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Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

10 August 2015 Issue # 78

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

State's finest medicos honoured at AMA (WA) Charity Gala Dinner

Recently retired WA Health Department acting director general Professor Bryant Stokes along with two additional esteemed medical practitioners were recognised for their distinguished careers at a Gala Dinner held by the Australian Medical Association (WA).

Initially appointed as Acting Director General for a six month term, Prof Stokes remained in charge of WA health for two and a half years, demonstrating just how highly valued his leadership is.


Prof Stokes is now the only clinician to ever receive the AMA (WA) President’s Award – an honour that is unlikely to be repeated.

For more information, please click here.  


Closure of Swan District Hospital

Members are aware that the AMA (WA) has been negotiating with the Department of Health and St John of God Health Care (SJOG) regarding the protection of medical practitioner conditions on ceasing of employment at Swan District Hospital and upon commencement at Midland Public Hospital.


The AMA (WA) has become aware that SJOG has commenced offering contracts to practitioners offered positions at MPH and is very concerned that two different sets of arrangements are being offered.


In short, practitioners who are transferring from SDH to MPH have been promised, as they should, conditions under the Department of Health Medical Practitioners (Metropolitan Health Services) AMA Industrial Agreement 2013 (MHS Agreement).


Practitioners who are being employed from elsewhere within WA Health or outside of WA are not being offered conditions under the MHS Agreement.


For full details please check the AMA (WA)’s Swan Information Bulletin here. Please note this information is only accessible to AMA (WA) members. 


Ramping 'ban' an unmitigated failure

AMA (WA) President  Dr Michael Gannon has said that Health Minister Kim Hames is responsible for fixing the problem of ambulance ramping, not hospital CEOs. The comments follow the Minister's statement that he will come down on hospital CEOs like a 'tonne of bricks' unless ramping is stopped.


"While there is a shortage of beds inside hospitals, delays  in getting patients through emergency departments will continue," DR Gannon said.


"The problem is that there's not the capacity in the system to take care of these patients. We've been telling the minister this, he's the one whose got to fix it," he said. 


Dr Gannon acknowledged there had been a significant improvement in ambulance ramping, but said the real solution was to provide more funding for beds.


"The way to fix it is to build capacity in the system. Open up the beds in the hospital, so emergency departments can get the patients upstairs," he said. 


For more information, please click here


Fed Govt releases Primary Healthcare reform discussion paper

The Federal Government has released an options discussion paper ‘Better outcomes for people living Chronic and Complex Health Conditions through Primary Health Care’.


Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley said the discussion paper considered possible reform options which would inform the government’s development of a healthier Medicare to support people with complex and chronic diseases and keep them out of hospital longer.


Ms Ley said options in the discussion paper included enrolling people to a single provider who would coordinate the multi-disciplinary care the patient received rather than the patient coordinating their care, set chronic disease payments for a defined package of care rather than individual services and international methods of best practice.


To view the paper, please click here


Indigenous health check data tool gets update

The Indigenous health check (MBS 715) data tool provides readily-accessible information about the use of MBS-rebated health checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The tool shows numbers and rates of health check uptake at national, jurisdiction, peer group and Medicare Local levels.

This update of the tool includes data at the Primary Health Network level for the first time. It also adds data up to 31 December 2014, so allows the display of 18 quarters across 3 financial years (2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013 14). Calendar year breakdown of the national and jurisdictional reports are also included. The updated information shows continued increases in the number of Indigenous health checks, but that a substantial number of Indigenous people still do not receive them.

Policy makers, program officers, researchers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers can now easily track progress and identify priority areas for action. The tool highlights that MBS billing data is not a comprehensive representation of all clinical services provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

For more information, please click here


Medical Co-Director of Mental Health wanted

An executive level leadership opportunity is available for a dedicated Medical Co-Director Mental Health, who will be responsible for the development and provision of Mental Health Services within Armadale Health Service.


Extensive experience as a Consultant Psychiatrist with highly developed clinical skills as well as an interest in working with the community is essential.

SMP Year 1-9 $315, 987 to $405,790 pa (inclusive of Superannuation and allowances).

Full-time, fixed term appointment for 5 years.

Job closes on Monday 31st August, 2015


Full details can be found on Seek. Applicants are requested to apply online at


AMA Apprenticeship & Traineeship Services

If you are looking to recruit an apprentice or trainee for your organisation, or would like information on training options and government incentives, please contact AMA Apprenticeship & Traineeship Services (AMAATS) on 1800 808 568, or send us a message via our website.

AMAATS is an Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP) that can help you streamline and reduce the complexities involved in trainee and apprentice recruitment. Operating across Western Australia, our field officers are located in Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Mandurah, Northam and Port Hedland.


Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition – Updates, Clarifications and Amendments

The National Health and Medical Research Council has recently approved the 2015 update to The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition. This is part of the new Handbook annual update process which commenced following the publication of the 10th edition Handbook in 2013 to ensure that advice on the use of vaccines in Australia is as up-to-date as possible. The update contains changes to clinical recommendations, clarifications and inclusion of new factual information.


The updated Handbook is available in HTML format at the Immunise Australia website via the following link. A PDF version will be available soon.


AMA signs Memorandum with the Minister for Health

On 7th July 2015 Dr Michael Gannon, President of the AMA (WA), signed a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Minister for Health, the Director General of Health and the Boards of Management and the AMA (WA) in respect of Clinical Privileges, Conduct and Governance in WA Government Hospital and Health Services.


The signing of the MoU represents a significant achievement by the AMA (WA) and the first occasion in many versions of the MoU where the Minister has signed a new MoU before the current version had expired.


The MoU governs matters relating to access, medical input into hospital policy through Medical Advisory Committees, clinical privileges and conduct processes and is the product of many years of negotiation by the AMA (WA).


The revised MoU retains key issues:

• the Minister remains a party to the MoU;

• it applies to all Visiting Medical Practitioners (VMP) providing services to secondary hospitals;

• it applies to all salaried medical practitioners employed in secondary hospitals; and

• it includes proper processes for doctors to be assessed by peer review in relation to clinical and conduct issues.


In other words, the MoU applies to all Medical Practitioners with public sector appointments not in the main tertiary hospitals. It continues to enable Medical Practitioners practising in their local community qualified in the medical disciplines required at each local health care facility to access their local hospital and admit and treat patients at the facility.


The AMA (WA) strives to strengthen mechanisms for medical input and the rights of doctors to compete for access and be fairly assessed.


The MoU can be viewed here.


AMA Medical Products launches new website

AMA Medical Products is proud to announce the launch of its new website.

Simplify your next fit-out and have a look at the extensive range of products on offer at the new e-commerce store.

With over 6000 products sourced from international and Australian manufacturers and suppliers, AMA Medical Products acts as the preferred or exclusive local supplier for Becton Dickinson, Welch Allyn, Vitalograph, EDAN Instruments, Siemens, Patterson’s Medical, Interacoustics and Cardiac Science.


To access the website, please click here


AMA critical of lack of progress on red tape reduction

The AMA wrote to the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) last week to provide input to an audit the ANAO is currently undertaking in relation to the Government’s efforts to cut red tape in the health sector.


The AMA stated that most red tape reduction being pursued by the Department of Health was of little relevance to medical practice.


The AMA’s letter highlighted how red tape is a major issue for medical practices, with GPs, for example, spending on average around 4.6 hours each week on red tape compliance, which equates to around 15 million standard consultations that could otherwise be delivered by GPs.

The AMA described how real reductions in red tape would be achieved, among other things, through the:

  • Removal of PBS authority requirements;
  • Introduction of a single Medicare Provider Number;
  • Streamlining of forms used by Centrelink and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, including their integration into practice software; and
  • Digitisation of third party forms.

The AMA also criticised the lack of consultation with stakeholders on red tape reduction.


AMA submission to ACSQHC on general practice accreditation

Last week the AMA provided a submission on a proposed model for general practice accreditation being developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC). This model is being developed to support national coordination of the processes for accreditation of general practices.


In its submission, the AMA stated that it supports a profession led model for general practice accreditation and is concerned that the Commission's proposed model potentially undermines this broadly accepted approach. 


For more information please click here

Participation in Clinical Trials – online survey

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) invites General Practitioners to complete an online survey on their attitudes to, awareness of and involvement in clinical trials.


The feedback from the survey will be used to help raise awareness of clinical trials and to enable doctors and patients to make informed decisions about participating in trials.


The survey will takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and is open from now until 30 September 2015.



End of Life Care Seminar

This interactive session is intended for health professionals at any stage of their career to better assist patients with end of life care planning and issues relating to capacity. Speakers from MDA National will lead discussions involving:

  • the practitioner’s role in evaluating capacity;
  • fitness to drive;
  • issues around Enduring Power of Attorney and Guardianship, death certification and reportable deaths;
  • how to effective manage bereavement and appropriate release of deceased patients notes; and
  • detailed discussion on end of life care and Advanced Health Directives – legal aspects, communication and managing family expectations.

Date: Tuesday 15 September 2015
Venue: 14 Stirling Highway.

For more information, please click here


Co-occurring alcohol and other drugs and mental health

Comorbid mental health and alcohol and other drug
(AOD) use issues are common.

Many people experience multiple disorders, a severe illness course and have poor treatment outcomes despite high utilization of services.

These patients present substantial challenges for practitioners and treatment services who may find themselves ill-prepared and/or lacking confidence in their ability to effectively respond. 


This session will explore some of the issues impacting clients with comorbid issues and address the importance of routine screening and brief interventions.


Date: Tuesday 22 September 2015

Venue: 14 Stirling Highway, Nedlands


For more information, please click here


Discounts on Cirque du Soleil's latest blockbuster

The critically acclaimed TOTEM from Cirque du Soleil has arrived in Perth and is now playing under the Big Top at Belmont Park Racecourse.

The AMA (WA) has secured an exclusive discount of 25 per cent off Level 1, 2 and 3 seats for selected performances from 1 to 13 September.


Featuring a cast of 45 acrobats, actors, musicians and singers, TOTEM is an uplifting array of athleticism, comedy, heartfelt emotions and surprising visual effects.

To access this incredible offer, please click here


Full priced tickets for other dates or for VIP or Premium seats are also available here


Discount tickets to the incredible Toni Braxton

One of the world’s greatest R&B Icons, Toni Braxton, will be performing in Perth for the very first time on 9 September 2015. Her distinctive sultry vocal blend of R&B, Pop, Jazz and Gospel became an instantaneous international sensation when she came forth with her first solo recording in 1992.


Today, with more than 40 million albums sold worldwide and six Grammy Awards, Toni Braxton is recognized as one of the most outstanding voices of this generation.

The AMA (WA) is delighted to announce a special offer of $59 tickets to this once in a lifetime event.


For more information, please click here


Exclusive discounts to whale watching tours courtesy of Rottnest Express

AMA (WA) Members have been offered an exclusive 25 per cent discount on Whale Watching Tours courtesy of Rottnest Express.


Witness the largest migration of whales in the southern hemisphere on this incredible two hour tour, with the guarantee that you see whales or your next tour is free! 

The season operates from 5 September to late November 2015.


For more information, 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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