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Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

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7 June 2013 Issue #41

Warning: Australasian health professionals scam

The Australian Medical Association has been informed that a number of practices have been approached with the offer of a free listing in the Australasian Health Professionals Directory.

The fine print of the contract shows that the listing in fact costs $1300 a year for a minimum of three years, and will continue on for a further year if not cancelled.

We are advised that medical practices are being charged up to $5200 for listing in the Australasian Health Professional Directory. There are a range of other concerns about the material that doctors have received, including the fact that the website does not currently appear to exist, and the listing form asks for a great deal of information that puts participants at risk of identity fraud.

On no account should doctors or practices make any payment or provide credit card details.

Those who have signed up to Australasian Health Professionals Directory should immediately send a follow up communication rescinding their participation. Doctors and practices that receive demands for payment or financial information from Australasian Health Professionals Directory should immediately contact the local Office of Fair Trading or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

A sample of the material being sent to doctors can be found here, and the Federal AMA has published more detailed advice for doctors on its website.

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Patient Centred Medical Home – GP Member Opinion Survey

You may have started to hear the term "medical home" or "patient-centred medical home (PCMH)" being talked about in relation to general practice.

There is emerging evidence to indicate that the PCMH has been effective in improving patient care, particularly in the US, but also in the UK, NZ and Canada.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has used the term as a basis for a Budget Submission in 2013-14 and the Australian government is giving consideration to how a medical home concept could be implemented in Australia.
The AMA has always supported the notion of a 'usual GP/family doctor' as this has always been the basis for a trusting relationship between doctor and patient that fosters long-term quality care.

The 'medical home' could simply be considered an extension of the 'usual GP' notion.

However, if the government introduces the medical home approach more formally, there may be additional implications such as changes to funding arrangements and government involvement in how general practices are administered.

In other words, what may seem as just some new language may have serious policy and funding implications, and it is too soon to say whether any proposed changes will be good or bad for general practice in Australia.

That's why the AMA wants to know what you think about the "medical home" and its application to general practice in Australia.

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the linked survey.
Most importantly we need your feedback so that we can lobby with authority on behalf of GPs to ensure that any policy changes in relation to the "medical home" are to the benefit of GPs and their patients.

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Health Minister's breakfast summary

At a recent AMA (WA) breakfast meeting, Minister for Health, Dr Kim Hames discussed the State Government’s health priorities during its current term in office. Speaking to a packed room, he touched on the commitments made by the Government during the election campaign earlier this year and the implementation of proposed health reforms.

Dr Hames confirmed a continued commitment of funds to palliative care, medical research, the Closing the Gap indigenous health initiative, and was confident that the Federal Government would provide additional funding. He went on to say that the State’s 10-Year Health Plan included a new hospital most likely in Alkimos, as well as expansions to existing sites such as the Armadale and Osborne Park hospitals.

Dr Hames also addressed some of the burgeoning health issues WA was facing such as high levels of ambulance ramping and GP shortages across the State. According to the Minister, WA needs an extra 400 GPs in the metropolitan area and at least an additional 80 GPs in rural areas.

Dr Hames’ speech was followed by a brief yet enlightening Q&A session, which shed light on the worrying issues being faced by clinicians at the coalface. Unfortunately there was not enough time for everyone’s question to be answered. The AMA (WA) therefore invites all members to send a question to us via email, which will be duly passed on to the Minister.

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Immunisation strategy clever, but chokes on child care legislation

The Australian Medical Association (WA) has welcomed the newly-launched WA Immunisation Strategy 2013-2015, but said the lack of legislation preventing unvaccinated children from attending child care centres is a gaping flaw.

AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong called the Strategy, which was launched today by Minister for Health Dr Kim Hames, as an affirmative step in the right direction.

“We have watched with growing concern the falling rates of immunisation in WA and therefore wholeheartedly welcome the government’s action plan,” Dr Choong said.

“The Department of Health needs to be congratulated for unveiling this strategy, which will no doubt go a long way in boosting immunisation rates in Western Australia. However the path to improved immunisation rates requires the cooperation of everyone – the State Government, medical professionals and the community itself.

“We are encouraged by the government’s focus on five-year-old children. However, targeting five-year-olds may be considered too late, as by this time the vaccination schedule is nearly complete.

“We strongly believe that more work needs to be done with younger age groups such as children who attend child care centres.

“The Minister has said childcare centres should have the right to refuse entry to unvaccinated children. However he has stopped short of legislation.

“The AMA believes that without legislation, there will be confusion. And from that will stem indecision. We cannot risk the health of this State any longer. “Ultimately we are not targeting the conscientious objectors, but those parents who haven’t got around to the all-important duty of vaccinating their children. These children risk the welfare and well-being of others attending these child care centres,” Dr Choong said.

He added the AMA (WA) hoped the Immunisation Strategy was modelled on a sustainable message of vaccination.
“To be truly effective, the Health Department needs to work closely with the Education Department to ensure that school records are complete.

“Moreover, every child who is not vaccinated should be followed up by health care workers. We are mindful that some parents conscientiously object to their children being vaccinated. However it is crucial to identify these children, as in the event of an outbreak, we need to be able to protect them,” he said.

Dr Choong also expressed concern about funding for the Immunisation Strategy.

“We hope the State Government devotes the necessary resources and funds, which this program would require to be effectively implemented,” Dr Choong said.

In late May, AMA (WA) hosted a meeting with Dr Richard Choong, Prof Gary Geelhoed (CMO WA Health Department) and Dr Paul Effler (Medical Co-ordinator WA Health Prevention & Control Program) to discuss a WA parent vaccination awareness campaign and other strategies to increase child vaccination rates. Updates on this issue will be provided on the AMA (WA) website when available.

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AMA National Conference condemns cap on self-education tax deductions

An urgency motion condemning the Federal Government's decisions to cap tax deductions for work-related medical self-education expenses was passed unanimously at the AMA National Conference.

The issue was raised with Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, and Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Peter Dutton, when they attended the Conference, but neither could provide guarantees that the policy would be reversed.

The Minister offered consultation on the issue, but could not assure the Conference that genuine medical training would be exempt from the cap, and the Shadow Minister could not guarantee that the Coalition would reverse the decision should it win Government in September.

Click here to view the Federal AMA media release.

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Dr Camille Michener Legacy Award nominations closing soon!

Nominations for the Junior Doctor of the Year for 2013 are due to close on Friday 14 June 2013. This means you have less than two weeks to get your nominations in. This is your opportunity to recognise the outstanding contributions of our Junior Doctors to the Medical Profession and the Community. The Association strongly encourages you to finalise your nomination(s) and forward these in to the Association via mail, fax, email or via the online option.

The Award recognises a Doctor in Training, i.e. Intern through to Senior Registrar who has been outstanding in the areas of:

• Teaching and Education
• Leadership and Advocacy
• Doctor’s Wellbeing and Community Service

The requirement is that the nominee will have contributed in the above categories beyond that expected of the Doctors in Training in their normal working roles.

All finalists are to be members of the AMA.

Please click here for the  2013 nomination form.

A grant of $3,000 will be awarded to the Award winner to be used in further professional development.

For further information on the Award please contact the AMA (WA) on 9273 3000, fax 9273 3073 or email Nominations can also be completed online.

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Médecins Sans Frontières Seminar

The AMA (WA) hosted a seminar for interested members and medical student members highlighting the work of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The Seminar attracted a large audience representing UWA and UND medical students, Doctors in Training and specialists from a range of medical disciplines.

Presenters, Dr Karen Poole and Lee -Anne Cameron, gave an informative and interesting overview of the work of MSF in the field and provided details about the MSF recruitment process. Judging from the large number of questions asked there is a genuine interest amongst doctors and medical students in the work of MSF.

Dr Poole spoke about her experience in the Daghaley Camps which accommodated approximately 130,000 people – making it the largest refugee camp in the world. She encountered many challenges during her six month mission and treated a range of conditions from malnutrition to mental health issues and was involved in nutritional and immunisation programs. Karen had not previously been exposed to many of the medical conditions she was treating and the complexities of malnutrition presented a sharp learning curve.

One of the major challenges was that of inadequate medical records due to the nature of patient held notes. This impacted severely on continuity of care. These problems to do with process and standards in the MSF project regions require careful thought as to how they best need to be addressed in the interests of each patient. MSF doctors need to be innovative and open-minded in dealing with such situations.

Both Karen and Lee-Anne noted that MSF doctors were expected to withstand isolation and harsh conditions. However, with the fellowship of colleagues and sophisticated support systems offered by MSF, there was advice and mentoring available before, during and after an individual’s mission.

For those who were unable to attend the presentation and have an interest in the work of MSF, Chris Kane at the AMA (WA) is happy to send your details directly to Lee-Anne at the MSF Sydney. Email

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AMA Insurance Brokers Special Limited Time Offer – 10% off your Healthcare Business Insurance package

We care deeply about the financial security of healthcare professionals. At AMA Insurance Brokers, insuring and providing exemplary customer service to healthcare professionals isn't just our job ... it's our mission.

As a special limited time offer we are providing a 10% discount off any proven cheaper quote or renewal on our Business Insurance package. Please call our office and speak to Sue on (08) 9273 3077 or click here for further details.

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Enjoy an exclusive showcase of the new 'Butterfly Collections' courtesy of Liz Davenport and Willie Creek Pearls

Liz Davenport invites AMA (WA) members, partners and friends to an exclusive showcase of the new butterfly collections by both Liz Davenport and Willie Creek Pearls on Wednesday 26 June from 6 pm onwards, at the Willie Creek Pearls showroom in Subiaco.

Models will showcase some of the exclusive fashions and Liz herself will be there so here’s your chance to meet and chat with one of the fashion icons of Perth. Champers and nibbles will be provided, as will discounts for purchases made on the night.

RSVP  no later than 21 June for catering purposes please.

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Inaugural Perth General Practitioner Conference & Exhibition

Win a free registration to the inaugural Perth General Practitioner Conference & Exhibition (GPCE) on 21 and 22 July 2013!

AMA (WA) and Reed Exhibitions are delighted to offer two GPs tickets to the conference without having to pay a registration fee. For those of you unlucky enough not to win please quote your AMA (WA) membership number to receive a 25% discount on your registration fee.

For more information on the conference,  please click here.

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Full Time GP Required - Great Southern Region

Excellent earning potential:

• Permanent Full Time Position
• 60% Gross Billings
• Limited on-call
• Interest in Women’s Health

If you would like to experience the clinical diversity of this location with all the benefits of a large country town then this position will appeal to you.

If you would like further information on this or other vacancies available please contact one of our consultants for a confidential discussion at AMA Recruit on 9273 3033 or email

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WA Medical Students' Orchestra is looking for members

The WA Medical Students’ Orchestra is seeking musical doctors to join their orchestra for their end of year concert.

Proceeds raised will be donated to charity and this year they are proud to support Autism West.

8 Tuesday evening rehearsals will be held starting in August at the University of Western Australia.

All those interested in joining can contact the Orchestra at

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AMA (WA) Charity Gala Dinner - Book now!

Bookings are now open for the AMA (WA) Charity Gala Dinner and Awards Night to be held on Saturday 27 July at the magnificent Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom. Click here for full details and booking information.

Please join us for a magical night of celebration, entertainment and prizes. There is ample parking available, but if you prefer not to drive, you can arrange to stay overnight by calling the Hyatt on 131324 and quoting BQTB to get the best rate of the day.

For all queries or to reserve your table at the dinner contact Liz Gray direct on 9273 3027 or via email.

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2013 Youth Friendly Doctor training

The Youth Friendly Doctor Training Program has been developed and is delivered by doctors with specific skills in the area of youth health. The program consists of four modules, and registration is now avaliable for Module 4.

Module 4: Eating Disorders in Young People and their Management

Location: AMA (WA) Nedlands
Time: 6pm for a 6.30pm start:

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Workshop 1: Overweight and Obesity in Young People

Tuesday 3 September

Workshop 2: Eating Disorders in Young People

Free for AMA members
or fax to 9273 3043
Telephone: Stuart on (08) 9273 3000

Click here for full details of these seminars and to download the registration form.

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Apply today for a community medicine placement in 2014!

Applications for the Prevocational General Practice Placement Program (PGPPP) are open from Monday 10 June to Friday 12 July.

This is your chance to gain community medicine experience as one of your hospital rotations.

Choose a GP placement or composite post practising GP in conjunction with a hospital specialty. Metro and regional locations available.

To apply visit

For more information contact WAGPET on (08) 9473 8200 or email

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Medicare Update for GPs - Essentials for Private Practice

Wednesday 17 July 2013 - AMA (WA) Nedlands: 6pm for a 6.30pm start:

Presented by: Medicare Australia
Presenter: Dr Robert Menz (Senior Medical Advisor –Health Professionals’ Branch: Dept. Human Services –Medicare)

The seminar will address a number of frequently asked questions about services in the Medicare Benefits Schedule, including:

• details on specific item numbers and claiming requirements
• a review of the Department of Human Services’ Compliance Program and
• an outline of available online education products and resources

Free for AMA members
RSVP by Friday 12 July 2013
Fax 9273 3073
Telephone Skye on (08) 9273 3028

Click here for full details of this seminar and to download the registration form

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HBF exclusive member discount

AMA (WA) members receive up to 12% off HBF Hospitals and Essentials Cover.

Receive a discount on any payments made in the year of taking up the discount offer (applies from the date of joining the AMA Corporate Plan).

To access this member benefit, contact the AMA (WA) Membership team on 9273 3055 or email

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Commonwealth Bank merchant discounts

AMA (WA) Members in Private Practice have access to discount merchant rates which have been negotiated with Commonwealth Bank for Eftpos Facilities. Discounts of 0.81% on the dollar value of credit card transactions and 0.05% on the dollar value of debit card transactions are available to you.

These rates represent significant discounts on the current CBA merchant rates. Phone the Membership team on 9273 3055 or email

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On the Town

A wide variety of exciting events and movies are on offer in this month's On The Town.

To enter, visit AMA (WA) for your chance to win free double passes to one of these events.

Remember, AMA (WA) members have exclusive access to discounts across a wide range of goods and services. Various categories of benefits are available and these can be viewed by visiting Member Benefits.

Not a member? Join now!

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