Email not viewing correctly? View it in your browser .

Join The AMA (WA) Renew Membership Medical Products Online Shop Events Member Benefits FB T


Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

20 December 2019 Issue # 132

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

AMA (WA) festive season operating hours

The Australian Medical Association (WA) wishes you a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy year ahead. 

Operating hours for the AMA (WA) during the festive season are:


AMA Secretariat, Membership, Recruitment and Training
Will remain closed on all the public holidays and Friday 27 December with skeleton staff rostered on 24, 30 and 31 December.


AMA Insurance & Financial Services

Will remain closed on all the public holidays and 27 December with skeleton staff rostered on 30 and 31 December (9.30am – 4pm). Out-of-hours emergency assistance will be available on 0408 221 465.


AMA Medical Products

Will remain closed on all the public holidays and Tuesday 24 December with skeleton staff rostered on 27, 30 and 31 December.


The hard work continues on VAD

The AMA (WA) has acknowledged the passing of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 (WA) but said the hard work required to make the legislation as safe, workable and fair as possible has not yet been completed.


“There is still much to do in the fit-out of this process - to complete the package of information, education and guidelines that will affect how doctors and patients interact with this law on a daily basis,” AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said.


“It is a tough job providing care at the end of life, but the State’s hard-working General Practitioners, medical specialists and nurses are up to the task, and will now be considering how this law will operate. More resources for patients and services will be critical to relieve suffering, as many MPs have emphasised during this debate.


To continue reading, please visit the AMA (WA) website.


Updated Position Statement on the Ethical Guidelines on Ownership of Pharmacy and Dispensing by Doctors

The Federal AMA has released an updated Position Statement on the Ethical Guidelines on Ownership of Pharmacy and Dispensing by Doctors 2019, following a five-year review of the policy. The revised policy follows a number of state government reviews into pharmacy ownership regulation, including WA’s Review of Community Pharmacy Ownership in WA. 


The AMA (WA) provided a submission to WA’s Review of Community Pharmacy Ownership in WA, arguing that restricting the ownership of pharmacies to pharmacists; a friendly society; or preserved company, prevents the development of healthcare models that could benefit patient care. In particular, the AMA (WA) called for models of ownership that should be designed to avoid facilitating any conflation of non-evidence based therapies and evidence based medicine. 


The AMA (WA) continues to advocate for pharmacy ownership regulation that supports the delivery of patient care.


AMA pushes Government for assurance on Easyclaim costs

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, has sought a guarantee from the Government that it will not approve any plan to increase the costs to medical practices when submitting Medicare claims via Easyclaim.

Services Australia is currently reviewing tenders for the provision of Easyclaim services that it has received from financial institutions. According to the Easyclaim tender documents, financial institutions are explicitly permitted to levy additional fees on practices to cover costs of bank transaction fees.


Easyclaim, which commenced in 2007, is convenient and cost-effective for patients, and has delivered large savings to the Government compared to manual processing of Medicare claims. 


To continue reading, please visit the AMA website


AMA achieves VMP fees December 1 2019 Schedule (WAGMSS) adjustment

The AMA calculated the practitioner costs and submitted the AMA Medical Fees Index (MFI) calculations for use in the annual adjustment to WAGMSS, reflecting movements in general as well as medically specific costs.


In 2019, the MFI was adjusted in accordance with the AMA’s streamlined indexation methodology. The AMA MFI is a weighted average of the increases in various cost and income components determined by three macroeconomic indices published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. These include:

  • the Wage Price Index
  • the All Group Consumer Price Index (CPI), and
  • the Private Motoring CPI.

These economic indices are applied to practice cost weights that are relevant to each medical peer group e.g. Non-Procedural General Practice, Obstetrics, Pathology etc. The AMA advises that the MFI rate for 2019 is 2.165 per cent for all 10 peer groups. The AMA is pleased that the MFI increase will help VMPs to keep pace with inflation and practice costs. The updated WAGMSS schedules and guides can be accessed online here.


Upcoming changes to AMA Fees List

The AMA have uploaded a new CSV and PDF file and a Summary of Changes for amendments to the AMA Fees List that take effect in the database on 9 January 2020. A preview of the CSV (data) and PDF files and Summary of Changes can be found in the banner on top of the page when you log in to AMA Fees List online. 

The new CSV and PDF files contains the remaining items and amendments to the AMA Fees List arising out of the 1 November 2019 MBS changes that the AMA was unable to implement on 1 November 2019. Thank you for your patience regarding our capacity to make the necessary changes, due to the large volume and complexity of MBS changes for colonoscopy and anaesthesia services – which we prioritised first.

This second tranche reflecting 1 November 2019 MBS changes includes the following AMA Fees List changes:

• 8 new AMA Fees List eating disorder items for GPs and specialists (consolidating 34 medical items in the MBS that are differentiated by doctor cohort and videoconferencing/telehealth areas)
• 2 new breast PET items
• 1 new aged care residential facility x-ray flag fall item
• An amended stroboscopy item
• Minor amendments to sleep-related breathing disorder items
• 2 amended eye items for ectropion/entropion repair for trachoma and non-trachomatous cases
• Minor descriptor amendments to spinal items


Bonded Medical Program New Arrangement

From 1 January 2020, the Bonded Medical Program new arrangements (the Program) will come into effect. From this date all new applicants to the Program will enter under the new arrangements and existing participants will be able to choose to opt in to the Program.


A number of useful resources are available to assist students and bonded doctors. These resources can be found on the Department of Health website


Member Exclusive: Do you love photography?

It’s not too late! If you haven’t already sent in your submission for the AMA (WA)’s photography competition, get snapping.

AMA (WA) members are invited to enter their best single ‘ANIMAL’ image – you could win a $300 voucher to spend at Camera Electronic.

What’s more, all entries will go into a draw at the end of the competition to win a prize valued at in excess of $700.

Please submit your entries as jpg files no more than 20MB to Des Michael by 20 January 2019. Files larger than this will be rejected.

Pictured is cardiologist Dr Stephen Gordon’s winning entry for the April 2019 ‘Landscape’ contest. Dr Gordon’s stunning capture of Rottnest Island won him the $300 Camera Electronic voucher.


All judges are independent of the AMA (WA) and chosen by Camera Electronic


It's time to renew your membership!

Renew your membership now to ensure you continue to receive representation and access to member benefits and services.

Renewing your membership is easy. You can renew online or call (08) 9273 3055.

If you wish to check your membership category or haven’t received your invoice, please contact the AMA (WA) membership team on (08) 9273 3055 or email

We look forward to continuing to support you and the profession in 2020 and beyond.


Be conscious of how you invest in equities during the ‘retirement risk zone’

In the years just before and after your retirement is a period known as the retirement risk zone. It’s a decade when your nest egg is likely to be its highest.

There is probably no other time when your financial wellbeing is at risk to a sudden decline in value of your nest egg – simply because it’s at its peak balance.

To continue reading, please visit the AMA Financial Services website.


Applications still open for 2020 AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship

Applications are now open for the 2020 AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship, a program that has supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to study medicine since 1994.


The successful applicant will receive $10,000 each year for the duration of their course.


AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said that previous recipients have gone on to become prominent leaders in health and medicine, including Associate Professor Kelvin Kong, Australia’s first Aboriginal surgeon.


“Latest records show that there are fewer than 500 Indigenous doctors in the medical workforce, which is about 0.4 per cent of the workforce. To reach population parity of 3 per cent, the number should be closer to 3500,” Dr Bartone said.


Applications close 31 January 2020.


For further information, please visit the AMA website


Competition time!

The AMA (WA) is offering members the chance to win FREE tickets to a range of movies, concerts, plays, shows or events currently on in Perth.

This month, win tickets to movies Richard Jewell, Just Mercy, Bombshell, The Truth or Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Enter online here now!

Remember, AMA (WA) members also 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 our Member Benefits page.


Write in and win

Got something to say? We would love to hear from you!

The AMA (WA)'s publication Medicus is calling on all members to send through any letters they would 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. 


The Med e-link (WA) distribution list has been updated. If you wish to change your email address, please reply to this email. To update your contact details with the AMA (WA), please email us at

If you no longer wish to receive this service, you can unsubscribe

Copyright © 2013 Australian Medical Association of Western Australia
14 Stirling Highway, Nedlands WA 6009. Ph (08) 9273 3000