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Welcome to the AMA's online newsletter

12 May 2014 Issue # 60

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

Good news for health in the State Budget – but more needed for research

The AMA (WA) has welcomed the State health budget, particularly a 5.9 per cent rise in health spending.

“We understand how hard it was to find additional funding for health and we had been expecting to see a cut. We are happy to see the increase in the total state health budget to more than over $8 billion,” AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said.

However, Dr Choong expressed serious concern about the lack of additional funding for medical research.

For more on this report, please click here

AGM set for 4 June 2014

Members are advised that the AMA (WA) Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 4 June, at the Association’s headquarters in Nedlands, starting at 6pm.

Members who attend will be invited to join in the discussion on AMA (WA) business and enjoy the fellowship of colleagues. Refreshments will be served after the meeting.

The meetings agenda is as follows: 

  • Declare meeting open
  • Apologies
  • Confirmation of Minutes
  • Annual Report of Council
  • Election of Auditor
  • Declaration of Ballot of Office Bearers and Members of Council
  • Investiture of the President
  • Closing of meeting by President

For more information, please contact the Secretariat at 9273 3008.


Central Referral System

The AMA (WA) has surveyed members in a two-phase survey on the performance to date of the Department of Health’s Central Referral Service.


The first phase of the survey found that GPs and specialists were extremely dissatisfied with the introduction process of the CRS, particularly the lack of consultation with doctors in the development of the CRS and the poor communication regarding the roll-out of the CRS. 


The majority of Phase 1 survey respondents indicated that they had been either unaware of the CRS until after its implementation or were very unclear as to how to navigate their way through the CRS. 


Doctors were also concerned about the disempowering of the profession in the referral process and many raised concerns about nurses triaging referrals to specialists.

For more information on this report, including a summary of Phase 2 of the survey, please click here.


Duty to offer emergency assistance

The AMA (WA) has received calls from members regarding a recent decision of the State Administrative Tribunal in a case that centred around a WA doctor and her duty to offer emergency assistance.


For information on the case, please click here.

Doctors have expressed outrage at the decision and are concerned at the potential legal hazard that exists for all doctors. Doctors may be subject to disciplinary action for failing to respond to requests for emergency assistance. In this case, the doctor involved had several very valid reasons to not provide immediate assistance. 


She was outside her professional environment, had just avoided being seriously injured or killed, was in a geographic location that was known for its social problems including drugs, alcohol and violence towards women and did not have a mobile telephone, torch or first aid kit with her.


The AMA (WA) would be interested in your views on the matter and the appropriateness or otherwise of the action of the Medical Board of WA and the State Administrative Tribunal’s decision.


Contact Chris Kane on 9273 3060 or


AIHW report: Australia's hospital statistics 2012-13

Same-day admissions are rising at a faster rate than overnight admissions according to a report released recently by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).


The report, Australian hospital statistics 2012-13, shows that there were almost 9.4 million hospital admissions in 2012-13-5.5 million in public hospitals and 3.8 million in private hospitals.


Between 2008-09 and 2012-13, same-day admissions rose by about 3.6% each year, compared with 2.7% each year for overnight admissions. Same-day admissions rose by 5% each year in private hospitals and 3% in public hospitals.


For more information on this report, please click here


Errata to the PBS Schedule for 1 May 2014

The clinical criterion in the May 2014 PBS Schedule contains a misprint in items 10083Q and 10084R.


The criterion erroneously states:
“Patient must be undergoing chemotherapy plus G-CSF mobilisation and their peripheral blood CD34+ count is less than 10,000 per microlitre on the day of planned collection.”

The criterion should read:
“Patient must be undergoing chemotherapy plus G-CSF mobilisation and their peripheral blood CD34+ count is less than 10,000 per millilitre or less than 10 million per litre on the day of planned collection.”

The correct wording will appear in the June PBS Schedule.


New processes for an adjustment of a previously paid bulk bill claim

From 2 June 2014, new processes will apply to the following two categories of adjustment of a previously paid bulk bill:


Omitted bulk bill incentive or Patient Episode Initiation (PEI) items:

If you have omitted claiming a bulk bill incentive or Patient Episode Initiation (PEI) item when transmitting your initial claim you will need to submit the omitted item electronically. If the original claim was manually submitted, view Adjustments for omitted bulk bill incentive or Patient Episode Initiation (PEI) items page on our website.

Requesting an adjustment to a previously paid bulk bill claim:

To request an adjustment to a previously paid bulk bill claim you will need to complete and submit a new Medicare assignment of benefit form. This form must be signed by the patient.
You will also need to provide further supporting information, view Adjustments to a previously paid bulk bill claim page on our website.

For more information, please click here.


Time limits applicable to lodgement of Medicare bulk bill claims

A reminder to providers that under Section 20B of the Health Insurance Act 1973 you are required to submit Medicare bulk bill claims within two years from the date of service.


For more information please click here.

Mosquito-borne disease risk following Gascoyne and Pilbara flooding

The Department of Health is reminding residents and travellers to take additional precautions to avoid mosquito bites following heavy rainfall and localised flooding in the Gascoyne and Pilbara regions of WA in the last two weeks.


WA Health's Managing Scientist Mike Lindsay said Ross River virus (RRV) was active at above-average levels in the north-west during February and March this year.


For more information on this report, please click here.

Outback Vision Fellowship

The Lions Outback Vision Fellowship began in 2014 to support the outreach ophthalmology trips provided through the West Australian Country Health Service and Lions Outback Vision, under the supervision of A/Prof Angus Turner.


It is a funded position for a duration of 12 months, available to RANZCO accredited ophthalmologists who have demonstrated an interest in Aboriginal, rural and remote ophthalmology, with the primary aims of improving continuity of care.

For more information on this position, please click here


2015 Resident Medical Officer Positions with WA Health

Interns and RMOs applying to the annual centralised Resident Medical Officer (RMO) recruitment process can now find information on how to apply on the PMCWA website including the latest versions of the Centralised RMO Application Guide and Frequently Asked Questions.


2015 Centralised RMO Applications open on Monday 19 May 2014 and close at 11:45pm sharp on Sunday 8 June 2014.


Princess Margaret Hospital and King Edward Memorial Hospital will participate in the centralised RMO recruitment again in 2014, recruiting RMOs for 2015. Applicants will be able to rank their top seven hospital preferences selecting from the eight participating health services and three split contract options (PMH and/or KEMH and/or other health service).


For detailed information about other participating hospitals and part-time work opportunities, please click here


Pathology and diagnostic imaging services in public hospital EDs

Did you know you are legally responsible for all services claimed under Medicare that are billed under your provider number or in your name? This includes billing done by hospital administration or an outsourced service provider.


For more information, please click here.


Urgent Locum needed for Bunbury practice

Locum relief required for a busy practice located in Bunbury from May to October 2014.


Hours are flexible and up to 38 hours per week. 
Accommodation and vehicle provided.
Remuneration will include  up to 65% billings

If you can assist, please contact Margaret Templeton at AMA Recruit on 9273 3033 or via email 


Exclusive Member specials on diagnostic equipment

AMA (WA) members have an exclusive offer on a range of Welch Allyn diagnostic equipment.


Save on products such as the Welch Allyn DS66 Sphygmomanometer, which features a 15-year calibration warranty and a trigger deflation valve for one finger operation.


This offer is only valid until 30 June 2014, so order today by calling AMA Medical Products on (08) 9273 3022 or via email.

For more information, please click here.

Unlimited Travel – Whenever you wish, Wherever you wish

Did you know AMA Insurance Brokers has an amazing Corporate Travel Policy with cover up to 31 March 2015?

It allows you to  travel an unlimited number of times to anywhere in the world (so long as DFAT thinks it’s a good idea).

No forms or ongoing submissions or advice – we have simplified everything so you can travel in peace.

Call 1300 763 766 for more information on the features provided, or see our Annual Travel Insurance information brochure.


CPR training for practice staff

Due to popular demand, AMA Training has added another two CPR courses to its training program for the first half of 2014. Training places are limited so enrol early to avoid disappointment.

The next course will take place on Saturday 24 May at the AMA (WA), 14 Stirling Highway, Nedlands.

Cost: $80 per participant. 

For more information, please click here.To register, please click here


Mental Health forum to set a new agenda for research

New priorities in mental health research and translation are to be identified by a collaboration of scientists, clinicians and the community at a unique Meeting for Minds Mental Health, to be held on 14 and 15 May.


Clinicians, scientists and those with lived experience of mental illness from around the world will gather at the inaugural 'Meeting for Minds' Mental Health Forum to provide multiple perspectives in mental health and neuroscience through an innovative program of discussion and debate.


Guest speakers include Dr Steve Wilson, Chairman, Council of General Practice at Australian Medical Association (WA) and Professor Fiona Stanley.


For registration and more information about the forum, please click here.


Margaret River Award winners tasting 2014

Enjoy a tasting of some of Australia's finest wines at Seaview Golf Club, Cottesloe, on Thursday 22 May.

Some of Margaret River's best producers will be showing off their wares, and tasters will have the oppurtunity to stock up on the best of the bunch. 

Tasting Cost: Free

Time: 4-8pm, Thursday 22 May, 2014.

RSVP to Des Michael if you wish to attend.


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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