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Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

10 July 2014 Issue # 63

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

Central Referral Service update

The AMA (WA) has undertaken extensive representation on behalf of general practitioners and specialists to address the serious deficiencies that members have identified since the introduction of the Department of Health’s Central Referral Service (CRS) earlier this year.


The Association undertook two comprehensive member surveys which clearly demonstrated that the development and implementation of the CRS has been sub-standard.  Many of the problems identified were related to inefficient IT processes, lack of clinician input throughout the different stages of the CRS and the flawed decision making processes around patient referral to outpatient services.


For more information, please click here


Consultation on General Practice Accreditation

The ACSQHC and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) are seeking feedback on the current general practice accreditation scheme.


The purpose of the consultation is to identify:

  • barriers and enablers associated with participation in accreditation processes
  • areas of duplication between multiple accreditation processes for general practice
  • variations and gaps in the application of accreditation assessment processes
  • attitudes toward collection of accreditation data by organisations involved in the coordination of the accreditation system
  • opportunities for improving the current accreditation scheme for general practice
  • opportunities to further develop safety and quality processes and outcomes within general practice.

The information gathered will be used to assist the Commission and the RACGP to review the current accreditation scheme.


For more information, please click here


GPs have you voted?

General practitioners will be aware that there is an election for President of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) currently underway.


One of the candidates is a West Australian, Associate Professor Frank Jones, who is currently the WA Faculty Chair and Federal Vice President of the RACGP.


As you would be aware, AMA (WA) supports Western Australian doctors seeking higher office.


If you are a member of the RACGP and have not yet voted, you are invited to give serious consideration to your colleague and WA candidate Associate Professor Frank Jones.


AMA Immediate Past President named new NEHTA Chair

Immediate Past President of the AMA, Dr Steve Hambleton, has been selected as the new Chair of the National E Health Transition Authority (NEHTA). 


Dr Hambleton replaces David Gonski, who held the position for the past six years. Dr Hambleton has significant understanding of the current challenges faced by NEHTA and served on the Government Review Panel into the troubled Personally Controlled E Health Record (PCEHR).


The Panel made 38 recommendations focusing on the barriers to implementation, uptake and clinical use of the PCEHR and the AMA prepared a detailed submission to inform the review. The recommendations included a call for a name change, to My Health Record (MyHR).


For more information, please click here


Expression of Interest for the Western Australian Medication Safety Group

The Western Australian Medication Safety Group (WAMSG) is seeking expressions of interest from medical practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, safety and quality practitioners and consumers who would like to nominate to become members of this group.

WAMSG was formed in 2003 with the aim of reducing preventable medication-related errors and potential harm to patients.


The Group provides independent advice on use and practices related to medication safety to health services in Western Australian, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Western Australia and to health professionals dispensing or prescribing and administering medications, such as medical practitioners, pharmacists and nurses.


For more information, please click here


Latest First Aid certificates available

AMA Training Services is pleased to announce that it now offers the latest first aid certificates:

• HLTAID003 Provide first aid
• HLTAID001 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation


AMA Training now also offers its first aid course under a flexible learning arrangement where the theory is completed on line and the student only attends class for the practical component. 


For information on the latest first aid offerings, please click here.


Record keeping requirement for a health assessment

The Department of Human Services has recently reviewed the  Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Health Assessment items 701 to 707 and the legal requirements to claim those items.


Previously they advised that the time spent by nurses contributing to health assessments could be included with the medical practitioner’s time when choosing the time-based item to bill. This was incorrect.


While a practice nurse may spend time with the patient in helping to prepare a health assessment, it is only the time that the billing medical practitioner spends with the patient that determines the choice of item number.


For example, if a practice nurse spends 30 minutes with a patient to assist with a health assessment, and the medical practitioner then spends 40 minutes with the patient for the health assessment, the correct MBS item number to be billed is MBS item 703, standard health assessment lasting more than 30 minutes but less than 45 minutes.


Note: this information supersedes any contrary MBS itemisation advice that may have been provided to you by the Department of Human Services prior to this notification.

For more information, please click here.


Registration standards

The Medical Board of Australia is currently undertaking a review of the following registration standards:

• Professional indemnity insurance
• Continuing professional development
• Recency of practice
• Limited registration standard for postgraduate training or supervised practice
• Limited registration standard for area of need
• Limited registration standard for teaching or research
• Limited registration standard in public interest


The AMA has provided a detailed submission commenting on the Medical Board’s proposed revisions and has sought wide comment from representatives of specialty groups, general practice and doctors in training. 


Members will be updated as to the progress and outcomes of this review.  For further information on the review, please click here or email Chris Kane.


Upcoming AMA (WA) DiT Committee meeting

The next Doctors in Training (DiT) Committee meeting will be held on Monday 14 July 2014 at 6pm at the AMA (WA) offices in Nedlands.


The DiT Committee meetings are open to all junior doctors who are members of the AMA (WA) and are held on a monthly basis. Future meeting dates can be found on our website.


If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Nicola Roman.


Access to leave for JMOs

Following the publication of the AMA (WA) Access to Leave Scorecard, the Co-Chairs of the DiT Committee held meetings with the Directors of Clinical Services at Fremantle Hospital, Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH).


The meeting at Fremantle Hospital was extremely positive; the hospital, in the past twelve months, has implemented a new system to manage applications which has seen all leave applications processed well within the timeframes prescribed by the Department of Health Medical Practitioners (Metropolitan Health Services) AMA Industrial Agreement 2013.


SCGH and RPH took note of the feedback from JMOs in the AMA survey and made assurances that they would review their current systems. However, the AMA (WA) would like to hear from those at SCGH and RPH who continue to experience problems accessing their leave.


Part-Time Working Committee

The DiT Committee is striving to improve access to part-time working conditions for JMOs. A sub-committee, comprised of those JMOs interested in part-time advocacy, has been established and met for the first time on 1 July.


The discussions were productive with several strategies for improvement identified. The DiT Committee will be following up on these in the coming weeks and will keep members updated on progress.


If you are interested in being involved in advocacy for part time positions for JMOs we recommend you attend the DiT Committee meetings held monthly at the AMA (WA). For more information please contact Nicola Roman.


Update on closure of Swan District Hospital

Further to our previous bulletin in which we advised that the AMA (WA) has had some early discussions with SJOG and the DOH regarding the closure of Swan District Hospital (SDH) and the opening of Midland Hospital, we have now had a meeting with SJOG at which some specific details have been provided.

For more information, please click here.


Given the ongoing discussions between the AMA (WA) and the Department of Health, a third bulletin will be published within the next week.


Choosing between a direct insurer and an insurance broker

Choosing between direct insurers and insurance brokers can be a difficult choice to make.

In some instances direct insurers are great, but there’s more to insurance than price.


Before you decide buying from a direct insurer or an insurance broker, consider the differences between the services offered,and assess the different types of assistance you will recieve when things go wrong. 

For an excellent summary on the differences between direct insurers and insurance brokers, please click here.


Doctor’s Bag supplies

A specific list of medicines is available to you to supply free of charge to patients for emergency use.


These medicines are now known as prescriber bag supplies. The Department has changed the name from treatment supplies and/or doctor’s bag. Medical Practitioners who have a prescriber number can access these medicines.


You need a Prescriber Bag Supplies Order Book to obtain approved pharmaceutical benefits for emergency use.


To order the 2014–2016 book, complete the form Request for book of emergency treatment supply forms for approved medical practitioners (2014–2016) located in your Emergency Treatment Supplies Order Book 2012–2014 and send to:


Pharmaceutical Benefits Branch
Department of Human Services
GPO Box 9826
In your capital city


If you don’t have a current copy of the Emergency Treatment Supplies Order Book 2012–2014 you can call 132 290.


For more information, please click here.

Reminder: new workers' compensation certificates for WA

On 1 July 2014, WorkCover WA’s new certificates of capacity replaced the First, Progress and Final medical certificates. Medical practitioners and practice managers can obtain the new certificates through their software provider or download them directly from the WorkCover WA gpsupport website.


The certificates of capacity support the principle that work helps recovery. The new forms:

  • assist GPs to focus on what the worker can do to remain in or return to work
  • optimise the communication of information essential to support the worker's return to work
  • help GPs to articulate the worker's progress and ongoing needs, assisting insurers to make informed decisions about the worker's claim for workers' compensation.

For more information, please click here.


Changes to the PBS/Restricted PBS prescription pad order process

PBS is joining the 21st Century and are streamlining your prescription pad orders from 30 June 2014.

Instead of handwriting your orders, you will be able to download a fillable prescription order form. Type your details into the form, print, sign and post to the department. Handwritten orders for personalized prescription books and computer forms received after 30 June 2014 will not be processed and will be returned to the prescriber.

This change will help to facilitate a new scanning process by the PBS stationery supplier. The typed content on the order forms will be captured and used as personalized details on the prescription stationery.

Please take care when completing the order form, as each prescriber is responsible for accurately completing each section of the order form.

The order forms—which are fillable word documents—are located here.


Bulk bill and Department of Veterans’ Affairs payments

Medicare advise that they no longer send cheques for bulk bill or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) payments to health professionals.

Bulk bill or DVA payments are only made via EFT, so it is important that you make sure your bank details are up to date.
If you practice at more than one location you will need to submit bank details for each of these locations. Without this, there may be payments waiting to be released.


If you have not lodged your bank details, you will have your claims processed, and once bank details are provided the payment will occur. You won’t receive payment until you provide these.

Bank details can be provided the following ways:

• For practices using Medicare Easyclaim use the Banking details form
• For practices wanting to register for Medicare Online claiming
• For practices already registered for Medicare Online claiming and wanting to register for Electronic Funds Transfer payments

For more information, please click here


Great discounts available in this year's Entertainment Book

Help us raise funds for the AMA (WA) Foundation by ordering the new Entertainment Book. By ordering through the AMA (WA), 20 per cent of your purchase will go towards the Foundation.

Great discounts are available on a range of products including restaurants, leisure activities, accommodation and much more.

Order online, or contact Louise at AMA reception on 9273 3000 or via email before 30 April 2014 to receive an extra bonus!


For more information, please click here.

Special discount on VaxiGrip Flu Vaccine

The AMA (WA) has just received a limited stock of the flu vaccine, Vaxigrip.

We can now offer all stock at below cost price to you.


We can supply single dose purchases up to 10 units at $6.50ea + GST (usually at $7.20ea + GST) or purchase a 10-pack for  $62.50ea + GST (usually $72.00ea + GST).


Only four units of the 10-packs and 105 single units remain at this very low price.


Please contact our Customer Service Department on (08) 9273 3022 or via email with your orders or if you need further information on Vaxigrip.

Urgent VR GP Locum required

Due to leave commitments, a VR GP Locum is required for an inner Perth metro private practice. 


60 per cent of billings and full patient load are guaranteed.

Mondays – Thursdays:  2.00pm – 5.30pm

Wednesdays and Fridays:  8.00am – 12.00 noon

Alternate Saturdays:  8.30am – 12.00 noon


For further information please contact AMA Recruit on (08) 9273 3033 or via email.



Free CPR for AMA (WA) Members

This course provides participants with the skills and knowledge required to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in line with the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) Guidelines.

The learning outcomes of this unit also provide the participant with a nationally recognised unit of competency.

The course will cover:

• Assessing the situation and responding to the signs of an unconscious casualty
• Cardiopulmonary resuscitation following ARC guidelines
• Defibrillation awareness


This activity attracts 5 category 2 RACGP points and 20 ACRRM points. 


Date: 16 August 2014. 

For more information, please click here


An evening of Pearls, Perfumes and drinks in Claremont!

Atlas Pearls and Perfumes are delighted to invite AMA (WA) members and partners to their showroom in Claremont to view their exquisite collection of pearls and perfumes,  and indulge in a  selection of fine wine and finger food with exclusive discounts available on the night for those who wish to indulge.


Date: Friday 25th July.
Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm
Venue: Atlas Pearls Claremont, Shop 1, 47-49 Bay View Terrace, Claremont, WA 6010


Please RSVP by Friday 11th July to Des Michael as numbers are limited.


Free tickets to Perth GP Conference & Exhibition 2014

The Perth General Practitioner Conference & Exhibition (GPCE) returns in 2014, providing GPs with a platform in which to improve their knowledge and clinical skills, and in turn, improve the quality of care for their patients.


The GPCE is widely recognised as Australia’s premier primary care event and is hosted annually by Reed Medical Education in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.


AMA (WA) members have the opportunity to recieve a 25 per cent discount on registering for the conference. To recieve your discount, please email Des Michael to recieve your unique promotional code.  


There are also two free tickets on offer for  the quickest responses to the following question: Name two of the Industry speakers at this year's Perth GPCE. Please send through your responses by 18 July to Des Michael


For more information on the conference, please click here.  


Special discounts on Riedel wine glasses

Regarded by many as the world’s best wine glasses manufacturer, Riedel is offering AMA (WA) members discounts on a range of its glass ware.


Sip and celebrate your next drop in style with a 25 per cent discount on the Degustazione range, or  try out the Spiegelau Wine Lovers range with  a massive 50 per cent discount.


Riedel is also running a warehouse sale with 50 per cent off a limited selection of products, so get in quick to avoid missing out!


These fantastic offers run from now until the end of July. For more information, please click here.


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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