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Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

14 November 2013 Issue # 51

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AMA (WA) applauds Federal Government’s decision to scrap the cap

The Australian Medical Association (WA) has congratulated the Federal Government for seeing sense and scrapping the former government’s proposed $2000 cap on tax deductions for work related self-education expenses.

“The AMA (WA) was a strong supporter of the Scrap the Cap Alliance that campaigned strongly against the proposal that would have had a major negative impact on medical education in Australia,” AMA (WA) President
Dr Richard Choong said.


For more information, please click here.


WA Health Leave Liability

The Department of Health has recently released an Operational Directive on WA Health Leave Liability.

According to the Operational Directive (OD 0461/13), all WA Health staff must clear excess annual leave, accrued days off and TOIL balances by 30 June 2014. This timeframe does not apply to Professional Development Leave or Long Service Leave.

For more information, please click here.


Queensland doctor contracts spark international concerns

The Federal AMA has called on the Queensland Government to rethink its hardline contracts for Senior Medical Officers in the public hospital system, as negative reaction to the contracts spreads internationally.

The Association criticised the Queensland Government contracts last month, saying they would have a dramatic negative effect on medical workforce numbers and patient access to care in Queensland.


AMA Federal President Dr Steve Hambleton said that Queensland's changed employment conditions could result in doctors moving interstate or into private practice.

For more information, please click here


Medicare requirements for referrals to specialists and consultant physicians

The AMA has prepared a useful summary for GPs that explains the Medicare benefits rules for referrals and the implications of not adhering to them.

View the summary information on the Federal AMA website.


AMA (WA) Vaccination Strategy update

AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong met with Dr Paul Effler, Medical Director of the Government’s Prevention and Control Program, to discuss the Association's campaign to link child care enrolment to proof of vaccination. 


This was a precursor to a meeting of the Immunisation Strategy Implementation Steering Committee at which Dr Effler highlighted the Association’s proposed strategy with other stakeholders. 


‘In principle’ support was given to the AMA (WA)’s proposal, but concerns around equity and allowing for conscientious objectors were raised. These concerns would be taken into account with the AMA (WA)’s proposal for legislative change in WA to ban unvaccinated children enrolling in WA’s child care centres.


For more information, please click here

AMA (WA) meeting with WA Psychiatrists

AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong convened a meeting with WA Psychiatrists to discuss their concerns regarding the delivery of mental health services in WA. He requested input from those attending the meeting into the Association’s approach to these problems – both for the immediate present and the longer-term.


Heads of the SCGH and RPH Emergency Departments were also in attendance at the meeting to highlight the problems they were experiencing in their departments with the lack of acute mental health beds and patients remaining in EDs for unacceptably lengthy periods of time.

For more information, please click here.


Poisons Regulations review

The AMA (WA) invites members to contribute into the review of the Poisons Regulations 1965.

The Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Bill 2013 is the proposed successor legislation to the Poisons Act 1964. The Bill is in advanced stages of progression to becoming new law.

The AMA (WA) has prepared a submission to the Bill, focusing on concerns with the definition of a drug-dependent person and the obligations of doctors to report the drug-dependent status of a patient.


For more information, please click here


RMO Recruitment for 2014

The Association has been advised of difficulties for a number of RMOs who have sought ongoing employment with WA Health for 2014. The Association has been liaising with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer and with the Post Graduate Medical Council of WA to ascertain the number of individuals who are currently without placement for next year.


To assist this process, the Association would like to hear from anyone who has not been offered a placement for next year. This includes those individuals who have only been offered contracts for six months.


Please refer your enquiry to Clare Francis via email.


Invitation to GPs to participate in 'General Practitioners and patients who self-harm Survey'

A study investigating the nature of General Practitioners' experience and attitudes towards patients who engage in self-harm has been set up on behalf of Murdoch University.

The primary aim of this research is to explore the perceptions and attitudes of GPs in WA regarding patients who self-harm. Such understandings will provide the foundation to improve the education and training needs of future GPs.

GPs who are interested in participating in this survey are welcome to do so before 30 November 2013. 

All information is strictly confidential and no names or other identifying details will be used in any publication that may arise from the research. 

To take part in this survey, please click here.

AMA List of Medical Services and Fees

The AMA List of Medical Services and Fees (AMA List), effective 1 November 2013, has been distributed.


You can download the CSV (for importing into practice software) and PDF (for viewing) of the AMA List.


The Fees Indexation Calculator is also available for members to calculate their own fee increase based on their individual cost profile.


AMA members can also access the AMA List of Medical Services and Fees and other relevant tools via the GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit.


AMA (WA) Medical Products launches its 2013 Summer Promotion

Get together with a colleague to take advantage of our ‘buy one, get one free' offer on the EDAN H100B Handheld Pulse Oximeter or the EDAN Basic-A Handheld Fetal Doppler.


Other great offers include 25 per cent off various instruments and the EDAN SE1010 PC Based ECG at less than half price!


Click here to see the Summer Promotion.


Senior Medical Advisor required

Are you an experienced General Practitioner who is interested in medico-legal matters, and chasing a new challenge for one day per week?

For more information on this exciting opportunity please click here

Clinical guidance for MRI referral

The RACGP has released its clinical guidance for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) referral to support the Department of Health’s new MBS-supported referrals for MRI requested by GPs, that came into effect on 1 November.


GPs will now be able to request MRI studies of:
• The head - unexplained seizure(s) or unexplained chronic headache with suspected intracranial pathology;
• The spine (two separate items) - suspected cervical radiculopathy or suspected cervical spine trauma; and
• The knee - following acute knee trauma where there is an inability to extend the knee suggesting an acute meniscal tear or clinical findings suggest the acute anterior cruciate ligament tear.


The clinical guidance, commissioned by the DoH, aims to support GPs’ evidence-based decision making, reduce inappropriate referral and improve patient outcomes for the specific Medicare indications.


GPs and other health professionals can access the clinical guidance for MRI referral free of charge via the RACGP website. The clinical guidance is also accessible via the AMA GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit.


Locum availability for Christmas 2013

Are you looking for a locum in December 2013? We have a female vocationally registered doctor who is currently planning her locum commitments and has some dates available in her schedule for the month of December.

If you would like to secure the services of our highly qualified and skilled locum for the month of December 2013 and are located in a District of Workforce Shortage please contact Margaret Templeton on 9273 3033 or via email.

AMA (WA) Members' Footy Tipping Competition

The AMA (WA) would like to thank those who participated in the AMA (WA) Members Footy Tipping Competition.

We would like to congratulate Arthur Harris, who placed first with a score of 149.

The full ladder is available to view here.

If you have any queries, please contact Josh Hummerston on 08 9273 3087 or via email.


Free CPR course for all AMA (WA) GP members

AMA (WA) members are reminded that RACGP requires CPR to be completed in this triennium 2011–13.

In light of this, the AMA (WA) is running free CPR courses for member doctors at its Nedlands premises. The next available course will take place on Wednesday, 11 December. There are limited spots left, so get in quick to avoid missing out.

For more information, please click here.


Fermoy Estate Promotion

Fermoy Estate is happy to offer AMA (WA) members a 20% discount off the RRP on its entire range of wines.


Visit the website to view the entire range.

Contact AMA (WA) Membership on 9273 3055 to obtain the member discount code, and quote the code when placing your order via email, or phone 08 9755 6285.


For more information, please click here

Voyager Estate Promotion

Step into Voyager Circle and be the first to find out what’s happening at Voyager Estate – latest releases, future exclusive offers and the inside word from the Voyager Estate team. Enjoy a complimentary digital book as a gift.

Voyager Circle is also your path to Gold. Voyager Gold is our way of thanking our loyal supporters with a range of exclusive benefits, including 10% rewards on full price purchases to spend on your next order or dining experience in our restauran


For more information, please click here.


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