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2 September 2013 Issue #47

Where they stand: A guide to key election health policies

With the election less than two weeks away, the major parties have finally released most of their major health policies.

The Coalition Health Policy has prioritised on Primary Care and General Practice, while the Labor Party's health policy has focused on the expansion and development of hospitals. The Australian Greens health policy revolves around improved health care in remote and regional Australia, with a major focus on mental health.

Please note the Australian Labor Party has not released it’s full health policy yet, and any new announcements made by any of the parties will be added as soon as possible. To see the health promises made thus far, please click here.

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More health warnings needed for fun-runs: AMA (WA)

Health information and warnings should be made available to anyone signing up to fun-runs, the Australian Medical Association (WA) has said. 

“Fun runs are great initiatives with hundreds of thousands of people taking part in these organised events each year across our nation,” AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said.

“But we cannot afford to ignore the potentially fatal health impact of such exertion.”

The two deaths suffered by participants in Sunday’s City to Surf fun run should be a warning to everyone not to treat such events lightly.

For more on this report, please click here

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AHPD listing scam still an issue for GPs

In June, the Australian Medical Association (WA) informed members that a number of practices have been approached with the offer of a free listing in the Australasian Health Professionals Directory. This offer turned out to be a scam, and practices were being charged up to $5200 for a listing. 

There were a range of other concerns about the material that doctors received, including the fact that the website did not exist, and the listing form asked for a great deal of information that put participants at risk of identity fraud.

Unfortunately general practitioners and their practice managers are still falling for this scam, and it's likely to continue for the forseeable future. 

The website has now been set up to make the operation seem more legitimate, but the AMA (WA) urges its members not to be conned by this scam.

On no account should doctors or practices make any payment or provide credit card details.

Those who have signed up to Australasian Health Professionals Directory should immediately send a follow up communication rescinding their participation. Doctors and practices that receive demands for payment or financial information from Australasian Health Professionals Directory should immediately contact the local Office of Fair Trading or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

For further details or information, please contact the AMA (WA) on (08) 9273 3008 or email Michael Prendergast.

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GP desktop practice support toolkit

The AMA has developed a GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit, a one-stop shop for commonly used practice support tools for general practitioners. The AMA GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit has links to about 300 administrative or diagnostic tools and will help reduce the time you spend locating relevant tools for administrative and diagnostic purposes.

To request a Member Login for the Federal AMA website, phone 1300 133 655 or email AMA Member Services.

To access the toolkit, please click here

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Payment Delays for Medical Practitioners treating Defence Force Personnel

The Association has been informed that there have been delays in payments to medical practitioners for treating defence personnel.

According to a notice sent out by Medibank Health Services, Garrison Health Services and the Joint Health Command, MHS has followed up on missing information on behalf of providers; a process that is significantly delaying payment to providers. These delays are further impacted by receipt of duplicate invoices as providers follow up late payment.

The AMA (WA) urges its members to ensure that Defence Approval Numbers (DAN) and Entitled Personnel Identification (EP ID) are added to each invoice, or they will be returned.

For more information, please click here

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Chief Medical Officer communiqué regarding Lyme disease

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley, AO, has provided advice regarding the progress of the Clinical Advisory Committee on Lyme disease (CACLD).

The advice is intended for doctors who may have an interest in Lyme disease or who may treat patients who are concerned that they have Lyme disease.

The Committee was established earlier this year in response to concerns about the existence of indigenous Lyme disease in Australia. Its task is to provide advice on the identification and characterisation of a causative microorganism and vector in Australia; the best diagnostic pathway in Australia; and appropriate treatment options for any Australian cases.

The Committee has identified issues arising from Lyme disease in Australia that have been documented in a discussion paper titled CACLD Discussion Paper on Lyme Disease. The Committee agreed that more information is required about the research needs for identifying and characterising a causative microorganism (a Borrelia species) and its vector.

More information and updates about the Committee are available from the Department of Health and Ageing.

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Urgent VR Locum Required - Western Suburbs

A Western Suburbs private practice is in urgent need of a GP locum for 3 weeks starting 28 October 2013 – 15 November 2013.

Hours of work are 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday, however practice will consider a part time locum for four hours per day.

Remuneration  -  70 per cent of gross billings.

If you can assist please contact Margaret Templeton at AMA Recruit on 9273 3033 or email

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Registration Renewal required by 30 September 2013

Medical Practitioners with general and/or specialist registration are required to renew their registrations by 30 September 2013. 

Additional late fees apply to medical practioners renewing their registration in October, so renew online, on time!

For enquiries call AHPRA on 1300 419 495, or visit the website.

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Industrial Negotiations: Public Sector agreements

Negotiations for a new agreement to replace the Department of Health Medical Practitioners (Metropolitan Health Services) AMA Industrial Agreement 2011 (the 2011 MHS Agreement) and other public sector agreements covering doctors employed by the WA Country Health Service, Office of Drug and Alcohol, Director General of Health and those employed as Clinical Academics have been ongoing since early March 2013.

A log of claims was served on the Minister for Health on 19 December 2012.

As reported in the August edition of Medicus, the AMA made a submission to Treasury presenting a comprehensive picture of interstate rates applying to doctors, including qualifiers that apply to all rates, in response to simplistic comparisons that had been prepared by the Department of Health.

The AMA has also again written to the Acting Director General on 19 August 2013 seeking a commitment to operation of the new agreement, and payment of the first increase under the new agreement, to apply from 1 October 2013.

Since having made the submission to Treasury and having again written to the Acting Director General, the AMA has experienced a more positive attitude from the Department of Health during negotiations.

The AMA expects that a more concentrated period of negotiations will take place until the end of September when the 2011 MHS Agreement nominally expires. However, it remains to be seen as to whether final agreement will be reached by 30 September 2013.

For further industrial negotiation updates, including private sector agreements, please refer to the September edition of Medicus.

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Uptake of Medicare Local Contract Still Problematic

From 1 July 2013, funding for GP after hours services is no longer being provided via the Practice Incentives Program and is now administered via Medicare Locals.

From April to June various Medicare Locals from around Australia began to issue draft contracts to medical practices for the provision of after-hours services. Many members contacted the AMA expressing concerns at the nature and content of these contracts. Federal and State AMAs reviewed many of these agreements and identified a range of issues with the agreements which required some revision.

As a result of the AMA’s advocacy, in June the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) re-issued guidelines to MLs inviting negotiation of a more simplified, fairer agreement.

For more information on this report, please click here

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2013 Youth Friendly Doctor Training

The Youth Friendly Doctor Training Program has been developed and is delivered by doctors with specific skills in the area of youth health. The program consists of four modules, and registration is now available for Module 4.

Module 4: Eating Disorders in Young People and their Management

Workshop 2: Eating Disorders in Young People

Date: Tuesday 3 September
Location: AMA (WA) Nedlands
Time: 6pm for a 6.30pm start

Free for AMA members
Email: or fax to 9273 3043

Telephone: Stuart on (08) 9273 3000

Click here for full details of these seminars and to download the registration form.

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Professional Risks of Social Media and the Internet

Online interaction with colleagues, patients, friends and the public can be highly advantageous for doctors and their teams, yet medico-legal obligations, security and maintaining the highest level of professionalism can be challenging and require ongoing attention.

This 2 hour highly interactive education session will explore maintaining privacy and professionalism when using Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, educational discussion forums, doctor review websites, email, practice webpages, internet searches and blogs. It is ideal for doctors at all stages of their career as well as their support staff and medical students.

Presented by: MDA National
Presenter: Dr Moira Sim

Free for AMA and MDA National members

RSVP by Friday 20 September 2013


Fax 9273 3073, or telephone Skye on (08) 9273 3028.

Click here for full details of this seminar and to download the registration form.


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2013 AMA (WA) Charity Golf Day

The annual AMA (WA) Foundation Charity Golf Day, which raises money for the Dr YES (Youth Education Sessions) program, promises to be an exciting event in this year’s calendar.

We look forward to welcoming you to this annual event to share an enjoyable day with your colleagues, business partners or clients.

The Ambrose tournament will allow for players of varying degrees of golfing prowess to get involved, and will be just as much fun for the novice golfer as the more experienced players in your team.

There's a Lexus CT 200 Luxury Hatch on offer for anyone who manages a hole in one, plus a plethora of prizes are up for grabs. 

There are limited spots left, so get in quickly to avoid missing out!

Venue: Royal Perth Golf Club.

Date: 25 October 2013.

For more information on the event, please click here.
To register a team, please fill in the acceptance form and send it to Liz Gray.

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ECG Interpretation Educational Event

Featuring guest speaker Associate Professor David Playford, this educational seminar will help attendees to: 

Understand how an ECG is generated using new software, understand the digital transfer of ECGs and to interpret common ECG abnormalities including atrial fibrillation and flutter, SVT, heart block, and myocardial ischaemia.

This event is approved for three category 2 RACGP QI and CPD Points and is filling up fast, so get in early to avoid disappointment.

Date: Wednesday 23 October, 2013

Time: 6:30om for a 7:00pm start.

Venue:  Australian Medical Association, 14 Stirling Highway, Nedlands.

To register, please fill in the registration form provided and fax it to (08) 9273 3017, or email

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ADHD: LADS Panel and Discussion update

The Learning and Attentional Disorders Society of WA, has made available four professionals with high levels of expertise in ADHD across the fields of education, psychiatry and psychology to the ISCA ,and is inviting you to attend the seminar.

This session will provide you with information about LADS and  their services, an update on the state of the literature on ADHD, multidisciplinary perspectives on working with children and families affected by ADHD, and a discussion with the presenters about how school psychologists and counsellors can support students in the areas of identification, treatment and management
of ADHD both within the classroom, and in individual case work.

Date: Wednesday 4 September, 1:00pm - 3:30pm

Venue: The Niche Conference Room, 11 Aberdare Rd, Nedlands.

Cost: $30 per person

Please note that registration is essential. For more information, please contact LADS on (08) 9346 7544 or via email.

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International Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

To mark the launch of International Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (September), Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) WA Branch will officially launch its Big Aussie Barbie campaign on Friday 6 September 2013.

The Big Aussie Barbie is part of a national health promotion campaign by PCFA, and is now in its fourth year. Cricket legend Matthew ‘Haydos’ Hayden, is the official ambassador for the campaign following his father’s diagnosis with prostate cancer in 2012.

PCFA, with the generous support of the Commonwealth Bank, are encouraging all Australians to register and host a BBQ throughout September to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer, as well as provide essential support to men living with prostate cancer and their families. BIG AUSSIE BARBIE’s can be registered here.

Date: Friday 6 September 2013, 11:00am – 2:00pm

Venue: Central Park Courtyard, Perth

For more information, please click here.

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On the Town

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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