GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 31 - 12 August 2011
GPNN this week: GP Registrars part of 2011 AMA Safe Hours Audit; Productivity Commission Inquiry Report – Caring for Older Australians; AMA Strongly Supports National Disability Insurance Scheme; Red Tape Survey – CLOSES 19 AUGUST; Sign the Online Petition Opposing GP Mental Health Funding Cuts; OnePath Life Insurance; Email the AMA; Post new comment to the website
The AMA is conducting an on-line audit of the working hours of junior and salaried doctors. For the first time, this year’s audit will include GP registrars.
This audit will gather information as part of the ongoing AMA Safe Hours campaign. Once participants complete the audit, they will be able to access an instant risk assessment report, which shows an analysis of the fatigue risks of their roster.
Everyone who completes the audit will also go into the draw to win an iPad 2.
The results of the on-line audit will be published in a nation-wide report on the working hours of junior and salaried doctors. It will be compared to the previous safe hours reports published by the AMA to assess whether there has been a move towards safer working hours.
There will be a special section in the final report specifically focused on the fatigue risks for GP registrars. Past safe hours audits have focused on public hospitals and very little has been done to see what the risks of fatigue are for GP registrars. The audit results will provide vital information that will assist the AMA to develop further resources and information to assist doctors working in general practice.
It takes around 10 minutes to complete the audit and participants will need to be prepared with details of their actual working, non-working and sleeping hours for the week of 8-14 August 2011. They will also need to have on hand the hours worked in the previous week as well as the roster for the week following the audit period.
Participants will have until 14 September to complete the audit.
To take part in the audit, visit http://safehours.ama.com.au. Any information provided will be reported in an aggregated fashion and information about individuals will not be published.
The AMA welcomed the Productivity Commission’s recognition of the importance of older Australians having access to medical care following the release earlier this week of its report Caring for Older Australians.
In its report the Commission recommends that ‘The Medicare rebate for medical services provided by general practitioners visiting residential aged care facilities and people in their homes should be independently reviewed to ensure that it covers the cost of providing the service.’
Dr Hambleton said that the AMA has been calling for improved Medicare arrangements in aged care for many years and that it is encouraging that the Commission has recognised that medical care is a critical component of caring for older Australians. The full AMA press release is here. The report is available here.
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said this week that the AMA fully supports the Government’s commitment to the principles of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. The Productivity Commission Inquiry Report Disability Care and Support released on 10 August 2010 recommends that the Government overhaul disability care and support and establish a National Injury Insurance Scheme that would provide lifetime support for people with a significant disability.
The immediate past President of the AMA, Dr Andrew Pesce, has been a passionate campaigner for a long-term care scheme in Australia for around a decade. Dr Pesce was the AMA’s lead negotiator for the indemnity rescue package back in 2003 and more recently was a member of the independent panel advising the Government and the Productivity Commission on long-term care and support for disabled Australians.
According to Dr Pesce the introduction of the National Disability Support Scheme would be a defining moment in social equity in Australia and that it is an opportunity for truly transformational reform for the benefit of the most vulnerable people in our community. Click here for full AMA press release. The report is available here.
The AMA’s online red tape survey closes on 19 August, so you need to complete the survey in the next week if you want to participate and help us find out exactly how much of a headache red tape is and what might be done to relieve it. The findings will help the AMA target its efforts to reduce red tape in the areas where it consumes the most time for GPs. The five-minute survey includes an opportunity to offer suggestions for how red tape could be reduced immediately in any area of your practice. Add your voice to those who have already submitted their completed survey form. You can find the survey here.
Click here to sign the petition to support the AMA’s campaign to have the Government reverse its May Budget decision to cut Medicare rebates for GP mental health services under the Better Access Program. You can have your say and add your signature to the over 2680 already collected.
We welcome your comments and suggestions as well. Please tell us what you think.
Published: 12 Aug 2011