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19 June 2013 Issue #42

Superclinics will not curb ED overcrowding: study

The Federal Government’s Superclinics will do very little to relieve the burden faced by WA emergency departments, according to a new study conducted by the University of WA.

The study, published in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia, disputed recent claims that up to a quarter of patients presenting to emergency departments could be treated by a GP.
The UWA study was conducted over two years and assessed over 500,000 patients at three tertiary hospitals in WA, focusing on the type of care needed by those being presented at EDs. The study concluded that previous data provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) suggesting that up 25 per cent of admitted patients could be treated by a GP was wrong, and was actually closer to 10 per cent.

AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said that, “Government superclinics are not the future of Australian healthcare, and are an expensive waste of resources that are desperately needed by primary health care services.

“ED overcrowding is caused by the lack of inpatient beds at our hospitals, a problem that will only get worse due to our aging and growing  population.”

To access the full report, please click here.

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Important information for clinicians on MERS-CoV outbreak

As of 5 June 2013, a novel coronavirus, termed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been identified in 54 patients in or from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Tunisia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), associated in most cases with a severe acute pneumonia and 56% of cases have died.

Almost all confirmed cases have presented with, or later developed, acute, serious respiratory illness and has predominantly affected adults with underlying medical conditions. Typical symptoms have included fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. A small number of cases have presented with mild influenza-like symptoms. An immunocompromised patient with pneumonitis presented with atypical non-respiratory symptoms (including fever and diarrhoea).

The infection has occurred in people who have lived in or travelled to the Middle East (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates), and family, hospital room and workplace contacts of cases acquired in the Middle East.

For patients presenting with pneumonia or pneumonitis with a recent travel history (in the last two weeks) from the Middle East, or contact with known confirmed or probable cases, the following is recommended:

Investigations and management should be performed as usual for cases of pneumonia and pneumonitis.
Reduce the risk of transmission by following standard precautions, including asking patients to wear a surgical mask.
If a patient requires transfer to hospital, ensure that details of travel history and/or exposures to previously confirmed cases are passed on to the admitting hospital.

Inform your local public health unit / communicable disease control branch about the case urgently so that public health control measures may be initiated.
More information on what to look for and what to do is available here on DoHA’s website.

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Fair Decision from Fair Work Commission

The AMA has welcomed this week's decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to reject the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) claim for a low paid bargaining authorisation for practice nurses working in medical practices.

Chair of the AMA Council of General Practice, Dr  Brian Morton, said that the Federal AMA, along with AMA Victoria and AMA Tasmania, opposed this claim before the FWC, arguing that practice nurses are not low paid and that they already bargain extensively with employers at the local level.

Dr Morton said that the AMA argued that the ANF claim had the potential to drive up costs for practices by centralising the negotiation of wages and conditions.

“The AMA presented extensive witness evidence and supporting submissions to the Commission in support of our case,” Dr Morton said.

“In rejecting the ANF application, the FWC concluded that most practice nurses were not low paid and that the case for the authorisation was not strong.

“It found several important factors indicated that multi-employer bargaining may be undesirable or less appropriate than genuine enterprise-based bargaining and, on that basis, it was not in the public interest to make the authorisation.”

The ANF application covered 682 medical practices, most in Victoria, Tasmania, and New South Wales.

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AMA (WA) calls for Clinical Incident Management protection

Since the removal of qualified privilege from the AIMS form in June 2011, the Association has been working tirelessly to secure protection for our members from the risks of legal exposure resulting from Clinical Incident Management processes.

The Association has recently presented a submission to the Minister for Health, Dr. Kim Hames, which calls for legislative reform in two key areas.

For more information, please click here.


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Introducing Nuubo, a revolutionary Cardiac monitoring solution

Remote patient monitoring in Australia has received a major fillip with the launch of Nuubo nECG: Wearable Wireless ECG – a new, proven and protected product that offers a revolutionary perspective on cardiac monitoring.

AMA Medical Products officially launched the Nuubo Wireless Cardiac Monitoring Platform at an exclusive event in Matilda Bay restaurant.

Attended by Cardiologists, Sports Physicians and General Practitioners, the launch was emceed by former AMA (WA) President Associate Professor Rosanna Capolingua and included an interactive presentation by Josep Boqué, a Business Development Engineer with NUUBO in Spain.

For more on Nuubo and the launch, please click here.

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Urgent GP Locum Required

Location: Perth South Metro
Period: 11 – 31 July 2013

• $150 per hour or 65 per cent of billings
• VR required

This fully computerised two doctor practice is situated in Perth’s southern suburbs. Practice opening hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm and Saturday 9.00am to 12 noon.
The practice is in need of a locum for three weeks. There are no on-call or after hours requirements. Minimum required hours are 36 hrs per week.

If you can cover this locum requirement please contact Margaret on 9273 3033 or email

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AMA Insurance Brokers Special Limited Time Offer – 10% off your Healthcare Business Insurance package

We care deeply about the financial security of healthcare professionals. At AMA Insurance Brokers, insuring and providing exemplary customer service to healthcare professionals isn't just our job ... it's our mission.

As a special limited time offer we are providing a 10 per cent discount off any proven cheaper quote or renewal on our Business Insurance package. Please call our office and speak to Sue on (08) 9273 3077 or click here for further details.

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New requirement for PIP diabetes incentive - kidney function test

Minister Plibersek announced at the launch of Kidney Health Week last month that a new kidney function test requirement would be added to the annual cycle of care for those with type 2 diabetes under the Practice Incentives Program.

This measure, aimed at encouraging GPs to identify chronic kidney disease in diabetic patients earlier, will commence 1 October 2013.

The Federal AMA is asking members to share their thoughts on the new requirments by commenting on the AMA website.

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Diabetes Research Grants 2013 Application Form and Guidelines

The Diabetes Research Foundation of WA is pleased to offer two separate diabetes research project grants of $75,000 as non-recurring grants for 2014 as follows:

• One research project grant for basic/ fundamental research into diabetes.
• One research project grant for clinical/ translational research into diabetes.

Projects that have not received funding in the previous round (2012) and which include collaboration or co-funding from other sources will be considered favorably.

For more information, please click here

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Western Australian Metropolitan Hospitals and Country Health Services 2014 junior doctors intake is now open!

Resident Medical Officer, Registrar, Senior Registrar and Fellow positions have now been advertised on

Applications close on Friday, 12 July 2013 at 11:45 WAST.

Further information can also be found here

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Clinical Practice Guidlines - Antenatal Care - Module 2

Clinical Practice Guidelines – Antenatal Care – Module 2 addresses the care of healthy pregnant women in the second and third trimesters. These guidelines are being developed by Department of Health and Ageing and an Expert Advisory Committee on behalf of all Australian Governments are open for consultation.

Oversight of this project is provided by the Maternity Services Inter-Jurisdictional Committee (MSIJC) and Community Care and Population Health Principal Committee (CCPHPC).

The guidelines are designed to support Australian maternity services to provide high quality, evidence-based antenatal care to healthy pregnant women and has been developed in two modules:

• Module 1 addressed care of healthy pregnant women in the first trimester and was publicly released on 27 March 2013.

• Module 2 addresses the care of healthy pregnant women in the second and third trimesters – comments are invited and required by 30 June 2013.

To take part in the online survey, please click here.
For more information, please click here.

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AMA (WA) Charity Gala Dinner - Book now!

Bookings are now open for the AMA (WA) Charity Gala Dinner and Awards Night to be held on Saturday 27 July at the magnificent Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom. Click here for full details and booking information.

Please join us for a magical night of celebration, entertainment and prizes. There is ample parking available, but if you prefer not to drive, you can arrange to stay overnight by calling the Hyatt on 131324 and quoting BQTB to get the best rate of the day.

For all other queries or to reserve your table at the dinner contact Liz Gray direct on 9273 3027 or via email.

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2013 Youth Friendly Doctor training

The Youth Friendly Doctor Training Program has been developed and is delivered by doctors with specific skills in the area of youth health. The program consists of four modules, and registration is now available for Module 4.

Module 4: Eating Disorders in Young People and their Management

AMA (WA) Nedlands
Time: 6pm for a 6:30pm start

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Workshop 1: Overweight and Obesity in Young People 

Tuesday 3 September

Workshop 2: Eating Disorders in Young People 

Free for AMA members
or fax to 9273 3043

Telephone: Stuart on (08) 9273 3000

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

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Medical Audio Typing Course


Using digital technology, this exclusively designed course is set up to develop skills in audio typing. It covers the correct methods of presenting medical data in documents and how to transcribe audio dictation to produce accurate texts.

Conveniently located at the AMA training rooms, the course consists of individual assistance with orientation to the digital transcription software, followed by self paced exercises. As part of the course, participants receive the AMA publication “Medical Typing Style Guide – Essential Guidelines and Ready Reference for the Typist in any Medical Field”.

Recommended for:

Persons working in the health industry or interested in establishing their careers as Medical Receptionists/Typists in the health and allied health sector. A great follow on from the Medical Terminology Course, or as a stand alone unit.


• Knowledge of medical terminology
• Word processing experience

Course content:

• Digital transcription technology
• Dictaphone typing
• Medical correspondence
• Medical reports
• Theatre lists
• Formatting medical information
• Practical assessments are completed at AMA House in Nedlands for an estimated 15 hours
• Cost is $160 (GST free)

Learning outcomes:

The learning outcomes achieved provide participants with one Unit of Competency:

BSBADM303B: Produce texts from audio transcriptions


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

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Medicare Update for GPs - Essentials for Private Practice

Wednesday 17 July 2013 - AMA (WA) Nedlands: 6pm for a 6.30pm start:

Presented by: Medicare Australia
Presenter: Dr Robert Menz (Senior Medical Advisor –Health Professionals’ Branch: Dept. Human Services –Medicare)

The seminar will address a number of frequently asked questions about services in the Medicare Benefits Schedule, including:
• details on specific item numbers and claiming requirements
• a review of the Department of Human Services’ Compliance Program and
• an outline of available online education products and resources

Free for AMA members
RSVP by Friday 12 July 2013
Fax 9273 3073
Telephone Skye on (08) 9273 3028

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

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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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