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Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

23 May 2018 Issue # 109

Feedback on Med e-link (WA) is welcomed. Send your views to .

Update on End-of-Life Choices

Following the success of the AMA (WA) Symposium on End-of-Life Choices and Palliatve Care, AMA (WA) President Dr Omar Khorshid joined Dr Frank Jones and ABC Radio Perth's Nadia Mitsopoulos to discuss euthanasia, the current state of palliative care in WA and other end-of-life issues.


Dr Khorshid outlined what protections doctors will need if euthanasia is legalised in WA, discussed the recent death of Prof David Goodall and the ethical issues surrounding the Dying with Dignity debate. The full interview is accessible here

Dr Khorshid then fronted the WA Parliament's Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choices to discuss some of the takeaways from the Symposium and the Association's position on euthanasia and palliative care. 

A summary of the Symposium can be viewed here, with more details included in the upcoming edition of Medicus.


Health in a holding pattern following State Budget

Health is in a holding pattern as the State Government waits for the Sustainable Health Review report, which is not expected to be finalised until November at the earliest.


“The Sustainable Health Review, established just over a year ago, has already delivered an interim report which was generally disappointing and in some parts incorrect,” AMA (WA) President Dr Omar Khorshid said.


“We’ve seen an overall cut in the health budget but a small rise in money given to hospital services. However even this is a cut in real terms.


“The 2018/19 State Budget was presented as one that provides for a 'steady and real course back to surplus'.


For health, however, the 2018/19 WA Health budget at $8.8 billion, represents a 2.4 per cent reduction on the 2017/18 estimated actual spending, which was $9 billion.


“Health spending now represents 29 per cent of the total WA budget.

To read more on the AMA (WA)'s summary of the State Budget, please click here.


Big shoes to fill following departure of Chief Health Officer

The AMA (WA) has congratulated Chief Health Officer Professor Tarun Weeramanthri on his exceptional service to health in Western Australia, following news of his pending resignation.


“While the AMA (WA) and Prof Weeramanthri have not always seen eye to eye, his dedication and contribution to improving all aspects of public healthcare in Western Australia are undeniable,” AMA (WA) President Dr Omar Khorshid said.


“Prof Weeramanthri has been a stalwart servant of the Department of Health, for many years, and his impact on public health in this State has undoubtedly been positive.


For more on this report, please click here


AMA (WA) visits Perth Children’s Hospital

Representatives of the Australian Medical Association (WA) visited the Perth Children’s Hospital for a closer look at our State’s newest health campus.


AMA (WA) Councillors and management were taken on a detailed tour of the soon-to-be opened more than $1.2 billion health facility by Child and Adolescent Health Service CEO Dr Robyn Lawrence.


The group headed by AMA (WA) President Dr Omar Khorshid was duly impressed with the magnificent facility with its brightly coloured décor, wide-open spaces, hi-tech features as well as ample space for clinicians to consult, work and even relax.

For more on this report, please click here


AMA Financial Services – how will the Budget affect you?

This year’s Federal Budget is an ‘election budget’ with tax cuts for all Australians that will be funded by the government’s higher than expected revenue. All-in-all, changes to super were fairly limited in the Budget, with the government focused on preventing the erosion of super funds with small balances.

We’ve summarised some of the key points from the Budget below, but remember these are subject to the passing of legislation.

• A new tax offset for low and middle-income earners, up to $530 per year.
• Super accounts with small balances will have more protection from fee erosion and unnecessary insurance premiums.
• People receiving the Age Pension will be able to earn up to $300 per fortnight without it affecting the amount of their Age Pension.
• More aged care places to assist older Australians.

For more information, please click here


AMA Medical Products and Welch Allyn present the 2018 Chronic Disease Promotion

Welch Allyn has teamed up with Star Partner Distributor AMA Medical Products to bring you the 2018 Chronic Disease Promotion.

About half of all Australians have a chronic disease, while 26% have two or more chronic conditions. Primary care clinicians represent the front lines of a complex healthcare system, and are tasked not only with treating acute and chronic conditions, but also with identifying health risk factors early to help improve patient outcomes and keep system costs lower.


The Chronic Disease promotion focuses on three core areas:

• Cardiovascular Disease & Hypertension
• Diabetes Management and
• Women’s Health.


A mailer has been distributed to 27,000 General Practitioners across the country. Not a GP? Fear not, we have you covered!


Click here to view 2018 Chronic Disease Promotion and access the medical product specials.


AMA (WA) AGM set for 4 July 2018

Members are advised that the AMA (WA) Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 4 July, at the Association’s headquarters in Nedlands, starting at 6pm.


Members who attend will be invited to join in the discussion on AMA (WA) business and enjoy the fellowship of colleagues. Refreshments will be served after the meeting.



• Declare meeting open
• Apologies
• Confirmation of minutes
• Annual Report of Council
• Approval of the new Constitution
• Declaration of Ballot of Office Bearers and Members of Council
• Investiture of the President
• Closing of meeting by President.


For more information please contact the Secretariat at 9273 3028.


AMA (WA) Charity Gala Dinner

Bookings are now open for the AMA (WA) Charity Gala Dinner and Awards Night to be held on Saturday 30 June 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Perth.

Please join us for a magical night of celebration, entertainment and prizes.

For all queries or to reserve your table at the dinner, please contact Skye Connor on 9273 3028 or via email.

Bookings can also be made on the AMA (WA) website.

Please note, following your completed online registration you will be redirected to the AMA (WA) homepage, and a confirmation email of your successful booking will be sent to your email address.

Three nominations for AMA President

There will be an election to decide the next Federal AMA President and Vice President at the AMA National Conference in Canberra on Sunday, 27 May. 

Three people have nominated for President:
• Current Federal Vice President and a former AMA Victoria President, Dr Tony Bartone, who is a Melbourne GP;
• Current AMA NSW President and current AMA Federal Councillor, Professor Brad Frankum, an Immunologist and Allergist in public and private practice in southwestern Sydney; and
• Current AMA Federal Councillor and a former AMA Queensland President, Dr Gino Pecoraro, who is a Brisbane Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who works in public and private practice.

Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend to the AMA National Conference. For more information, please click here


Gonorrhoea Health Alert for Clinicians

In March 2018, two unlinked cases of highly antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea were diagnosed in Western Australia and Queensland. One case was acquired in SouthEast Asia and the source of the other case is under investigation. The Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains of these cases, and a recent case in the UK, have high level resistance to ceftriaxone and azithromycin, the first line antibiotic treatment in WA (apart from remote regions).

These strains also showed the more commonly seen resistance to penicillin and ciprofloxacin, making them the first ever reported that are resistant to all antibiotics used in routine treatment for gonorrhoea. This has serious public health implications, as treatment can be complex and infections may ultimately become untreatable with currently available drugs.

Further information for clinicians is available here


Support AMA (WA) Foundation with the 2018/2019 Entertainment Book

The AMA (WA) Foundation was established in 1996 with a focus on health issues facing our youth. The two programs delivered through the Foundation are Dr YES and Youth Friendly Doctor training.


Each year, trained Dr YES medical student volunteers engage with high school students across the State having open and honest discussions about important health issues they face.


A comprehensive training program is delivered during the year to help keep doctors working with adolescents up to date on youth health matters.


Each year the AMA (WA) Foundation raises some funds for the youth programs from those who subscribe to membership of the Entertainment Book via the AMA (WA) Foundation link. With every membership sold, 20 per cent will be donated to the AMA (WA) Foundation.


Valid until 1 June, 2019, the Entertainment Book is available now for only $70.


For enquiries, please contact Beverley Williamson at the AMA on 9273 3000 or via email. To directly purchase the Entertainment Book online, please click here


Updated information on influenza vaccines

The Federal Government has developed a suite of educational and promotional communication resources for vaccination providers and consumers to support awareness and uptake of influenza vaccination in 2018 under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).


The Department of Health’s immunisation website contains updated resources for both vaccination providers and consumers. 

Hardcopy materials, accompanied by correspondence from the Chief Medical Officer, have been mailed to vaccination providers Australia-wide including GPs, Aboriginal Medical Services, and other providers in each state and territory.

Additional copies can be ordered the the Department's website links below. 

To access the various resources available, please click here



Have you seen the new National Healthy Skin Guideline?

Research shows hospitalisation rates for skin infections in Aboriginal children are 15 times higher than those of non-Aboriginal children, with nearly half of all children living in remote communities having a skin infection at any one time.


A big part of the problem is that skin infections have become so common that they considered ‘normal’ and are left untreated, leading to serious, life-threatening illnesses such as chronic heart and kidney disease. 


The first-ever National Healthy Skin Guideline is designed to help healthcare providers easily recognise, diagnose, and treat skin infections using online resources such as photographs, learning tools and an interactive questionnaire.


The Guideline also provides plenty of information on how to stop the spread of germs and keep skin strong and healthy.

For more information and to download your copy of the National Healthy Skin Guideline, please click here.


Pregnant women targeted in scare campaigns

GPs with pregnant patients are advised of a scare campaign being run by anti-vaxxers through social media. The campaign pushes claims that the Federal Government’s free flu vaccine has not been proven safe. The message circulating online by the anti-vaxxers suggests that the vaccine FluQuadri is in the trial stages and hasn’t yet been tested for use in pregnancy.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, has slammed the message, calling it irresponsible and dangerous, and has highlighted the fact that influenza is one of the top reasons why pregnant women report to hospital intensive care units.

“I am very concerned that this information is being fed to women who are having babies, as the AMA would like to see a dramatic increase from last year’s uptake to an 88 per cent uptake this year,” Dr Gannon said.

For more information, please click here

WorkCover WA GP Support resource

The WorkCover WA gpsupport website is available to assist GPs treating injured workers. This site offers guidance materials for GPs to help them treat patients with work-related injuries and deliver injury management services.


The ‘Certificate of Capacity’ is the key tool for GPs to communicate an injured worker’s progress to their employer and the insurer managing their workers’ compensation claim. The certificates are available for download from the Certificates of Capacity page on the gpsupport website, along with explanatory notes for completing the certificates.


It’s vital Certificates of Capacity are completed thoroughly, clearly and legibly. Incomplete or illegible certificates can lead to delays in the claims process, which can in turn lead to delays in an injured worker receiving treatment and their statutory entitlements.


GPs can watch the educational video ‘Certificates of Capacity – Guidance for doctors’ for more information. Members can also contact WorkCover WA’s Advice and Assistance line on 1300 794 744.

YFD workshop: Obesity and Overweight in Young People

This workshop is designed to increase participants’ understanding of the determinants of overweight/obesity in young people, and improves skills and confidence in communicating with young overweight patients and their parents.


On completion of this workshop, doctors are able to monitor child growth using BMI-centile charts, identify overweight and obese children and set weight maintenance goals.


Doctors are also able to understand rare causes of weight gain in children and when to refer for a specialist opinion.


Presenters: Dr Lana Bell & Dr Justine Doust (PMH).


Date: 29 May 2018, 6pm for a 6:30 start.


Venue: AMA House, 14 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands.


Free for AMA members, $50 for non-members.


For more information and to register, please click here.


GP Registrar Seminars: Know your Rights

The AMA (WA) is running a series of four free seminars to help GP Registrars answer questions on employment arrangements and how to manage conflict in the workplace.

This seminar will explain the National Terms and Conditions for the Employment of Registrars (NTCER), including minimum rates of pay, hours of work, payment for training and leave entitlements.


We will explain how the conditions apply to you as a GP registrar and what the various provisions mean for you in a practical sense when you are working at a practice.

We will also give you some tips on what to look for when you are offered a contract of employment.


RACGP and ACRRM points will be applied for all medical practitioner seminars. 

Date: 29 May 2018
Venue: 14 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands

For more information and to register, please click here


CPR for AMA Members

Have you completed your CPR?


RACGP requires CPR to be completed in this 2017-2019 triennium.

The AMA (WA) is running free CPR courses for member doctors at the Nedlands premises on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings.

The next course will take place on Saturday 23 June 2018 and there are only limited spaces available, so get in quick to avoid missing out.

For more information and to register, please click here.


Write in and win

Got something to say? We'd love to hear from you!

The AMA (WA)'s publication Medicus is calling on all members to send through any letters they'd like to share with the profession. 

Write to us (200 words max) at - the best letter will win anything from movie/theatre tickets to bottles of wine. 


Get tickets to Cher

The AMA (WA) has managed to get an allocation of tickets for Cher in Perth on Friday 12 October at Perth Arena.

Instead of waiting endlessly or jumping on and off the website to get tickets, here is an opportunity to organise tickets without the hassle. 

The tickets are in Block 205 and are priced at face value: $308.25.

If you would like tickets please contact Des Michael with your details, so the AMA (WA) can purchase them for you. Please note that tickets will not be reserved without the inclusion of credit card details.

There are only a few tickets remaining, so get in quick to avoid missing out. 


Enjoy a night out with Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Be captivated by a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s stirring bass, alto and tenor harmonies when they return to Perth on 16 July 2018.

For more than 30 years, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has married the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical traditions with the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music.

Rather than trying your luck on a likely sell-out show, let the AMA (WA) get your tickets for you at no extra cost. Simply register your interest in attending with Des Michael. Tickets are $89.90.

For more details, please click here


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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