GP Network News, Issue 12 Number 49
AMA Welcomes ACCC Decision on GP Fees; More Generalists Needed in Australian Health System; AMA Provides Practical Advice on Health Workforce Program; Aged care residents will miss out on medical care – says AMA Survey; PCEHR - Assisted registration of consumers; Update on PIP eHealth requirements; PBAC nominations invited; Email the AMA; Post new comment to the website;
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, this week welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) draft decision to authorise an application made by the AMA to permit GPs working in the same practice (as defined) to agree on the fees charged to patients attending that practice.
The draft decision also proposes to permit GPs working in the same practice to negotiate collectively with hospitals and Medicare Locals on fees.
The AMA this week released its new Position Statement on Fostering Generalism in the Medical Workforce 2012.
The Position Statement responds to the growing trend of fewer and fewer medical graduates choosing a generalist career path, and recommends better training programs and career pathways, and greater recognition and support for the important work provided by generalists across the health system.
Dr Hambleton, said that generalists are highly regarded specialists who play a vital role in the health system as clinicians, teachers, and researchers in all settings, from tertiary public hospitals to remote practices.
“Many Australian families, especially in rural Australia, have been cared for by the local family doctor who ran the general practice, delivered babies, and performed minor operations. But, over the last decade, the medical workforce has become increasingly specialised, driven by changes in knowledge, technology, health service delivery, and health care financing.
AMA Provides Practical Advice on Health Workforce Program
The AMA recently made a submission to the Review of Australian Government Health Workforce Programs, which is examining Commonwealth programs and activities designed to increase, train, support, plan, and distribute the Australian health workforce.
The AMA submission covers a number of areas including:
Aged care residents will miss out on medical care – says AMA Survey
An AMA survey of members conducted in July highlights that older Australians living in residential aged care have limited access to medical services and the situation is set to worsen, as the older medical workforce is providing the majority of those services, and over 15% of them intend to reduce their visits over the next two years.
Dr Hambleton said the aged care sector is in urgent need of support and long-term vision, and the AMA is calling on the major parties to spell out comprehensive aged care policies ahead of next year’s election.
“The AMA calls on the Minister for Ageing to convene a specific forum for clinical providers to consider and advise the Government on the best options to incorporate medical and nursing care into the aged care sector,” Dr Hambleton said.
Medicare rebates for medical services provided in residential aged care facilities must be increased to reflect the complexity of care and the significant amount of additional, but clinically relevant, non face-to-face time required to oversee their care.
PCEHR - Assisted registration of consumers
The Government has introduced new arrangements to enable medical practices to assist patients to register for the Personally Controlled eHealth Record (PCEHR).
Participation in assisted registration by medical practices is entirely voluntary.
The AMA checklist Getting ready for the PIP eHealth incentive and PCEHR includes references to the updated PIP eHealth secure messaging requirements and to the PCEHR Assisted Registration Rules.
Update on PIP eHealth requirements
The AMA this week received the following advice from the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) and the Department of Health and Ageing in relation to the Practice Incentive Program (PIP) eHealth requirements commencing from 1 February 2012:
PBAC nominations invited
AMA members are invited to nominate a general practitioner position on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), which will become vacant next year. This is a challenging and stimulating position that provides the opportunity to contribute directly to pharmaceutical benefits policy in Australia.
PBAC is an independent expert committee that advises the Minister for Health on medicines in relation to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. PBAC is required to consider the clinical effectiveness, safety and cost effectiveness of a medication compared with existing therapies. Members must be able to interpret the comparative outcomes of therapy involving a medicine and appraise evidence.
The AMA has been asked to nominate a range of potential candidates including those from a rural practice or remote area who treat aboriginal communities or have an interest/experience in this area. The AMA's Federal Executive Council will assess nominations prior to forwarding them to the Minister for potential appointment. PBAC meets for three, three-day meetings per year and may occasionally hold additional one-day meetings. PBAC members currently receive an annual salary of $35,880 and all travel costs are reimbursed. Appointments are for four years.
Click here for further information about PBAC.
To nominate, please forward a curriculum vitae no longer than 2 pages to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, 15 January 2013. If you have any questions, please contact Georgia Morris on 02 6270 5466.
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AMA is the peak medical organisation in Australia representing the profession’s interests to Government and the wider community. Your Federal AMA General Practice Policy team can be contacted by phone (02) 6270 5400. You can unsubscribe from GPNN by emailing email@example.com
Published: 14 Dec 2012