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Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

10 February 2015 Issue # 71

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State Government needs to get tough on hospital smoking: AMA (WA)

The State Government needs to get tough on policing smoking at our public hospitals, AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said today.

“Incredibly, despite only being open for a matter of days, the entrance to Fiona Stanley Hospital is already littered with cigarette butts,” Dr Gannon said.

“It is completely unacceptable that patients visiting the newest, most advanced hospital in Australia have to walk through clouds of filthy cigarette smoke on their way into the hospital.

“The State Government needs to start policing smoking at hospitals, as people continue to ignore the plethora of no-smoking signs on site.


For more information on this report, please click here


How to determine the right fees for your practice

The AMA encourages medical practitioners to determine their own fees based on their own practice costs.


To guide medical practitioners in determining their fees and to assist those considering moving from bulk billing to patient billing, the AMA provides members with tools and resources, which are available here.


For more information, please click here


Update on Health Department's policy on excess leave

The AMA (WA) has held lengthy negotiations with the Department of Health and the A/Director General following publication of the Department’s policy on excess leave.


The policy contained a number of options for the clearing of excess leave, including the suggestion that practitioners accept a cash payout in lieu. However, the Department refused to include key allowances in any cash payouts.


The AMA has successfully negotiated an agreement to have Arrangement A private practice income allowance and professional development allowance included in the cashing out of excess annual or long service leave. The allowances can now be paid as if the leave was taken and not paid out.


For more information on this Industrial update, please click here. Please note this information is only accessible to AMA (WA) Members.


Online learning modules for adverse event reporting

The TGA and NPS Medicinewise have worked together to create two interactive online learning modules designed to improve adverse event reporting by health professionals in relation to medicines, vaccines and medical devices.


The modules will explain the importance of, and the responsibility for, reporting adverse events, how to build reporting into practice, and what happens to reports once they are submitted to the TGA.


For more information, please click here


Productivity Commission highlights efficiency and value for money of GP services

Federal AMA President A/Prof Brian Owler has said that the latest Productivity Commission report highlights that general practice is the most efficient and cost-effective part of the Australian health system.


A/Prof Owler said that the Commission’s Report on Government Services 2015 illustrates the key role that GPs play in the health system, and the value that the community gets from the Government’s investment in general practice.


“The Productivity Commission has provided further evidence that the Government’s Budget measures for general practice are unwarranted and ill-directed,” A/Prof Owler said.


“General practice remains accessible and affordable for most Australians, and ultimately provides savings for the Government by keeping people out of more expensive hospital care.


For more on this report, please click here


Services provided by the Neurological Council of WA

The Neurological Council of WA (NCWA) wishes to inform health professionals across the State of the services it provides. 

Founded in 1992, the Council aims to work in partnership with government and non-government organisations to ensure that appropriate services are accessible for all people with neurological conditions.

NCWA acts as an initial central point of contact for the client and can provide support to the client throughout their life if they so wish. Services include:

• Supported self-management to increase well-being
• Education about the disease process, symptom management, treatment and medication
• Advocacy
• System navigation and explanation
• Liaison with GPs, neurologists and other health professionals
• Social support and support groups, including events and outings.


For more information about the NCWA, please click here


Rural GP recruitment boosted with new District of Workforce Shortage maps

The Government this week released new maps to more accurately identify communities where doctor shortages exist in rural, regional and remote communities so that recruitment of new doctors can be better targeted.


The AMA and other rural doctor groups have been calling for a revision of the DWS system for some time, highlighting that it was based on outdated data that did not give a true picture of medical workforce shortages in rural areas and as a consequence many communities with acute doctor shortages were not able to recruit GPs.


The new map system, developed in consultation with doctors and regional communities, has been updated with the latest population and Medicare data. 


For more information, please click here.

Factors affecting bulk billing decisions

The results of a study published in the latest edition of Medical Journal of Australia have highlight the need to ensure that any MBS changes protect vulnerable groups and that some people are indeed already making a contribution to the costs of their health care.


Authors Richard De Abreu Lourenco and colleagues conducted a community survey of almost 2500 patients in July 2013 to identify the factors affecting bulk-billing by GPs in Australia.


They found that while a high proportion of GP visits are bulk billed, nearly one-third of survey respondents paid a fee at their most recent visit, with a mean out-of-pocket cost of $34.

For more on this report, please click here




Expert Medical Evidence and Medical Records

Will you be called to give evidence in Court?
If you are called, how do you prepare, what is your role, can you give evidence that is detrimental to your patient, will you be paid, can you be sued for being negligent in the evidence you give?


If these are the questions you need answers to then you
should attend this seminar.


Date: Wednesday 18 February2015
Venue: AMA (WA) headquarters
Cost: FREE for members and a practice manager of members, $150 for non-members


For registration and more information, please click here.


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. 

This event is of particular importance for doctors of all specialities, and especially interns, residents and registrars. The seminar will explain why you need the support of the AMA or a MDO when appearing before a Coronial inquest.


Date: Wednesday 11 March 2015
Venue: AMA (WA) headquarters 
Cost: FREE for members and a prctice manager of members, $150 for non-members. 

For registration and more information, please click here


CV Writing and Interview Skills

This interactive workshop is designed to assist doctors who are contemplating applying for College Training Programmes and/or other medical positions within the health industry.


Once fully registered for this seminar pre-reading documentation will be provided for preparation of interview skills, application letter and Curriculum Vitae. This seminar will involve an interactive workshop that provides a simulated panel interview with feedback on performance.


Please note that spaces are strictly limited. 


Date: Tuesday 24 March 2015
Venue: AMA (WA) headquarters
Cost: $50 for members, $250 for non-members.


For registration and more information, please click here


Free CPR for AMA (WA) GP Members

RACGP requires CPR to be completed in this 2014 – 2016 triennium.

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: HLTAID001: Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation

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.


The course scheduled for 14 March 2015 is fully booked, however we are now taking enrolments for the Saturday 20 June course so get in quick to avoid missing out!


For enrolment and more information, please click here


Exclusive Commonwealth Bank packages for AMA (WA) Members

Commonwealth Bank is offering AMA (WA) members Wealth Package Plus, a complete package offering a range of premium banking, broking and investment products, including a discount of up to 0.85% off the standard variable rate.


Also available are significant savings on the merchant rates charged on credit and debit card transactions in your practice.


For more information, please click here.


Enjoy HBF discounts by joining the AMA!

AMA (WA) members receive up to 12% off all HBF Hospitals and Essentials cover.


Receive a discount on any payments made in the year of taking up the discount offer (applies from the date of joining the AMA Corporate Plan).


To access this member benefit, quote your AMA Membership Number when you call HBF’s AMA Corporate Membership Line: 1300 132 549 or via email.


Exclusive discounts on Sandalford wines

Sandalford Wines is pleased to have the exclusive opportunity to provide you with a very special offer that is not available anywhere else!

What is the very special exclusive offer?

A “40 per cent off the RRP Voucher" that can be used at any time until June 30, 2015 when you purchase any straight 12 bottles of wines selected from our Element, Winemakers Range, Margaret River Range, Estate Reserve and Prendiville Reserve Collections.

The current vintage will be supplied during this promotional period.

Simply go online and once you get to the electronic kiosk and send an order for 12 bottles for any given wine to your cart, all you then need do is enter the code AMA2014 and automatically 40 per cent will be deducted from the RRP of the wine you have ordered.

And don’t forget – all orders include free delivery Australia wide!

For more information, please click here.


Need the perfect gift for Valentines Day?

Valentine's Day is here very soon, and rather than frantically scrambling around for a great gift, Willie Creek Pearls has got you covered!


Wilie Creek Pearls is offering AMA (WA) Members an exclusive discount on stunning 9-karat yellow gold Mabe pendats.

Simply enter the online code at checkout to recieve your discount. This offer is only valid until 14 February 2015, so get in quick!

For more information and to see a wider range of products on offer from Willie Creek, please click here.


Valentine's Day at Aravina Estate

Treat the one you love to a beautiful Valentine's Day lunch at Aravina Estate.

Enjoy a set menu which includes:

• A glass of complimentary Aravina Estate bubbles upon arrival;
• Freshly baked sourdough bread served with truffle butter & olives;
• Choice of any TWO courses from our menu prepared on the day by Executive Chef ‘Tony Howell’;
• Complimentary ‘LOVE’ Chocolates for each couple;
• VIP seating on the outdoor terrace.

Bookings are going fast, so get in quick to avoid missing out! 

For more information, including specials on Aravina Estate wine this month, 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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