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Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

2 April 2015 Issue # 73

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

AMA (WA) welcomes campaign on road safety in regional WA

The Australian Medical Association (WA) has welcomed RAC WA’s Elephant in the Wheatbelt campaign, aimed at tackling high road fatality rates in regional Western Australia.

AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said the life-sized elephant made from the parts of crashed cars was certain to make an impact and spark a conversation on the excessively high number of fatalities in the Wheatbelt area.


“Medical Practitioners regularly – often first hand – see the devastating impact of road trauma on our community, and while there has been a measurable decrease in death and serious injuries on Australian roads over the past decade, WA has lagged behind other states,” Dr Gannon said.


For more information please click here


Methamphetamine Action Plan

Following a rise in methamphetamine abuse in Western Australia, the AMA (WA) has been approached by the State Opposition to assist in the drafting up of a Methamphetamine Action Plan.


The AMA (WA) is preparing a submission and welcomes comment and feedback from the profession.

Please contact Chris Kane for more information.


Information about the 2015 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine

The Department of Health has advised that the National Immunisation Program has been extended to include influenza vaccine for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from six months to less than five years of age.


GPs are reminded that the 2015 seasonal influenza vaccination program will commence on 20 April this year, instead of the usual start date of 15 March. This is due to manufacturing delays associated with a double strain change from the 2014 influenza vaccine.


For more information, please click here.


Notification on DHS Diagnostic Imaging Audits

DHS are planning some desk based audits looking at billing by diagnostic imaging providers. Letters will go out to diagnostic imaging providers in the next four weeks (most likely after 13 April).

There will be a minor impact to Medical Practitioners  i.e. Specialists and General Practitioners who have requested diagnostic imaging services, such as:
• ultrasound,
• computed tomography,
• diagnostic radiation,
• personal supervision and
• personal attendance requirements around musculoskeletal ultrasound and positron-emission tomography (PET).

As part of their audit of diagnostic imaging, DHS will be contacting some Medical Practitioners from mid April to ask them to provide a copy of the original request and associated reports from an identified diagnostic imaging service for which they have been named as the "requestor".


It is expected the impact to these Medical Practitioners will be minimal. The majority of requests from DHS will only ask for documentation for one or two diagnostic imaging services. Any test results in the requested reports can be blocked out.

DHS have stressed the Medical Practitioner requestors are not the subject of this audit.


For more information or clarification, please contact Michael Predergast.


2015 AMA (WA) Clinical Conference

The 2015 AMA (WA) Clinical Conference and Post Conference tours will be held in Cape Town, Pilanesburg and Zambia – Africa, from 20 August to 2 September.

This will be the eighth of our very successful overseas Clinical Conferences, following memorable tours to Shanghai, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Spain and Portugal, South America and Russia. In Africa, delegates will once again experience the delights of an exciting overseas destination in the company of colleagues with the AMA looking after all of the details.

The Conference Itinerary promises an informative Clinical program featuring South African and Australian speakers on a range of clinical topics, spectacular sightseeing opportunities, luxurious accommodation, some fantastic shopping, traditional dining and an opportunity to experience the natural wonders of Africa. The tailor made itinerary includes many highlights to be shared with a group of colleagues from a variety of medical specialties and interests.

The Clinical program incorporates topics relevant to a range of medical disciplines and speakers from Australia and South Africa will present topical and interesting professional education sessions with CPD points allocated.

The AMA Tour Convenor will assist delegates throughout the tour to ensure that all they need to do is relax and enjoy the Africa experience. Our customised tours are exclusive to the AMA group and will be accompanied by expert guides. Family members are most welcome to join us for the Cape Town Conference tour as well as the Pilanesburg and Zambia Post Conference tour. You will see from the itinerary that there is something for everyone.

All you need to do now is take a look at the registration brochure for full details of the AMA (WA) Conference and Post Conference tours and complete the online registration. For any enquiries, contact Chris Kane at the AMA on 9273 3060 or via email.


Report shows that general practice is efficient and cost effective

The latest report from the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA) shows that general practice is the most efficient and cost effective part of the health system, but requires greater support to continue providing high quality primary health care to the Australian community.


Federal AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said this week that the NHPA Healthy Communities: Frequent GP attenders and their use of health services in 2012-13 report shows that the people who most frequently attend their GP are generally unwell, and have complex and chronic conditions. The report also provides insight into the degree with which frequent attenders also use other health services, including visiting emergency departments and being admitted to hospital.


For more information, please click here.


No detail on GP training changes

Federal AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, has written to the Minister for Health to express significant concerns at the progress of GP training changes. This follows correspondence to Minister Dutton last August conveying AMA concerns about the shape and progress of GP training changes announced in the Budget.

A/Prof Owler has told the Minister that key stakeholder groups within the AMA, including the AMA Council of Doctors in Training, the AMA Council of General Practice and the AMA Rural Medical Committee, have all expressed their grave concerns at the lack of detail being provided by the Department of Health and with implementation delays – including the establishment and funding of appropriate professional oversight and governance arrangements.


For more information, please click here.


2015 Junior Doctor of the Year nominations now open

This annual Award has been established by Helen and Norm Michener, with the assistance and support of the AMA (WA), to honour the life and achievements of their beloved daughter, Dr Camille Michener, who tragically died in a car accident on 24 July 2009.

The Award recognises the significant and outstanding contribution of our Doctors in Training to the Medical Profession and the Community in areas such as teaching and education; leadership and advocacy; and doctor’s wellbeing and community service.


These were all activities and values significant to Camille. The Award establishes a fitting legacy to all that Camille achieved in her short time with us and will ensure that we celebrate the ongoing contributions that our Doctors in Training make amongst their colleagues, the profession and in and for the Community.


Nominations for ths award are now open, and entries close on Friday 1 May 2015.

For further information about Dr Camille Michener, including eligibility and criteria, please click here.


Protect your biggest asset: your income

Can you afford not to have Income Protection? Although most people think it won’t happen to them, sickness and accidents do happen, and affect almost all of us.

The good news is that there are solutions available that can cover you when an adverse event prevents you from working. 


Most Income Protection policies will allow you to choose the waiting period – i.e. the time after which your benefits start being paid to you.


This varies from two weeks to five years, depending on how long you estimate you can support yourself without an income.


For more information, please click here.


2016 AGPT Applications opening soon

Is General Practice the career for you? Then consider applying for the 2016 Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program.

The AGPT program is three to four years of full-time training offered in urban, regional and rural locations nationally, delivered through training providers across Australia.

These training providers deliver training towards two vocational endpoints recognised by Medicare Australia: Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM).


Applications for the AGPT program open from Monday 13 April - Friday 8 May 2015

For more information contact WAGPET on (08) 9473 8200 or via email.


AGPT Sundowner 2015

Going Places Network WA would like to invite those interested in a career in general practice to the AGPT Sundowner hosted together with the WA Training Provider WAGPET.


Come along to gain an overview of the program and selection process!


Date: 9 April 2015. 


Click here for more information and to register, or contact the event organisers via email.

Rural and Remote GP locum Support

AMA Recruit has for many years sourced doctors for many different locations in rural areas of Western Australia. Some Doctors in rural practices still find it difficult to obtain locum support to have a break.

If you are able to support a rural community by doing a couple of weeks, or longer, locum work we would love to hear from you.


We’ll look after the assignment details, travel and accommodation. You’ll need to let us know the dates you are available and preferred location.


Contact Margaret Templeton or Dave Bell at AMA Recruit on 9273 3300 or via email


AMA Launches Family Doctor Logo

The AMA has been highlighting the hard work and dedication of general practitioners since 1993 through AMA Family Doctor Week.


As part of our ongoing efforts to promote the role of general practice, the AMA is now making available a logo for members to use to identify and promote themselves as a Family Doctor.

The AMA Family Doctor Logo is a reminder of the fundamental role that GPs play in caring for the community.

The logo is only being made available to members of the AMA who are working in general practice.


You are encouraged to use the AMA Family Doctor Logo on your website profiles, and electronic or professional stationery. A template is also available for download to enable you to set the logo up as part of your email signature block.

Please note the logo is for individual use only.

You can access the AMA Family Doctor Logo and template by logging in to the AMA Website and clicking here.

When you download the logo you will be asked to agree to its conditions of use.

If you are unsure of your Member login please contact the AMA via email.

The challenge of boosting vaccination rates

The issue of maintaining herd immunity presents a constant challenge to many countries worldwide.


The latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association features an interesting article investigating the law, ethics and public health aspects of the vaccination debate, focused around a recent measles outbreak in California.


It posits the ethical question of whether parents’ rights to raise their children can justify decisions not to immunise, when they ultimately lower herd immunity and place the community at risk.


Jane McCredie, writing in MJA Insight recently, discusses how best to sway those people wavering over the decision to vaccinate, noting that vaccine hesitancy can be encountered in both highly motivated people who have read extensively about the issue as well as those who are apathetic about making a decision.


In an article published in the Medical Journal of Australia last year, Dr Brian Morton, Chair of the AMA Council of General Practice, wrote that the AMA supports the proposed introduction of nationally consistent requirements for immunisation documentation to be a compulsory aspect of school and preschool enrolment.


For more information, please click here


The Balanced Doctor Seminar

Maintaining personal–professional equilibrium is a continual challenge — are you taking realistic steps to optimise your balance?

Understand how balancing the many aspects of a doctor’s working life impacts patient care, and personal and professional performance, and collaborate with your peers to discover practical strategies to improve this equilibrium.

During this interactive presentation you will:
• Explore the aspects that require balance in a doctor’s life and why these are important.
• Identify strategies for, and the barriers to, achieving balance.
• Collaborate with your peers to discover practical strategies to improve this equilibrium.

This seminar is designed for doctors at all stages of their career, especially those struggling with finding a work life balance or transitioning into a new phase of their career.


Please note this seminar is only available to members of either the AMA (WA) or MDA National.


Date: Tuesday 14 April 2015

For more information amd registration, please click here


Oysters, Pearls, Perfume and Champagne

Join Atlas Pearls and Perfumes for the official launch of its Artist in Residence, Catherine Christie’s solo exhibition “The Ocean, the Oyster, the Pearl”.

Meet the artist and view the stunning art pieces, wich include a limited edition created with crushed pearl and pearl powder.

Enjoy oysters and champagne, while viewing Atlas Pearls newest jewellery collection, and delight in the world-first fragrance - Scent of the Pearl.


Date: Thursday 30 April 2015, 6.30-830pm

Venue: Atlas Pearls and Perfumes Showroom, Shop 1 47-49 Bay View Terrace Claremont.


To RSVP, please click here


2016 Intern Application Process

The application process for medical students applying for an Internship in Western Australia is becoming increasingly competitive.

The AMA (WA), MSAND, WAMSS and AMSA have all advocated for guaranteed intern placements and have been successful in achieving some guarantees. Despite this, securing an Internship at your hospital of choice can be difficult with some Primary Employing Health Services (PEHS) routinely oversubscribed.

The AMA (WA) has developed an overview of the Intern Application Process, including tips on writing your CV and addressing the Selection Criteria, to give you the best chance of securing an Internship at your preferred PEHS.

This seminar is FREE and available to all final year medical students.


Date: Wednesday 22 April 2015


For more information and registration, 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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