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The Voice - News from AMA(SA): SA Budget | New LHN Board Chairs | Mandatory reporting - new Act

AMA(SA) on what next for Health: Beyond the first 100

The new Government has delivered its first budget, and well and truly passed its first 100 days. What next? The AMA(SA) is highlighting a range of areas for attention over the weeks, months and years to come.
Building on its pre-election People-First Health Strategy for SA, the AMA(SA) has released its AMA(SA) Key Priorities for Health: Beyond the First 100 Days.

Themes include clinician-led, clinically-informed decision making; rural and remote health; children and young people; older South Australians, mental health, rights and wellbeing; integrated hospital and GP care; and 'healing the healers' - doctors' wellbeing, and system culture. Read more, here.


The 17 years' Budget: Liberals back

Fiscal responsibility was a theme of returned Treasurer Rob Lucas’s first budget in 17 years, delivered on 4 September, and delivering a mix of sweet and sour for health.

Good news was largely not surprising as it tended to deliver on pre-election commitments. The bad news (savings measures, or cuts) included for pathology and radiology, and increasing fees to clinicians who treat private patients in public facilities ...

You can read an overview here, and a more substantive list of measures here. Members with any feedback are encouraged to contact us here.

Consultation on the second stage of potential reforms to the National Law

Following the Independent Review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) in 2014, health ministers began a staged implementation of response to the review’s recommendations.

A consultation paper has been released to seek views on a number of potential reforms to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law. Responses will inform ministers' consideration of the second stage of potential reforms. AMA(SA) members are invited to look at paper and provide the AMA(SA) with feedback to inform our national and state response by email, as soon as possible.

More ongoing advocacy: RAH Respiratory, Repat, gambling, eating disorders, WCH and more

Recent advocacy has included for the RAH Respiratory Service, in favour of e-cigarettes regulation (supporting a Bill currently before parliament), and responding to the reports of CALHN's budget blowout following the KordaMentha report. Also of significant interest is the future of the Repat. Workforce and costs will be challenges with whichever model is pursued (three concepts were put out for consultation) but the AMA(SA)'s strong message is that the Repat must have a clear and definite role.

We continue to advocate for the continuation of the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service, which remains funded under the new government, and provision for research. Also, for the paediatric eating disorder service promised pre-election. The importance of a co-located Women's and Children's Hospital with the new RAH remains another key promise that the AMA(SA) will hold the Government to account on. You can read state president A/Prof William Tam's overview on this and more from the latest medicSA, here, and the complete issue here.

Rural matters: GPs refusal debunked, and government response to rural inquiry out

GPs reportedly refusing to see mental health patients in rural areas made headlines in the Advertiser recently, following evidence given in a public hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs in Whyalla (one of a number of national locations visited). As is often the case, it seems there is more to the story, and after speaking with local doctors the AMA(SA) contacted the Committee to let them know that this is not our experience, and that many GPs spend an enormous amount of time managing such situations.

We also provided the AMA(SA)'s detailed submission to a 2016 SA parliamentary inquiry into regional health services. As it happens, the new state government has only just released its response to that inquiry's recommendations. You can find it here - select Completed Inquiries, then Ministerial Responses - report number 40.

Medico-legal matters - trial delays

The AMA(SA) and Law Society of SA Medico-Legal Advisory Group recently met and discussed a range of issues, including a delay in trials, which are currently being set for as late as June next year. This makes it very difficult for doctors to indicate their availability to give evidence. Court resourcing is the issue. The AMA(SA) will be taking this matter up with the Courts.

Meet the new chairs ... of the Local Health Network Governing Boards

The restructuring of Health governance continues with board chairs announced for most of the new Local Health Network governing boards - a key element of the Liberal Party's plans for Health in SA. We have bios of the new chairs in the September medicSA and online here. A special shout-out to the so-far sole doctor in the gang, Mannum GP Dr Peter Joyner. Many members will also be familiar with WCHN chair Jim Birch, former SA Health CEO and before that, WCH CEO.

Draft State Public Health Plan for SA - members' feedback sought

We are up to stage three of the new public health plan for SA - now or never is the time to comment! If you care about this important topic (and we are sure you do) and have some time to spare, check out the draft and tell us what you think for an AMA(SA) submission. More info here and you can email us here. Our submission is due 5 Oct.


Calling doctors! Expressions of interest for appointment to the Health Practitioner Panel of the SA Health Practitioners Tribunal

The Tribunal hears disciplinary proceedings against health practitioners registered under the National Law and appeals from persons against a decision of the national health regulatory board. Appointments are for a period up to three years and those that serve are remunerated for their time. It is extremely important to have doctors serve on the Tribunal. If there are not enough doctors on the panel, the government may look to reduce the required number of doctor members for a Tribunal looking at a matter relating to a doctor from two to one, to avoid hearings being delayed. You can express your interest or find out more here - expressions of interest are due Friday 5 October 2018. For further information call Andrea Trinca at SA Health, 8226 6057. Serving on the panel serves health and the profession, so the AMA(SA) encourages eligible members to send in an expression of interest.

Vale Dr Charles Francis Baldacchino and Professor Doug Henderson

The AMA(SA) is saddened to farewell prominent pathologist Professor Doug Henderson, and life member and life member GP Dr Charles Francis Baldacchino. Our thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues.

Seeking a special person: AMA (South Australia) Membership Engagement Officer role

An important role has come up at the AMA(SA). Do you know a likely candidate? Let them know! We are looking for a special person to help us make a difference and support AMA(SA) members as our Membership Engagement Officer. Job details are here. For more information, contact Kay Gallary at

Newland House - beautiful spot seeks tenant!

The upper level of Newland House, 80 Brougham Place, North Adelaide, the AMA(SA)'s former home before moving to AMA House, is available for lease. Great location, great views and a special place to situate offices. Find out more here

New national public sector maternity services strategy

The Commonwealth Department of Health is consulting on a new national public sector maternity services strategy. Doctors involved in maternity services, including GPs, obstetricians, anaesthetists, paediatricians, psychiatrists, obstetric physicians, pathologists and haematologists, are invited to register for a half-day consultation meeting. The SA meeting is in Adelaide on 14 November at the Rydges Adelaide, 1 South Terrace (register here). AMA members who register to attend can contact the Federal AMA to receive a short brief - some starter info here.

AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship - help fund it!

All members are encouraged to support this scholarship and help close the gap. Donations are tax deductible. Find out more here

Show your AMA membership with pride - with AMA(M) postnominals

All full members can now use the postnominals AMA(M) to denote your AMA membership and show your support of the ethics and standards we uphold - find out more here


AMA(SA) and Law Society SA Medico-Legal Dinner

We again welcome members from the AMA(SA) and Law Society of South Australia to join us for a stimulating evening of debate, where opposing arguments will be put forward and may end with roaring laughter. The topic is in place - 'Doctors have more to gain than lawyers from artificial intelligence' - and the protagonists too: Prof Guy Maddern for the medicos and Mr Brian Austin for the lawyers. Book here or call 8361 0100.

Details: Friday 2 November 2018, from 6.30pm for 7pm start, the Playford Adelaide, Ballroom, $127.69 inc booking fee

Calling doctors on parental leave! Bring your little ones, catch up, and play!

The AMA(SA) is starting up a monthly playgroup session for members with PlaygroupSA commencing Thursday 1 November in the afternoon. The idea is a fun (and safe) play opportunity for members' babies and children and an opportunity to network and take a break. It will also provide an opportunity for us to hear from you about what supports members may need while you take a break away from work, for family. To find out more, email us.

Save the Date! 2019 AMA(SA) Charity Gala Dinner

The AMA(SA)'s 2019 Charity Gala Dinner will be held on May 11 and is sure to be another fantastic celebration. This will also be the year in which AMA(SA) State President A/Prof William Tam comes to the end of the traditional two-year term, meaning a focus of the dinner will be a thank you, and passing of the baton. A special occasion, so mark it in your diary! Booking details to come. You can also put your idea in the ring for the charity for the 2019 dinner to support. Send your suggestions to Claudia.

AMA(SA) and RACGP Christmas Party

Nearer on the calendar is our annual joint celebration with the RACGP - the Christmas Party! It will be held on 7 December at College House, 15 Gover Street, North Adelaide, 6-9pm. All AMA(SA) and RACGP members are very welcome to attend - GP or non-GP. This is a great, family-friendly event, so bring your small ones too. You can RSVP to Elaine at the RACGP on 8267 8362 or email

Past Presidents, Retired Members and Life Members Luncheon

This is how tradition is made; through the handing down of beliefs, and the celebration of legends from generation to generation, by word of mouth or by lunch! South Australian doctors have been pioneers in the creation of a strong and united association representing the nation's medical profession. Let’s continue the tradition for celebrating our AMA(SA) past presidents, retired and life members. If you fit into one of the above categories, be sure to book! You can use the form sent by email/post or call 8361 0100. The lunch will be held on Monday 5 November 2018, 12 noon for a 12.30pm start, The Gilbert Suite, The Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide.

South Australia’s heroes for Xero - AMA(SA) preferred provider Hood Sweeney

AMA(SA) preferred provider for accounting services, Hood Sweeney, has just been named 2018 Accounting Partner of the Year for SA and NT by Xero, the only accounting software rated five-star by small business on leading comparison website, Canstar Blue. As a result, Hood Sweeney headed to the Xero Awards contending for the title of Australian Accounting Partner of the Year. If your practice wants to update to award-winning Cloud-based accounting package, call SA’s award-winning Xero exponents, click to learn more.


Sortli (short for ‘sort out your life’) - a free mobile app for young people, to get sorted

Sortli is designed to make information accessible to empower ALL young people transitioning to adulthood and independence; and is available for iPhone, Android or Microsoft platforms. It has information on relationships, finding a place to live, managing health and finances, gaining education, looking for a job, legal matters and general living skills. Sortli delivers the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission recommendation 166. Find out more here.

Mandatory reporting of abuse - new SA Act

The Children and Young People (Safety) Act passed through Parliament last year and, as of October this year, its provisions for mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect replace those of the previous Children’s Protection Act 1993. The mandatory reporting provisions and definitions are updated in the new Act, which continues to provide for mandatory reporting by doctors if you have a reasonable suspicion that a child or young person is, or may be, at risk.Your can find an updated SA Guide here.

REMINDER: Award rates - Health Professionals and Support Services, and Nurses

You can find Award rates information on our website here, including annual minimum wage updates and allowances. The most recent update applies from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2018. You will need to log in as a member to access the details.

Are you interested in being involved in consultation on local clinical pathways?

Are you a GP or other medical specialist who works in South Australia and is interested in being involved in consultation on local clinical pathways which helps with navigation to local services and resources? HealthPathways South Australia is a website that provides health professionals with fingertip access to comprehensive, evidence-based assessment, management and localised referral information for an array of health conditions. Help them get it right prior to the pathway being published on the live portal. SA Health, Adelaide Primary Health Network and Country SA Primary Health Network are implementing HealthPathways across South Australia to support consistent care and management of health conditions and to improve people’s journey through our health system. Find out more here.

Public health alerts and updates - TB, measles, influenza, men B

All are encouraged to get flu shots with the vaccine shortage eased and restrictions now off (7 August alert); measles cases have been reported in children visiting SA (24 August alert) and doctors are encouraged to be alert for TB in SA (24 September alert). Also, from 1 October the meningococcal vaccine will be available free to eligible groups; find out more here


CSIRO Future of Health report is out, with 5 themes for the next 15 years: empowering people, addressing health inequity, unlocking the value of digitised data, supporting integrated and precision health solutions, and integrating with the global sector. Find it here

National Osteoarthritis Strategy - a draft is underway and you are invited to contribute. It identifies seven priorities and three key areas: Prevention, Living Well with Osteoarthritis and Advanced Care. The next version will be presented at the November 2018 Summit, and this will also inform the osteoarthritis recommendations of the National Strategic Action Plan for Arthritis. Find out more and take the survey here by 5pm 19 October.

Questions on My Health Record? The Adelaide PHN is holding three provider education sessions on My Health Record - 11 Oct (6-8pm Elizabeth East); 25 Oct (6-8pm Hindmarsh) 1 Nov (6-8pm Hallett Cove); register or find out more here.

October is Polio Awareness Month, with Polio SA highlighting that while many think it a disease of the past, over 400,000 Australians have had polio at some stage and, with this year’s outbreak in Papua New Guinea, it is important to vaccinate children. Polio Australia will be hosting two large national events in Adelaide in October, with interstate guests to raise awareness and funds at the annual ‘Walk With Me’ walk and four-day Health and Wellness Retreat. Find out more here.

Teaching resource for Aboriginal Health Workers - Skin - The Australasian College of Dermatologists has launched a free online education resource ‘Taking care of skin: How to recognise and respond to skin health issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people'. Find out more here

Asthma Australia has produced the ‘State of Asthma in South Australia’ report, launched on 7 September in Adelaide, to coincide with National Asthma Week - find it here

Australian Eggs, a member owned not-for-profit company, would like people to know more about nutrition and eggs, you can find their info here


Australian Society of Anaesthetists | National Scientific Congress - in Adelaide! | 6 – 9 October 2018 | Adelaide Convention Centre | Info

Mental Health Week - 57th Barton Pope Lecture | Inaugural Mental Health Commissioner Chris Burns CSC | 'Looking for the Slip, Slop, Slap of mental health - sounds like a breeze when you say it like that' | Monday 8 October, 7.30 pm | Art Gallery of SA, Radford Auditorium, North Terrace, Adelaide, FREE but registration required here

RACS 2018 Annual Dinner and Anstey Giles Lecture | Sanctuary, Adelaide Zoo on Friday 12 October 2018 | Professor Peter Rathjen, Vice-Chancellor & President of University of Adelaide will deliver the Anstey Giles Lecture | Info | Register

AMSF Gala Dinner 2018 - The Adelaide Medical Students Foundation is celebrating the career and commitment to teaching of Prof Peter Devitt at its Gala Dinner | October 13, 6.30pm, Adelaide Convention Centre | A special highlight is a free optional experience - a student-led tour of the new Adelaide medical school (AHMS), located adjacent to the Convention Centre. This will take place prior to the Gala starting at 6pm | More info here and book here

Get evidence off the shelf and into children’s lives | Healthy Development Adelaide and the Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (ARACY) | Wednesday 24 October, 5.30-8pm, Rumours (6th Floor) Union House, University of Adelaide, North Terrace | Info here | Contact

2018 Royal Colleges Golf Day | Friday 2 November | The Royal Adelaide Golf Club | 358 Tapleys Hill Road, Seaton | Register

Hood Sweeney are the preferred accounting and financial planning provider of the AMA(SA) and are leaders in business and financial advice to the health sector. Supporting healthcare professionals, Hood Sweeney are passionate about partnering with AMA(SA) members, assisting you to make informed financial decisions during your career journey. Visit the website for more information and to register online here

Life Begins at Retirement | Wednesday, 31 October 2018 from 6.00 – 7.30pm | AMA House, North Adelaide | This informative presentation aims to confirm that your retirement plans aren’t as difficult as they may seem to achieve and check if you are making the most of what you own and earn towards your retirement. This session will explore the constant changes to government policies and increasingly complex financial environment that need to be navigated when planning for your retirement.

A Guide to Practice Structure and fees—avoiding the red flags | Wednesday, 14 November 2018 from 6.00 – 7.30pm | AMA House, North Adelaide | You would probably rather focus on delivering quality service to patients than on calculating complex service fees or dealing with an ATO audit. However, service fees are critical to the effective running of your practice and so can’t be ignored. This workshop will share insights into setting service fees and other key management issues.

The South Australian Postgraduate Medical Education Association (sapmea) offers extensive medical education to all Health Professionals and Support Staff across SA. Check out upcoming events that are open for registration, including:

Pain and Work: Words Matter | Saturday, 20 October 2018 from 8.30am – 4.15pm | Sage Hotel, Adelaide | Presented by Dr Paul Pers, General Practitioner, Dr Chris Bollen, Medical Advisor – ReturnToWorkSA, Dr Tim Semple, Pain Specialist and Ms Anne Burke, Co-Director of Psychology – CALHN | Approved for 40 category 1 points with RACGP | Register

“Too Hot to Touch” Management of Burns in Rural Regions | Tuesday, 13 November 2018 from 6.00 – 9.00pm | Kangaroo Island Health Services, Kangaroo Island | Presented by Professor John Greenwood, Medical Director – Adult Burns centre RAH and Ms Natalia Adanichkin, Advanced Clinical Service Coordinator – Adult Burns Centre RAH | Register