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The Voice - Edition 2 - 15 February 2016

Membership renewals: stay a member, and know that we are here for you

This year will be eventful, but whatever the year brings, it is better to see it through as an AMA member. We will be advocating for you and your colleagues, providing advice, resources and support. And as a member, you have the security of knowing we are only a phonecall (or email, or letter, or fax) away. And with our councillors and committee members working around the state, in hospitals and practices from Payneham to Port Augusta, you should not be too far from a friendly ear. If you have not paid your membership fees for 2016, you can renew quickly and easily online here. If you have any questions about your membership, don't hesitate to contact Melanie Caruso on 8361 0108 or email membership. Or, if you have a matter you think needs our attention, email us.


AMA(SA) Council nominations

The AMA(SA) is calling for nominations on AMA(SA) Council for the positions of President and Vice President, Ordinary Members, and Regional Representatives. For details, access the nomination form or contact Claudia Baccanello on (08) 8361 0109 or email. For conditions and enquiries relating to the nominations, please contact the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Joe Hooper on 8361 0109 or email. Nominations close at 5:00PM on Thursday, 21 April 2016.

Vale Dr John Edgar Dunn

The AMA(SA) sends its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr John Edgar Dunn, a general practitioner and AMA(SA) life member, who died recently, and recognises Dr Dunn's contributions in the field of general practice, and as a longtime AMA(SA) member.


AMA's strong national pre-budget message: stop cutting Health

The AMA is urging the Government to use the May federal budget to invest strongly in the future of the Australian health system to meet growing and changing demand from an ageing population and a surge in chronic and complex conditions, which is afflicting more and more Australians. AMA federal president, Prof Brian Owler, said that the Government must put a stop to its policies of funding cuts and program cuts from its first two Budgets, and instead invest heavily in the health system to build capacity to meet current and future needs. 

“The first steps in the next Health Budget must be to lift the Medicare patient rebate freeze, reverse the cuts to pathology and radiology, and restore public hospital funding to proper levels,” he stated. “The Government cannot be allowed to retreat from its responsibilities in funding and managing the core elements of health care delivery in Australia." The AMA has stressed that Australia’s health spending is not out of control, as claimed by the Government to justify its savage 2014 and 2015 health Budgets. The AMA's Submission is available here. The AMA(SA) continues to highlight the impacts for South Australia as a result of these retrograde budget measures, providing a local perspective and voice on the national concerns.

SA liquor licensing review

The AMA(SA) has stressed that health should come first in the State Government's review of Liquor Licensing. "Alcohol is a product that can and does create significant harm in our community," said AMA(SA) president Dr Janice Fletcher. "How it is regulated, its availability, price and marketing, are all important contributors to how it is perceived and consumed. If you want to talk about vibrancy and prosperity, well a healthy state is a vibrant and prosperous state. So let’s focus on a better state of health in South Australia. And if liquor licensing is being looked at, let’s look at how we can foster a better and healthier drinking culture." The AMA(SA)'s submission focuses on aspects such as density of outlets, trading hours, late night provisions, and alcohol pricing and taxation. Submissions have been published on the Attorney-General's website here.

Transforming Health and the new RAH

The AMA(SA) continues to seek more information, more detail, and better communication in relation to Transforming Health and the new RAH. We continue to put our members' questions and concerns to the Minister and SA Health. We remain dissatisfied with th elack of clarity around service delivery, capacity and workforce planning. Members with any comments or feedback are invited to contact us.

EPAS: member perspectives

Have you used EPAS? Perhaps you have been at the frontline in the introduction of this much vaunted IT 'answer' at the Repat, Noarlunga or Port Augusta. Perhaps you have used it in a GP Plus setting, or as a doctor in training at more than one site. In the next issue of medicSA we shall report on our members'experience with EPAS, so, tell us what you think!

Public Hospitals Report Card: Crosses for SA, but no one is doing well

The results captured across the county in the AMA’s 2016 Public Hospital Report Card are concerning, but the Report Card highlights SA hospitals performing even worse than average on some measures. The AMA(SA) has stressed that while our dedicated doctors and nurses are doing the best they can, this latest report highlights the immense challenges they are facing. ED waiting times for patients with urgent problems are worse, with only 58 percent seen within the required 30 minutes, and only 63 percent of ED visits completed in 4 hours or less. "Reduced national growth in Commonwealth funding is effectively pushing health backwards when we should be going forwards, said AMA(SA) president Dr Janice Fletcher. "Underfunding health is no way to drive health system improvement. With our ageing population and increasing burden of chronic disease, there are big challenges ahead." Read more here.

Close the Gap Progress and Priorities Report 2016 

With the release of the latest Close the Gap report, the AMA is pleased to see some improvement in a number of key indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, but has warned that a long-term commitment across all political parties is needed if targets for closing the health gap are to be met within a generation. Federal AMA president Prof Brian Owler said the Government should reverse recent Budget cuts to programs such as the Indigenous Advancement Strategy and the Indigenous Australian Health Programme, and there should be a new Closing the Gap target to reduce Indigenous imprisonment rates. Read more here

New GP Rural Incentives Program

The AMA is seeking members' feedback on progress with the implementation of the new GP Rural Incentives Program and the application of the Modified Monash Model (MMM) of rural classification, in particular the appropriateness of the parameters for the MMM. If you have had any feedback regarding your experience with the new GPRIP and the MMM, let us know.


Tell the Minister: At Breakfast

AMA(SA) members are invited to save the date for a special Members' Breakfast on Thursday 21 April 2016, at the Grill at the Hilton Adelaide, 7 for 7.30 am. The Minister for Health, the Hon Jack Snelling, will be attending the breakfast to present and answer questions from members. Tickets are available to members at the special discounted price of $25, including a full cooked breakfast. Seats are limited for this private event, which is open to current financial AMA(SA) members. To express an interest, email Melanie at the AMA(SA). 

AMA Forum in Sydney: The Health Care of Asylum Seekers and the Harms caused by Immigration Detention, especially for Children

The AMA is holding a forum on the health care of asylum seekers and the harms caused by immigration detention, especially for children, in Sydney on Sunday, 21 February 2016, in the Ionic Room, SMC Conference and Function Centre, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney, from 11:00am – 1:00pm RSVP by COB Thursday, 18 February 2016 to the AMA. Health professionals and others have long been campaigning to highlight the harms of detention for children, with social media now using the hashtags #DetentionHarmsChildren and #LetThemStay. The AMA has long opposed the detention of children: our position statement can be found here. You can read more about the forum here. Medical students'group AMSA is also calling for the release of children in immigration detention centres, highlighting in particular the findings of an Australian Human Rights Commission report.

AMA(SA) Gala Dinner - book now for great company, great entertainment and a great cause!

The AMA(SA) Charity Gala dinner will be held on Saturday 21 May from 7pm to midnight, at the Hilton Adelaide. AMA members and non-members are all welcome. Bring your friends, colleagues, family! Dress is black tie, and tickets are $170. This year's dinner is in support of the Zahra Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to provide assistance to South Australian women and children experiencing domestic and family violence. To find out more, or enquire about sponsorship or table or ticket bookings, call Melanie on 8361 0108 or email. You can book here.

AMA(SA) Council meeting dates: getting together at AMA(SA) HQ

The AMA(SA) Council meets 8 times a year, and meetings of Council are open to AMA(SA) members. Any member wishing to attend a Council meeting is invited to contact Claudia Baccanello on 8361 0109 or email. Meetings are usually held on the first Thursday of the relevant month, and the next Council meeting for 2016 will be held on Thursday 3 March.


Updated AMA resources for GPs: service contracts and corporatisation

The AMA has updated two important resources for GPs: our guidelines on service contracts with practice principals and our guide to corporatisation for general practitioners. If either of these are relevant for you, check them out on our website at the links.

Calling all specialists with an interest in treating work related injuries in SA

The AMA(SA) has collaborated with ReturnToWorkSA to produce and publish a list of specialists who have an interest in treating patients with a work related injury, as a referral resource to help support GPs and their patients. It is publicly available on the AMA(SA) website and will be actively promoted through ReturnToWorkSA's newly implemented mobile case management model. Members interested to be included on the list are asked to “opt in” by completing this template and returning it to Bernadette Liddy at the AMA(SA) or Shona Dudley-Martin at ReturnToWorkSA. The list can be accessed on the AMA(SA) website here. 

Zika virus infection

SA Health's CDCB on 29 January issued a health alert on Zika virus infection. Travellers to areas where Zika virus transmission is occurring are advised to avoid mosquito bites, particularly if pregnant; see Fight the Bite, if pregnant (any trimester); consider postponing travel until more is known about pregnancy and Zika virus infection; and visit their GP if symptoms consistent with Zika virus infection occur. Doctors are asked to consider Zika virus infection in patients with a history of travel, within 14 days of illness onset, to areas with current or recent outbreaks or transmission of Zika virus, AND symptoms consistent with Zika virus infection.

Choosing wisely initiative

The next wave of Choosing Wisely Australia will launch on 16 March 2016. Medical colleges, societies and associations are uniting at the launch to take the lead on identifying over 50 medical tests, treatments and procedures that are of proven low value or carry an unnecessary risk. The Australian and New Zealand organisations releasing their recommendations at the next wave launch include the College of Intensive Care Medicine, Intensive Care Society, RACS, Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, Endocrine Society, Haematology Society, Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine, Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine, and Australasian College of Dermatologists. To find out more, join the conversation on twitter @ChooseWiselyAU or email.

Diploma of Leadership and Management

Looking for a career advantage? Interested in being a medial leader? AMA(SA) Training is offering the Diploma in Leadership and Management. Developed in conjunction with SA MET, the diploma has a health focus and will increase your skills and confidence as a current or future medical leader. Offering a flexible learning plan to accommodate doctors' busy lives, this diploma is quickly becoming a ‘point of difference’ for those doctors seeking career advancement. Please click here for further information and to register your interest.


New benefits for members with Wine Direct

The AMA(SA) is glad to announce that we have partnered with Wine Direct, direct wine merchants, offering great value on premium Australian wine, based right here in South Australia. To celebrate, Wine Direct are offering AMA(SA) members a great incentive to try out what they can offer. If you purchase any mixed dozen from their extensive range of red, white or mixed dozens, Wine Direct will include a FREE bottle of 2014 Hamilton Centurion Shiraz valued at $80/bottle. This offer is strictly limited and expires 29th February 2016 or until sold out. You can find out more here.

AMA CPD resource

Did you resolve to get on top of your continuing professional development (CPD) this year? Research shows that 50% of us will make New Year’s resolutions but less than 10% of us will actually keep them. With CPD point tracking across almost all specialties, 24/7 access to online medical education, support and guidance in meeting your MBA CPD reporting obligations, doctorportal Learning lets you know how many points you need and when, and provides for external activity uploads so all your CPD documentation can be stored in one place. So what’s your excuse this year? And don't forget - you can also access a range of CPD events offered by sapmea.

CBA offer for AMA(SA) Interns  

Commonwealth Bank is offering 2016 AMA(SA) intern members a limited time offer of 80,000 bonus CommBank Awards points with new a Platinum Awards credit card (offer available until 31 March 2016). In addition the Platinum Awards card provides:

  • A minimum card limit of $6,000.
  • Annual fee of $249. Up to 55 days interest free on purchases (excluding cash advances).
  • Up to 2.5 Commonwealth Bank Awards points for every $1 spent* using the linked Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards American Express® card.
  • Up to 1 Commonwealth Bank Awards point for every $1 spent* using the Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards MasterCard® card.
  • 24/7 personal concierge service,
  • Amazing offers with your CommBank American Express Card by registering here.

Just contact Bernadette Liddy for more information. Some terms and conditions apply.

Careers Advisory Service

The AMA has developed a national Careers Advisory Service, linking centralised web based resources for members. The AMA understand the increasingly competitive environment for medical professionals and the Careers Advisory Service can assist with coaching and resources to help you get the medical career you want to achieve. Check out the website or email.

MJA Bookshop discounts

AMA members are entitled to a 10% discount on all products at the MJA Bookshop. The MJA Bookshop sells a wide range of Australian medical texts and is the exclusive Australian distributor for American Medical Association publications. Browse the Bookshop here. AMA members can log in to access the discount coupon code. For more information, contact the member services team by email or on 1300 133 655.


Wellbeing and Marginalisation: Findings of a National Study of 9-14 Year olds

A seminar of wellbeing and marginalisation will be presented by A/Prof Gerry Redmond, Flinders University and Dr Jen Skattebol, University of Western Sydney, Wednesday 2 March, 5.30-7.30pm Rumours, Level 6, Union House, University of Adelaide (North Terrace campus) RSVPs by Thursday 25 February by email. Find out more here.

SA Indian Medical Association, Pakistani Medical Association SA and Australian Chinese Medical Association - 2016 key dates

The SAIMA Charity Gala Dinner will be held on Saturday 25 June 2016; the PMASA Gala Dinner will be held on Saturday 13 August 2016; and the ACMA Foundation Charity Gala Dinner will be held on Saturday 5 November 2016. All should be great celebrations, bringing together friends and colleagues. To find out more, contact Tracey.

International events from RACP and CICM

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians Annual Congress 2016 is coming up in Adelaide, at the Convention Centre from 6/05/2016 - 10/05/2016. The College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM) 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting is coming up in Adelaide from 2/06/2016 5/06/2016.

Upcoming sapmea events:  

Common Musculoskeletal Injuries- Lower Back, Shoulder and Knee | Saturday 20 February 2016  | National Wine Centre, Adelaide  

Medical Indemnity Insurance in Australia - what you need to know | Thursday 25 February 2016 | MDA National, North Adelaide  

GI Topics | Wednesday 2 March 2016 | registration opening soon | Novotel Barossa Valley  

Learn how to manage patients with psychological and stress injuries | Thursday 3 March 2016 | BioSA Conference Centre, Thebarton  

Psychiatric Emergencies- assessing and managing suicidal behaviours Friday 11 March 2016 | registration opening soon | Penola TBA

Hand and Wrist Injuries | Tuesday 15 March 2016 | registration opening soon | McLaren Vale TBA 

Common Musculoskeletal Injuries - The Knee  | Thursday 17 March 2016 | Standpipe Inn, Port Augusta  

Obesity | Wednesday 23 March 2016 | registration opening soon | The Lakes Resort, West Lakes  

For more information and to register please visit the sapmea website

Got an event to share with AMA(SA) members via the Voice? Get in touch with us by email or call 8361 0106. If you are interested to advertise in the AMA(SA) magazine medicSA, contact Heather here.