 13 30 39.*

* Terms and conditions apply. offer is available at participating domestic locations on SDPET Standard, Full Size, Premium Full Size, Wagons and 8 Seaters. Minimum rental period of 5 consecutive days, maximum 1 free day per rental. One free day is applied to daily rate and applicable GST and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Hertz standard terms, conditions and credit qualifications apply.


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