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Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

25 January 2017 Issue # 94

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More public hospital beds crucial to meet spiralling demand

The future Western Australian government must address the current shortage of public hospital beds urgently, the Australian Medical Association (WA) said today.

“It is time for all political parties in the coming election to recognise the facts: there are fewer public hospital beds per person in our state than there were eight years ago. This harsh reality is despite the State Government spending substantial amounts of public money over that period and the opening of a number of new hospitals and health campuses,” AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said.

The average available beds has fallen from 2.4 per 1000 people in 2010 to 2.2 in 2015 – a reduction of 8.3 per cent. This reflects a completely inadequate government response to a jump in population of 13.7 per cent over that period.

For more on this report, please click here


Industrial Update: New Agreement reached for public sector doctors

The AMA (WA) has signed a new Industrial Agreement covering all public sector salaried doctors, which was registered by the WA Industrial Relations Commission on Friday, 13 January 2017.

The new Industrial Agreement is called the WA Health System – Medical Practitioners – AMA Industrial Agreement 2016.

A full breakdown of the Agreement is available for AMA (WA) Members here.


AMA (WA) succeeds in Industrial Relations Commission case

The AMA (WA) has won a matter before the Industrial Relations Commission on behalf of Radiologists who were involved in the commissioning phase at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH).  Prior to the hospital opening, the AMA (WA) believed it had reached agreement with FSH management on the level of work to be guaranteed.


However, when the work was finally assessed, Fiona Stanley management reinterpreted the agreement so that the extra work above this guarantee was not taken into account.


In effect this meant that whilst Radiologists had made a contribution over and above what was required of them during the commissioning phase, this would not be rewarded. 


The AMA made application to the WA Industrial Relations Commission on behalf of the Radiologists for the agreement to be upheld and the appropriate payments made. 


Whilst the payment to employees was relatively small, at stake was the issue of FSH management upholding a written agreement. The Industrial Commission affirmed the AMA (WA)’s position that the FSH management position was not consistent with the original agreement and that not to pay the Radiologists in the circumstances was unfair. It has ordered that the original agreement be upheld.

For further details, please contact the AMA (WA) Industrial team. 


AMA Training Services: offering a wide range of nationally recognised business qualifications

AMA Training Services delivers a number of nationally recognised business qualifications that cover Leadership, Human Resources, Medical Administration, Customer Service and much more. 


Further training in business streams can increase employee retention, improve operational efficiency in your workplace, and significantly raise customer satisfaction levels.

AMA Training Services course materials are now available online for any PC, iOS or Android device so students are able to undertake their flexible self-paced study anywhere.


Where eligible, employers can attract incentives of up to $4000 per person where the training is delivered under a Traineeship.


Eligible employers may also avail of Payroll Tax exemption for staff undertaking a qualification under a traineeship.


For more information, please contact AMA Training Services on 08 92733033 or click here and we will contact you.


AMA (WA) successful in Sleep Shift dispute

The AMA (WA) has successfully sought payment for four Psychiatry Registrars in the Department of Health (DoH) who had not been paid the correct shift loading when there had been less than 8 hours break between two or more shifts.


The DoH payments for “sleep shift” claims recently settled range from $5,000 to $67,000 and the AMA (WA) anticipates that dozens of psychiatry registrars are owed money.

The AMA (WA) has a number of sleep shift claims pending processing by the DoH and expects these to take up to 6 weeks to be paid.

All AMA (WA) members who believe they may be owed sleep shift payments are encouraged to contact the AMA (WA) Industrial Department.


ePIP: Upload or Repay

Practices participating in the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Digital Health Incentive are reminded that they have until 31 January  2017 to meet their cumulative quota for Shared Health Summary (SHS) uploads for the last three quarters.


The Department of Health has advised those practices that don't meet the total requirement of 0.5 per cent of their SWPE per quarter will be required to pay back any payments received to date for the incentive.


Practices should note that where a patient already has a SHS uploaded,  any update is counted towards their tally for the quarter.


In September 2016, the Minister for Health granted a one-off extension on the upload requirements.


This followed strong and repeated advocacy from the AMA calling for a moratorium and evidence that 1500 practices registered for the incentive were yet to upload a SHS.


The Department has advised the AMA it is unlikely that a further extension will be offered.


Practices who do not intend to meet all the requirements of the Digital Health Incentive should consider withdrawing.

For more information, please click here


Identify yourself as an AMA Family Doctor

To enhance the concept with patients of the Family Doctor, the AMA has made available a logo for GP members to use in identifying and promoting themselves as a Family Doctor.


The use of the 2017 AMA Family Doctor Logo is a sign to the community and your medical and health professional colleagues that you provide patient-centred, holistic, and longitudinal medical care


The logo can be used in a variety of ways and we encourage you to share with us the ways you do use it by taking a photo and emailing it to us at We may use it in future promotions.


Some suggestions are:

  • include the logo on your website profile on your practice webpage;
  • include it in your signature block;
  • include it on any personal professional stationery;
  • make it your screen saver.

The logo is only being made available to financial GP and GP Registrar members of the AMA for their individual use.

For more information, please click here


Find out how to take the pain out of your practice set up

Starting a medical practice is one of the biggest decisions that you will make. Your financial, emotional, time and energy reserves will be depleted no matter what.


Discover how you can save time, energy, money and space by working with experts who will best qualify and understand your exact medical product needs.

For more information, please click here


First Aid Special for AMA Members and practice staff

AMA Training Services is offering an amazing special on our nationally accredited First Aid (HLTAID003) course for a limited time. As an AMA member you or your practice staff can avail of a special price for any of our 1 or 2 day First Aid courses - dates listed below.

1 day Course Dates: 21 Feb, 28 Mar, 16 May, 27 Jun

2 day Course Dates: 20-21 Feb, 27-28 Mar, 15-16 May, 26-27 Jun


To take advantage of this special offer click here and register today for the dates that suit you.

For more information, please click here


2017 Youth Friendly Doctor Training Program

The Youth Friendly Doctor (YFD) Program was developed by the AMA (WA) Foundation in consultation with doctors and other health professionals.  The program builds the capacity of doctors to communicate effectively and optimise their contact with young people.  Practical sessions are delivered by experts in the relevant medical and legal fields.

In addition to providing practical youth-specific training, YFD provides doctors with reference materials, referral links and ongoing support to encompass a holistic youth friendly practice.
To be accredited as a Youth Friendly Doctor, you will be required to complete both the core module workshops plus one of the elective workshops.

This program is accredited with the ACRRM and the RACGP, attracting Category 1 and/or Category 2 QI&CPD Points.
Rural doctors have the opportunity to participate via the virtual online classroom.

All workshops are held at the AMA (WA) office in Nedlands from 6.30-8.30pm.

FREE for AMA Members; $50 per workshop for non-members.
Please click here for the Registration Form.


For more information about the Youth Friendly Doctor Program email or phone the AMA (WA) on (08) 9273 3000.


GP Desktop Tool

The AMA knows your time is precious and has developed the GP Desktop Tool so you can quickly and easily access a range of forms, guides and clinical tools to assist you in your day to day practice.


The AMA’s GP Desktop Tool brings together over 500 resources to aid patient consultation and practice management, all in one convenient place. The AMA’s GP Desktop allows GP members (only) to quickly access resources including:

  • Commonly used forms
  • Clinical questionnaires and checklists such as the Abbey Pain Scale
  • Administrative checklists and tools such as checklists for patient billing
  • Information Kits such as Medicare Services for Indigenous Health
  • State specific resources such as Worker’s Compensation certificates

The GP Desktop Tool is free and only available to AMA members. Simply log in or sign up to doctorportal to access this free resource now.

Help for revising billing practices

If you and your practice are considering moving to patient-billing the AMA has a number of resources available to members to assist as we recognise this can be difficult and challenging.


Increasingly, medical practices are finding they must make this move to ensure their viability and enable the continued delivery of quality medical care to their patients.


The AMA’s Fee List webpage provides access to a range of resources to guide your fee setting and the transition process.


The AMA Fees List Online Database, for example, is an easy-to-use, online version of the AMA List of Medical Services and Fees. It will allow you to search, print or download individual items or groups of items to suit your needs.


You can also use the AMA Fees Indexation Calculator to determine fee increases based on your individual cost profile.




2017 WA Public Health Pre-Election Forum

This forum is an opportunity for all the major parties to present their public health policies and to answer questions from the public health community.


Moderated by 720 ABC radio presenter Geoff Hutchinson, this free forum features will allow John Day, Roger Cook and Alison Xamon to present their health promises to the public health community.

Date: Tuesday 14 February 2017 at 1:45pm

Venue: The Bendat Parent and Community Centre, Wembley. 


For more details and to RSVP, please click here


CPR Training for GPs and Practice Staff

The AMA is delivering 3 hour courses for staff requiring CPR training to meet practice accreditation requirements.

The learning outcome of this unit provides the participant with a nationally recognised unit of competency: HLTAID001 – Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

The course will cover:

• Assessing the situation and responding to the signs of an unconscious casualty
• Cardiopulmonary resuscitation following Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines
• Defibrillation awareness


The next course is on 25 February 2017.

RACGP and ACCRM points will be updated shortly.

This event is FREE for AMA (WA) members, $85 for non-member and practice staff.


To register, please click here


WA Health, Energy and Climate Change Symposium

The WA Health, Energy and Climate Change Symposium is a one day event which aims to bring together health professionals, students and members of the wider community to be educated and empowered by some of Australia’s most prestigious speakers in the areas of climate change, renewable energy and health.


Date: 25 February 2017

Venue: Education Building, Fiona Stanley Hospital 

For bookings and more information, please click here


Introducing the Perth Private Practice Course Program

Since its inception, the Private Practice education program has attracted over 3,500 delegates keen to lift their knowledge of business and financial management, and position themselves for success in their practice and personal lives.


The AMA (WA) is delighted to announce that the Association will be participating at this year’s Perth-based courses.


AMA (WA) Members are offered a registration fee discount, saving up to $1,155 - simply contact the AMA (WA) membership team for more information. 

The two courses held in Perth are: 

Transition to Private Practice – The Private Practice Comprehensive: Friday 24 – Sunday 26 February 2017

The Private Practice Growth Strategies Workshop Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 February.


Enjoy a VIP experience at Cirque du Soleil's Kooza

Cirque du Soleil rediscovers its origins with the company's eighth Big Top show to tour Australia.


A sparkling homage to the traditions of circus, KOOZA springs open like a bejeweled toy box to capture your imagination and set your pulse racing.

Buy two tickets to this unforgettable show to go into the draw for a free upgrade to two Premiere, invite-only tickets on the night. The Premiere experience includes free food and drink on the night. For more details please click here

To go into the draw, book your tickets and email the booking reference number to Des Michael.


Member Benefits

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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