Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter
2020 Issue #
As of January 2020 most Awards have had a casual conversion clause inserted into them including the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010 and the Nurses Award 2010.
Employees who are casual and have been working for a minimum of twelve months with the employer on a regular basis have the right to request that their employment status been converted to permanent (i.e. part-time or full-time employment).
Employers must consult with the employee who requests casual conversion and such applications can only be denied on reasonable business grounds which include a significant adjustment to the employee’s hours of work or if the employer forecasts that the role will cease existing in the next 12 months. Employers rejecting an application must inform the employee in writing within 21 days of the request being made.
Members who would like more information regarding casual conversion are encouraged to contact the Australian Medical Association (WA) Workplace Relations and Policy team via email.
AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller and the WA Health Department's Chief Health Officer Dr Andrew Robertson held a webinar last night to provide a COVID-19 update to all doctors in Western Australia.
Areas covered included:
Mortality – global / local;
The Australian response;
The WA Health System’s response;
Issues e.g. face masks, pandemic response; and
The AMA (WA)’s response.
Thank you to all who participated. A recording of the webinar along with other resources will be made available soon.
Meanwhile, the Federal AMA has provided an update on COVID-19, which can be found on the AMA website.
AMA (WA) and RACGP GP Survey - St John Ambulance Urgent Care Centres
Super Clinics Mark II: The biggest threat to sustainable general practice in WA – We need your opinion!
The AMA (WA) and RACGP have been jointly advocating to the Australian Government Department of Health for increased transparency and accountability in relation to the funding and operation of new St John Ambulance Urgent Care Centres (SJA UCCs) in metropolitan Perth. We fear that the current approach taken by the Commonwealth and SJA threatens sustainable general practice in a number of WA communities and undermines the effective delivery of patient-centred primary care services.
The AMA (WA) and RACGP are advocating directly with Australian Government Department of Health, seeking the immediate introduction of governance mechanisms that will eliminate unfair competitive advantages and ensure SJA Urgent Care Centres only address unmet need, do not compete with local general practices, and offer sustainability and value for money.
GPs - we need your input and have prepared a short survey which will provide us with data and opinions to ensure general practice services are protected.
Complete the survey now!
What do I have to pay if my employee leaves?
Whether you are an employer operating in the Federal or the State system, you need to be aware of the rules governing the calculation of termination payments.
Paying an employee correctly on termination of their employment is vital, not only for the reputation of the employer, but also in order to avoid claims of underpayments and unlawful terminations.
The below sets out the principles to be considered for the proper application of the attached “checklist”:
1. Hours worked
2. Other contractual entitlements
3. Notice of termination
4. Annual leave
5. Long service leave
6. Redundancy/severance payments
For a more in depth look into the principles to be considered, please visit the AMA (WA) website.
Does your practice require temporary staff cover?
If you need temporary staff cover at your practice during leave or busy periods, AMA Recruit can help.
AMA Recruit provides a range of clerical staff who are suitably skilled, with relevant medical software knowledge, administration and communication skills – ready to go!
Get in touch with AMA Recruit today. Call AMA Recruit Practice Support Consultant Kristel Maltese on 9273 3000 or via email.
AMA's Obesity Awareness Week | 2 - 6 March
The prevalence of obesity and associated chronic disease continues to increase across Australia.
Australians are becoming larger and unhealthier with poor nutrition and inactivity being the biggest contributors to obesity.
Between 2017-2018, 67% (12.5 million) of Australian adults were found to be obese or overweight, an increase from 2014-2015 (63.4%). Additionally, 25% of children aged between 2-17 years old were overweight or obese in 2017-2018. Addressing and overcoming obesity requires a community-wide approach aimed at battling obesity, curbing chronic disease rates and promoting healthy lifestyles.
AMA’s Obesity Awareness Week, from 2 to 6 March, focuses on simple, easy ways that everyday habits can be swapped for healthier outcomes: an afternoon stroll instead of a movie, a slice of cake changed for a piece of fruit.
The AMA has developed a range of resources for GPs to download. To view and download these resources, please visit the AMA Obesity Awareness Week website.
6 questions to ask a financial adviser
Before you get life insurance, talk through these 6 questions with your financial adviser. That way you’ll have a clear picture of what you’re buying:
1. What types of cover do I need?
2. How much cover do I need?
3. What should I look for (and look out for) in a policy?
4. What’s the best way to pay – stepped or level premiums?
5. How long do I need to be protected for?
6. What defines a trustworthy insurer?
To find out more, please visit the AMA Financial Services website.
2020 membership renewal
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to renew your AMA (WA) membership. Your continued support allows us to achieve significant outcomes for doctors – help us do it again this year!
To renew your membership, visit the AMA (WA) website or call 9273 3055.
Please note: the March edition of Medicus will be the final edition for those members who are yet to renew their membership for 2020.
The AMA launches the guide to social media and medical professionalism
The Australian Medical Association, the New Zealand Medical Association, the Australian Medical Students Association and the New Zealand Medical Students Association have launched a guide to social media and medical professionalism.
The guide includes tips and practical steps to help medical students and doctors navigate the social media landscape.
The new guide encourages doctors and medical students to:
Monitor their own internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their own sites and content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate.
Maintain appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship when interacting with patients online and ensure patient privacy and confidentiality is maintained.
Consider separating personal and professional content online.
Recognise that actions online and content posted can negatively affect their reputations among patients and colleagues, and may even have consequences for their medical careers.
The guide can be downloaded on the AMA website.
'Your Voice in Health’ Employee Engagement Survey due to open 2 March 2020
The Minister for Health will be inviting staff to participate in the 2020 Minister for Health ‘Your Voice in Health’ Employee Engagement Survey (Survey), which is due to open on 2 March 2020.
The 2020 Survey will be the second in a series of five surveys. The second Survey is particularly important as it will enable the WA health system to measure the progress of actions and projects that Health Service Providers and the Department of Health have implemented to address the findings of the first Survey.
The Survey will enable staff to provide direct and honest feedback in relation to what works well, identify issues in the workplace and ensure their health and wellbeing is looked after. Responses to the Survey will be compared against those from the 2019 Survey, which will assist HSPs and DoH to identify areas of strengths and highlight the areas for continuous growth.
Independent research company Engine Asia Pacific PTY LTD (ENGINE), formerly known as ORC International, will continue to conduct the online survey and ensure responses remain confidential and anonymous. ENGINE is legally bound to ensure confidentiality for all survey respondents - meaning individual responses cannot be identified.
The survey will be open from 2 March to 29 March 2020 and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Keep an eye out for the survey which should appear in your inbox next week.
Notification of publication - PHI Circular
The Department of Health would like to advise the following circular has been published and is available for viewing and downloading from their website:
PHI 12/20 – Prostheses List Private Health Insurance (Prostheses) Rules (No.1) 2020.
This circular provides information for stakeholders about the March 2020 Prostheses List.
The delegate of the Minister for Health has made the Private Health Insurance (Prostheses) Rules (No 1) 2020, to replace the Private Health Insurance (Prostheses) Rules (No. 4) 2019. The Schedule is generally known as the March 2020 Prostheses List.
The Rules have been registered on the Federal Register of Legislation and come into effect on 1 March 2020.
The AMA (WA) and RACGP WA invite you to celebrate International Women’s Day!
Thursday 5 March | 6.30am – 8.30am
The RACGP WA and the AMA (WA) are delighted to invite you to attend the International Women's Day breakfast being held at Ambrose Estate, Wembley Downs.
Join us and your peers for a sumptuous breakfast as we recognise the achievements of women in medicine as part of International Women’s Day.
Listen to inspirational women who will share their stories and achievements in medicine. There will be an opportunity to interact with guest speakers and to connect with your colleagues and peers.
- Dr Olga Ward, Specialist GP, AMA (WA) Council of General Practice Member
- Dr Jodi White, Head of Department, Forensic Pathology, Department of Health
- Prof Megan Galbally, Medical Co-Director for Women’s Health, Genetics and Mental Health Directorate, KEMH
- Dr Mariam Bahemia, (Moderator) Specialist GP and RACGP WA Education Committee Chair
- Prof Desiree Silva, Co-Director, ORIGINS Project and Professor of Paediatrics at the UWA and Joondalup Health Campus.
Register online now.
Intern and 2nd year RMO welcome drinks
Interns and 2nd year RMO's are invited to join the AMA (WA) for a casual evening of light bites and drinks.
This year, we’re making it easier for you to attend by hosting two events – choose the one that suits your roster.
Network with your peers and AMA (WA) staff at one of the events below:
Thursday 19 March | 6 – 8 pm
The General Sherman, 2/3 Barry Marshall Parade, Murdoch
RSVP by Friday 6 March online here.
Tuesday 31 March, 6 – 8 pm
Sage Hotel, 1309 Hay Street, West Perth
RSVP by Friday 20 March online here.
Become a Youth Friendly Doctor in 2020!
Tuesday 24 March | 6.00pm – 8.30pm
The Youth Friendly Doctor (YFD) program is designed to provide medical professionals with the skills and knowledge to remain up to date with the most pertinent issues affecting young people and how to best support these issues.
The first YFD workshop for the year, Mental Health Diagnosis and Assessment, outlines high prevalence mental health issues facing young people and enhances skills in distinguishing low prevalence and common co-morbid diagnoses. On completion of this workshop doctors have improved ability to assess the psychosocial wellbeing of adolescents using screening tools, consultation techniques and standardised psychometric instruments. This module enhances participants’ interviewing skills with adolescents and their parents.
Register online now.
Medical Careers Expo – Register now!
Tuesday 24 March | 5.30pm – 8.45pm
The AMA (WA) together with the Postgraduate Medical Council of WA invite junior doctors and graduating medical students to discover and discuss career options at the 2020 Medical Careers Expo. Health services, specialty colleges and other organisations will be present to provide career information and answer questions. The expo is free to attend.
Register for the 2020 Medical Careers Expo online here.
Write in and win
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