News from the AMA national website
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ANZ: Supporting AMA Members. Click here.
Collins SBA (Incorporating Aequis)
Complete Wealth Specialist. Click here.
mpstaff is the recruitment arm of the AMA Victoria. Our association with AMA means we have an insight and knowledge that gives us a competitive edge, ensuring our candidates get the rewarding positions they are seeking. Ph: (03) 9348 1111. Click here for their website.
Hertz: As the official car rental partner for AMA, Hertz offers discounted rates and a range of member benefits all year round.
To make a booking, call Hertz on 13 30 39 or visit hertz.com.au and quote CDP# 283826.
Discussion group for AMA Tasmania members
If you don't have or wish to create a Google account, you can still subscribe to our group. Please enter your email address below to suscribe.
All group membership applications are subject to management approval.
What kind of doctor are you?
Social Determinants of Health Advocacy Conference.
9th October 2013: This event will provoke thought, challenge and inspire us to think differently about health. The Social Determinants of Health Advocacy Network is pleased to invite you to attend a people’s forum that will consider and discuss the question: Our health - who decides?
Speakers include Fran Baum, Sally Brinkman, Sharon Friel, Dora Marinova, Ron Labonte, Melissa Sweet, Cathy Kezelman, Pol De Vos, Peter Sainsbury and Marilyn Wise.
The venue is the C3 Convention Centre, 64 Anglesea Street, South Hobart.
Dates are Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th November 2013.
Registration will open early October 2013 and the cost is two full days $170 ($110 Concession) One full day $90 ($60 Concession).
The program will include excellent speakers, compelling workshops, social and arts, activities, open space, book launch and more. Full program will be available in October.
Who should attend? YOU - health is everybody's business so we need you to attend. Everyone is welcome.
Click here for the promotional flyer.
AMA Welcomes New Health Team
23rd September 2013: The AMA has welcomed the appointment of Peter Dutton as Minister for Health, with AMA Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb saying the AMA is keen to get to work with all the Ministers and Assistant Ministers with responsibilities across the health sector.
Professor Dobb said that the AMA enjoyed a constructive working relationship with Mr Dutton when he was Shadow Minister and will build on that relationship to help deliver better health services for all Australians.
“The new Government has been very clear about its focus on primary health care and the leadership role of general practice,” Professor Dobb said.
“We welcome the commitment to get rid of waste and bureaucracy and cut red tape in the health system, and we look forward to working with the Government on its review of Medicare Locals with a view to providing greater direct support to frontline services.
“It is appropriate that Mr Dutton has carriage of mental health at Cabinet level, and there are positives in having the Health Minister also the Minister for Sport.” Full report click here.
29th August 2013: ‘Continued dispensing’ is a joint Commonwealth Government and Pharmacy Guild of Australia initiative that allows pharmacists to supply a standard pack of an eligible PBS medicine to patients who request it without a prescription from a medical practitioner.
The Federal AMA lobbied hard to oppose legislation to allow ‘continued dispensing’ within the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, including writing to all Federal parliamentarians to explain the risks to patients, however the legislation was passed last year. Legislation in Tasmania has now also been amended to specifically provide for ‘continued dispensing’. Click here for the full fact sheet.
The AMA wants to hear about your experiences with continued dispensing. In particular:
- Have you been contacted by pharmacists to establish that you have recently reviewed the patient for that medication?
- Is the information provided to you by pharmacists after continued dispensing has occurred useful?
- Has there been an impact on the management of your patient?
Please forward any comments to: email@example.com
Federal Election 7th September 2013
16th August 2013: The AMA have released a key issues document for the 2013 Federal election, In this document, the AMA offers wide-ranging policies that build on what works. We offer policies that come from the experience of doctors are at the coalface of the system – the doctors who know how to make the system work best for patients.
The AMA urges all political parties to engage in a competitive health policy debate over the coming months – and we don’t mind if they pinch our ideas. Click here for a copy.
AMA Family Doctor Week 2013 - YOUR FAMILY DOCTOR : YOUR MEDICAL HOME
AMA Family Doctor Week is the AMA’s annual celebration of the hard work and dedication of the nation’s family doctors – the GPs who serve local communities in the cities, country towns and remote areas of Australia.
Last year more than 29,000 GPs provided over 129 million services across Australia.
This year’s theme for Family Doctor Week is – Your Family Doctor – Your Medical Home.
In keeping with this year’s theme, the AMA will be releasing two videos showcasing some of the difficulties family doctors encounter on a daily basis, including:
- keeping skills and knowledge up to date;
- training future family doctors;
- caring for older patients; and
- dealing with red tape.
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that Family Doctor Week is an opportunity for all Australians to appreciate the important relationship they have with their local GP.
“The family doctor is the first point of contact in the healthy system for most Australian families,” Dr Hambleton said. “When people get sick or injured or want advice about their health, they want to see a doctor. “The family doctor, is and must remain, the foundation of the health system.” But, Dr Hambleton warned family doctors are under continuing pressure meeting increased demands for care, stalled Medicare rebates and increased red tape.
Each day during Family Doctor Week the AMA will highlight ways the Government can provide greater support for family doctors to allow them to continue serving their local communities.
In his address the to the National press Club in Canberra on Wednesday 17 July, Dr Hambleton will set out the key issues confronting the nation ahead of the Federal Election.
Watch and share the video The AMA: a home for Family Doctors at https://ama.com.au/video/ama-home-family-doctors
Who do you call after hours?
Your regular GP should always be your first point of call if you need urgent medical care and it's not a life-threatening medical emergency. Some GPs offer after hours care to their patients - be aware of any after hours arrangements your GP has in place and keep the details handy.
If you don’t have a regular GP or they’re not available, you can still get medical advice 24/7 by calling 1800 022 222 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1800 022 222 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting. This takes you to the free national Healthdirect Australia telephone health advice service where a registered nurse can provide information and advice. If needed, they can put you in touch with an on-call doctor in Tasmania through the local GP Assist service.
For life-threatening medical emergencies, call 000 (triple zero). www.tasafterhours.com
Calling all Doctors
24th June 2013: The Doctors in Training Profile section of the AMA Careers Advisory Service website outlines the career pathways and life experiences of some of our doctors in training through their personal accounts of their journey to date. These profiles may provoke a new way to look at your own career pathway and give you encouragement for the years to come. They may also highlight that you are not alone in sometimes feeling overwhelmed, struggling with a work/life balance or still trying to figure out which direction to take. To find out more please visit http://careers.ama.com.au/dit-profiles
We would also love to hear your story so if you are interested in sharing your own journey please contact your AMA Careers Consultant via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or the hotline 1300 884 196.
AMA wins case against Australian Nursing Federation application for industry wide bargaining for practice nurses
18th June 2013: The AMA representing over 200 GP practices was successful in opposing the ANF application to bargain on behalf all practice nurses.
This is only the second time that the Fair Work Commission has ever heard such a matter and the first time it has decided not to allow the union to bargain collectively with employers.
Vice President Watson in his decision considered that:
- Practice nurses are generally paid above the award due to individual negotiations.
- The ANF wanted to negotiate with 682 practices in Victoria and Tasmania at the same time
- GPs were generally opposed to the application
After hearing from 50 witnesses His Honour found
- Most practice nurses do not fit the definition of "low paid"
- The assistance to low paid employees would therefore be marginal.
- Multi employer bargaining is less likely to identify improvements to productivity and service delivery for General Practice.
The application by the ANF was therefore dismissed. For further information see the decision here.
AMA put considerable resources into this case including research the support of members and their practice managers and briefing legal representation. It was due to this effort and support that we were able to defend general practice against this claim which would have impeded productivity and potentially good relations with practice nurses.
Membership income supports these proceedings and we would ask that you talk to your GP colleagues to ensure they are members, helping to support these actions on your behalf.
Dr Norman Swan confirmed for the Tasmanian Health Conference 2013
14th June 2013:Dr Norman Swan of the ABC has confirmed his participation in the Tasmanian Health Conference on Saturday the 27th July 2013. Producer and presenter of the Health Report, Dr Norman Swan, is a multi-award winning producer and broadcaster. Dr Swan's career has been highlighted by his desire to keep the Australian public informed of health developments as they happen. This allows him to combine medical expertise with investigative reporting, clear analysis and the knowledge to report the latest research in health and medicine. One of the first medically qualified journalists in Australia, Dr Swan is highly regarded by the medical and health professions.
Born in Scotland, he graduated in medicine from the University of Aberdeen and later obtained his postgraduate qualifications in Paediatrics in the United Kingdom. Joining the ABC in 1982, Dr Swan has won numerous awards for his work on Radio National. Register online by clicking here.
This year the Tasmanian Health Conference is being run by the AMA in conjunction with many other health professional associations and the members of the chronic disease alliance. The theme is smashing silos, can Tasmania have one health system. Make sure you register early at much reduced fees thanks to the support of Audi and Jacksons Motor Company.
AMA Appoints New Secretary General
27th May 2013: The Executive Council of the Federal AMA this week announced the appointment of Ms Anne Trimmer as Secretary General of the Federal AMA.
Ms Trimmer is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA). Prior to joining the MTAA, Anne had an extensive career in the legal profession, practising law as a commercial partner of a major Australian law firm, and has held several leadership positions in professional and educational bodies. She also chairs the Centre of Excellence in Vision Sciences at the Australian National University and is a director of Research Australia and Plan International Australia.
Anne is expected to commence duties with the AMA in August 2013.
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that the AMA is very pleased to have recruited a person of Anne’s calibre and experience for the Secretary General role.
Annual General Meeting this Saturday
24th April 2013: After a light lunch at 1.30pm we will be holding Annual General Meeting at 2.00pm, Saturday 27thApril 2013 Tailrace Centre, 1 Waterfront Drive Riverside, Launceston.
Join us at the Annual General Meeting of AMA Tasmania, lunch will be supplied and our guest speaker is Dr Fiona Joske, a member of the Medical Board of Australia, the body responsible for registration of the medical profession. Dr Joske will speak about the board and address the contentious issue of Revalidation.
Dr Joske is a general practitioner and a principal in a rural group practice in Longford, Tasmania, where she has worked since 1999. Her previous practice was at Smithton in North West Tasmania. The current practice is a teaching practice which hosts medical students, nursing students, GP registrars, and pre-vocational Resident Medical Officers. The practice also provides an orientation program for international medical graduates. Dr Joske was appointed to the Medical Board of Australia in August 2009 and was a member of the Medical Council of Tasmania from 2000. She is now also a member of the Tasmanian Board of the Medical Board of Australia.
Dr Joske has been a National Examination Coordinator for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and is currently a College examiner. Dr Joske’s past positions include member of the Medical Schools Accreditation Committee of the Australian Medical Council, Chair of General Practice Workforce Tasmania, Medical Advisor to Rural Workforce Support Tasmania, Chair of the Tasmania Faculty of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, GP Consultant to the Health Insurance Commission and Council Member of the University of Tasmania.
AMA does not support Voluntary Assisted Dying
21st March 2013: AMA Tasmania does not support the Premiers proposal for Voluntary Assisted Dying. The AMA is of the view that there should be no change in legislation. On the 15th of March the AMA lodged a submission with the Premier and the leader of the Greens Mr Nick McKim opposing the concept. We are most concerned that the proposed legislation is constructed in such a way that it does not establish that the Tasmanian community wants or accepts euthanasia, nor does it call for comment on the concept of euthanasia but simply on the mode of administering euthanasia, said the AMA President Dr John Davis.
This proposal will, put simply, allow doctors to legally and intentionally kill their terminally ill patients on request”, he said. Dr Davis went on, “This is a tenet that fundamentally changes the core of the principle of the doctor patient relationship”. The AMA notes that previous wide ranging Tasmanian Parliamentary inquiries in 1998 and 2009 have not recommended proceeding with such legislation and numerous international Parliamentary Inquires have rejected such proposals as posing a very real danger to the most vulnerable in our community. This proposal does nothing to suggest otherwise.
Dr Davis said, “Indeed in in those jurisdictions where euthanasia is legal there is considerable evidence to support the argument that the most vulnerable in our community are indeed exposed to risk”. “Lastly, it is our opinion that the research on which this proposal bases many of your arguments is both highly selective and deficient” said Dr Davis. Click here for more information.
Looking after the Mental Health of Doctors - World first survey
The AMA welcomes the launch this week of the beyondblue National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students. The survey is being sent to 50,000 doctors and medical students across the country, including all of those in rural and regional Australia, as part of a coordinated effort to assess the stresses and pressures experienced by Australia’s medical professionals and the impact they may have on their mental health. AMA Vice President, Professor Geoffrey Dobb, said today that the AMA strongly supports the survey and is encouraging all Australian doctors and medical students to participate in what is the first survey of its kind anywhere in the world.
“The AMA has long played a leadership role in raising awareness among doctors and medical students about the need to look after their own health and wellbeing,” Professor Dobb said. “There is evidence that doctors are at greater risk of mental illness and stress-related problems, and depression and anxiety are common in the medical profession.
“The suicide rate among doctors is higher than in the general population, and we know that medical students experience higher rates of depression and stress. “This survey will play an important role in raising awareness across the medical profession and the broader community of issues associated with the mental health of medical students and doctors.
“It will also inform the development of interventions for medical students and doctors to address the prevalence of depression and anxiety in their ranks to improve mental health in the profession. “We all understand that healthy doctors equals healthy patients.
“The AMA commends beyondblue on this important initiative,” Professor Dobb said.
Beyond Blue Click here
After Hours Care Tender
6th February 2013: On Wednesday the 30th January the President of AMA in Tasmania Dr John Davis met with the CEO of Tasmanian Medicare Local Mr Phil Edmondson to discuss the after-hours care tender. The meeting was arranged to discuss concerns within the AMA regarding the future of the GP Assist (Tasmania) model of after-hours care in light of the tender recently let by the Tasmanian Medicare Local for the provision of a Tasmanian telephone-based after-hours primary medical advice and GP support service.
The tender let by the TML for the provision of a telephone-based after-hours primary medical advice and GP support line will replace the existing GP Assist service currently available to general practitioners across Tasmania. The new service will have both a nurse and doctor telephone triage and advice component as is currently available through GP Assist (Tasmania). The new service will be Tasmanian based. The GPs providing telephone advice in the new service will be Tasmanian based.
The significant change between the existing service and the new service is that the nurse triage component of the new service will be provided by nurses working for the National Health Call Centre Network (NHCCN), health direct Australia. The health direct Australia nurses use an algorithmic triage process like that used by the current service provider. It is hoped that the NHCCN nurses providing telephone triage under the new arrangements will be Tasmanian based, but the location of the nurse triage component in Tasmania is subject to negotiation between GPA (as their current employer) and Medibank Health Solutions as operator of health direct Australia. That decision will not and cannot be made by TML.
The logic for moving to this nurse triage model is not simply cost but that the Australian government and the majority of states including Tasmania, as the owners of the NHCCN, are as a matter of policy looking for consistency of nurse triage advice, 24 hours a day across the nation. Within the new service there will be the capacity for GPs and local health providers (nurses in residential aged care facilities, nurses in community hospitals, pharmacists, pathology providers etc.) to contact and speak directly with the Tasmanian based GP providing telephone care within the new service. Tenderers who submit a compliant tender can also submit a non-compliant tender.
Australia's first Red Tape Commissioner
Smart Company E-Magazine: 18th Jan 2013 - Australia’s first red tape commissioner has been appointed in Victoria and says he wants to meet with as many small businesses as possible, as he starts compiling a list of problem areas to target and bring to the state’s government’s attention.
John Lloyd, who previously worked as the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner and deputy secretary for the Department of Workplace Relations, has told SmartCompany he wants to get rid of as many red tape burdens as possible. “The manifestation of red tape is the difficulty in getting government approvals, the time that it takes to organise between departments, and the difficulties in getting things handled,” Lloyd says.
“If these are happening, it really suggests the departments in question need to lift their game.”
Lloyd’s appointment has also been welcomed by Opposition Small Business Spokesman Bruce Billson, who told SmartCompany he supports the addition of a commissioner exclusively for red tape. “Successful red tape reduction requires strong leadership and not just in-house bureaucratic gestures.” “In principle I think the idea of appointing a red-tape commissioner has merit and I’m sure the other states will be watching the performance of the commissioner to see if it can work elsewhere.”
Energy Drinks and Alcohol don't mix
3rd January 2013: The AMA today warned people against taking up the dangerous habit of mixing alcohol and highly caffeinated energy drinks in an effort to extend their ‘party time’. AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that mixing alcohol and energy drinks has become popular among young people and adults because they want to celebrate for longer periods of time.
“It can lead people to consume excessive amounts of alcohol and excessive amounts of caffeine, both of which can be harmful on their own, but potentially lethal when consumed together.
“The combination reduces the perception of intoxication and allows people to drink for longer periods of time. “It is a trend that has become popular among crowds at music festivals and many people will try it this holiday period.
Click here for the full article.