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Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

4 February 2014 Issue # Issue Number 55

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

Medical students criticise plans for third med school in 2016

The Western Australian Medical Students’ Society (WAMSS) and the Medical Students’ Association of Notre Dame (MSAND) have expressed serious concerns over plans by Curtin University to open a third medical school in WA in 2016.

“We are extremely concerned that plans for a new medical school in WA continue to be advanced by Curtin University with the support of a myopic State Government that has failed to find or fund sufficient internships for students who are already in the system” said WAMSS President Mr Sebastian Leathersich.


For more on this report, please click here


Enhanced Medicare support for GPs key to containing health costs

Government efforts to control spiralling health costs must focus on enhancing the role of GPs within the health system, according to Federal AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton.


Dr Hambleton said primary health care costs were growing much more slowly than those in other parts of the health system, and improving support for GPs in providing care for complex and chronic diseases would ultimately save the nation billions of dollars that would otherwise be consumed in expensive hospital care.


“GPs are the foundation of primary care, and they save the health system money,” the AMA President said, citing data showing spending on medical services grew by 4 per cent in the decade to 2011-12, well below the annual 6 per cent increase PBS spending and the 9.3 per cent annual jump in the cost of pharmacy products.


Dr Hambleton said that in the 10 years to 2012-13, Medicare benefits paid per service grew by just 4.7 per cent a year, compared with overall health spending growth of 5.4 per cent a year.


For more on this report, please click here


Update on individual contracts in Queensland

Last week, the Department of Health released their contracts onto their website.

To be absolutely clear, AMA Queensland and the Federal AMA are steadfastly opposed to these contracts in their current form.

AMA Queensland and the Federal AMA maintain that the contract framework is unfair, unbalanced and disadvantages all SMOs, as confirmed by legal advice. The proposed contracts will discourage doctors from working in the Queensland health system, and this would hurt our patients by further limiting their access to high quality medical services.

Both the Federal AMA and AMA Queensland are urging the State Government to rethink its position and reopen negotiations with AMA Queensland.  AMA (Q) will continue pushing for this outcome and will continue to publicly highlight the unfairness of the current contracts and the damage they will cause our health system.


To view more on this update, including recommendations for healthcare practitioners thinking of working in Queensland, please click here.


Constitutional Reform

An important reform proposed for the governance of the AMA will be put to members for their vote at the Annual General Meeting in May.

The current constitution of Australian Medical Association Limited has served the AMA reasonably well for many years with occasional updates and amendments to meet changing needs. However, in the past few years, the governance arrangements for the AMA have weighed heavily with their inflexibility and over-sized governance board.

Federal Council has 34 members who represent AMA members through State and Territory AMAs, specialty groups, and special interest groups. The Council provides a good representational base for the formulation of, and debate on, policies that affect the great diversity of the membership. It is less appropriate for the corporate governance of the company, Australian Medical Association Limited. The members of Federal Council are constrained by having to act in the best interests of the company, rather than having the freedom to represent an interest group.
For some time, Federal Council has been considering the optimal arrangements to build a more agile and sustainable organisation for the future.

At its meeting in November 2013, Federal Council agreed unanimously to proceed with a new corporate structure and to unanimously recommend to members that they adopt the proposed structure.


For more on this report, please click here


Need to get away? Great Locum doctor available

AMA Recruit has a GP Locum available to cover June/July 2014.

This female Vocationally Registered GP is subject to 19AB and therefore can only work in a DWS area.

If you would like to take a break and need a locum GP to cover your absence - contact Margaret Templeton at AMA Recruit,  or phone 9273 3033 for more information.


AMA (WA) Medical Products Summer Promotion extension

Due to popular demand, the AMA (WA) Medical Products Summer promotion has been extended to 28 February. 

Get together with a colleague to take advantage of our ‘buy one, get one free' offer on the EDAN H100B Handheld Pulse Oximeter or the EDAN Basic-A Handheld Fetal Doppler.

Other great offers include 25 per cent off various instruments and the EDAN SE1010 PC Based ECG at less than half price!

Click here to see the Summer Promotion.


Youth Friendly Doctor Workshops

The Youth Friendly Doctor Program (YFD) seeks to build the capacity of general practitioners to communicate more effectively with young people, address the barriers young people face in accessing health care and promote adolescent friendly policies, facilities and service delivery.


Workshop 1: Young People, Ethics and the Law
Tuesday 4 February 2014 - AMA (WA) Nedlands: 6pm for a 6.30pm start.


Workshop 2: Alcohol and Drugs in Young People
Tuesday 4 March 2014 - AMA (WA) Nedlands: 6pm for a 6.30pm start.

Free for AMA members

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


Expert Medical Evidence and Medical Records

Will you be called to give evidence in Court?
Medical Record keeping is a professional responsibility.
If these are the questions you need answers to then you should attend this seminar.


Date: Wednesday 19 February 2014- AMA (WA) Nedlands: 6pm for a 6:30pm start:


Presenter: Pino Monaco: Director - GV Lawyers


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


RSVP by Friday 14 February 2014
This event has limited places so please book quickly to secure your place.

Phone: Skye on (08) 9273 3073.


Coroner's Court- Lifting the Veil

This seminar will cover what you need to know about appearing at a coronial inquest from both the perspective of the Office of the State Coroner and a medical defence organisation.


Date: Tuesday 12 March 2014: AMA (WA) Nedlands: 6pm for a 6.30 start:

Presenters: Gary Cooper (Principal Registrar - Office of the State Coroner),  Janet Harry (Medico-Legal Advisor - MDA National)

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

RSVP by Thursday 6 March

This event has limited places so please book quickly to secure your place.

Phone: Skye on (08) 9273 3073.


PCFA calling on healthcare providers for Prostate Cancer Roadshow Program

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) is looking to expand its reach in remote Australia by seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from healthcare professionals who are interested in joining the Prostate Cancer Rural Education Roadshow program.


PCFA will be continuing to implement its travelling education program in 2014 and is calling on the support of experienced multidisciplinary teams to deliver prostate cancer education sessions to healthcare professionals and consumers at nominated rural areas.


Applications are currently being accepted from health service providers who nominate a team of health professionals with prostate cancer experience to travel and provide much needed education on the disease.

For more information about the Prostate Cancer Rural Education Roadshow, please contact Jessica Roberts, PCFA’s Project Officer for the Rural Education Roadshow, on 02 9438 7000 or  via email.


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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