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AGPN

The following articles have the tag AGPN

2013 Predictions: Dr Arn Sprogis, Chair, Australian Medicare Local Alliance

“THE profound difference between what was and what will be in 2013 is the regionality of the provision of health care and the involvement of communities.

AGPN membership fees to discourage MLs

THE AGPN will charge membership fees to discourage Medicare Locals from being members and will make a claim to remain part of United General Practice Australia, the GP who plans to resurrect the shelved divisions body said last week.

AGPN sets new course for membership

AGPN sets new course for membership

THE AGPN will charge membership fees to discourage Medicare Locals from being members and will make a claim to remain part of United General Practice Australia, the GP who plans to resurrect the shelved divisions body said yesterday.

Dr Sprogis first official AML Alliance chair

Dr Sprogis first official AML Alliance chair

HUNTER GP Dr Arn Sprogis has won the boardroom vote to become Australian Medicare Local Alliance’s first official chairman, declaring he would continue the fight to give the new organisation responsibility for all primary healthcare funding.

Sprogis first official AML Alliance chair

Sprogis first official AML Alliance chair

HUNTER GP Dr Arn Sprogis has won the boardroom vote to become Australian Medicare Local Alliance’s first official chairman, declaring he would continue the fight to give the new organisation responsibility for all primary healthcare funding.

Wanted: AML seeks chief to tackle tough job ahead

AFTER electing its first board the new Medicare Locals body has begun the search for a CEO, calling for someone prepared to be “measured by the success of the MLs operating throughout Australia”.

Djakic not bitter after ML board election defeat

Djakic not bitter after ML board election defeat

AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic says he holds no ill will after being denied a seat on the board of the national Medicare Locals (MLs) body he created, saying he’s already focusing on his next challenge - hospitals.

Djakic denied seat on AML Alliance

Djakic denied seat on AML Alliance

AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic has missed out on a seat on the first elected board of the national Medicare Locals body he set up, AML Alliance.

Publication outlines benefits of NP

Publication outlines benefits of NP

EVERY general practice will be able to access a publication spelling out the benefits of employing nurse practitioners in general practice this month.

GPs seizing the day with MLs

ALMOST half the directors of Medicare Local boards are GPs, MO can reveal, scuppering warnings from divisions, the AMA and the federal Opposition that the new primary health care bodies will sideline general practice.

SBOs eager to broaden membership

SBOs eager to broaden membership

A TURF war is looming in the wake of primary health care reform, with state based organisations (SBOs) eyeing a restructure to allow them to accommodate Medicare Locals, while at least one general practice division is working to become a larger body supporting disenfranchised GPs.

Hope, not funds, keeping divisions alive

DIVISIONS are keeping themselves alive despite all their Commonwealth funding now going to Medicare Locals amid hopes a coalition government will abolish MLs and restore government support for the former GP bodies.

Hope, not funds, keeping divisions alive

DIVISIONS are keeping themselves alive despite all their Commonwealth funding now going to Medicare Locals amid hopes a coalition government will abolish MLs and restore government support for the former GP bodies.

Former director describes division rivalry in mergers

Former director describes division rivalry in mergers

THE former head of AGPN’s transition team has revealed he was surprised by the animosity between some divisions expected to merge into MLs and says he should have taken a more “tailored” leadership approach to overcome it.

Asset stand-off as decisions stay in limbo

THE Medicare Locals body last week linked the AGPN’s limbo to the federal government and health department as the stand-off over its wind-up looked set to continue indefinitely.

Analysis: How has the AGPN gotten into this mess?

THE AGPN’s paralysis is the culmination of a reform beset by the federal government’s poor communication, inconsistency and inadequate consultation with key players regarding the transition to Medicare Locals.

AGPN warned to strike a deal or face administration

AGPN warned to strike a deal or face administration

THE standoff over the AGPN’s future is continuing, with members refusing to back its plan to hand assets to the Medicare Locals body and corporate governance experts warning directors could be personally liable if they allow it to trade insolvent.

AGPN in limbo after vote to keep it afloat

AGPN has been left scrambling to determine its future after a motion to wind up the company and transfer its assets to a new Medicare Locals body was defeated by its division and state based organisation members.

Insolvency looms for AGPN: Djakic

THE AGPN would be forced to stay in business without funding, staff or even any work to do if a revolt against its longstanding plan to transfer its business to a new national Medicare Local body succeeds.

Sprogis seizes the reins

Sprogis seizes the reins

Interim chair of the new Australian Medicare Local Alliance (AML Alliance) Dr Arn Sprogis discusses his urgent and ambitious agenda with Byron Kaye.

AGPN accused of ‘blatant disregard’ for divisions

A STATE-BASED organisation overseeing GP divisions has accused the AGPN of using members’ money to set up a new Medicare Local body and showing “blatant disregard” for both the wellbeing of divisions and good corporate governance.

Sprogis slams Coalition pledge to pull plug on MLs

Sprogis slams Coalition pledge to pull plug on MLs

The AGPN’s new Medicare Local body has issued a strong rebuke to Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton after he gave his clearest signal yet that the Coalition will abolish MLs if elected to government.

Arn Sprogis appointed interim chair of MLs body

Arn Sprogis appointed interim chair of MLs body

DR Arn Sprogis, the outspoken AGPN director who criticised the organisation for its handling of the Medical Locals (MLs) rollout, has been appointed interim chair of its new ML body.

Project to ensure quality nurse clinics

ESTABLISHING a quality nurse clinic and ensuring it serves the needs of the patients is behind the Australian General Practice Network’s latest project.

Scholarship cuts threaten nurse CPD

Scholarship cuts threaten nurse CPD

THE number of scholarships offered to general practice nurses for professional development has been slashed without warning during the past year.

AGPN’s Djakic ‘out of step with reality’: Health

A STOUSH has erupted between Dr Emil Djakic and the department of health after the AGPN chair accused the government agency of putting the future of Medicare Locals (MLs) at risk with its “arduous” and “protracted” contract negotiations.

Dr Emil Djakic

Djakic condemns dept's 'protracted', time-wasting approach

AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic has blasted the department of health, warning its “arduous” and “protracted” oversight of Medicare Locals is wasting time and leaving the reform vulnerable to a “direct threat” from a future coalition government.

Behind the news - AGPN vs AMA on Medicare Locals

MO asks experts for their opinions on the clinical or political issues making headlines.

Building ML bridges to govt, AGPN’s new role

THE AGPN is set to form the national body to oversee Medicare Locals (MLs), tasked with building a link between the new primary healthcare hubs, hospitals and government.

AGPN blasts govt's narrow, inadequate mental health roadmap

The AGPN has delivered a critical assessment of the federal government’s draft roadmap for mental health care, calling it “too narrow in focus” and saying it “lacks adequate acknowledgement” of GPs’ role in mental health care.

Building ML bridges to govt, AGPN's new role

AGPN has been awarded the contract to form the national body to oversee Medicare Locals and create a link between the 62 new primary healthcare hubs and the federal government.

Dr Emil Djakic

My Christmas - Dr Emil Djakic

WITH Christmas almost upon us, it is fitting that AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic talks in terms of communal dining to articulate his vision for the primary healthcare body in 2012.

‘Mixed messages’ muddying GP role in MLs

THE health department has been accused of giving “mixed messages” after publicly declaring the importance of GPs in Medicare Locals, then shelving one division’s ML bid because of fears it would have too many GP directors.

Partnership plan to take on preventable illness

THE Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) plans to form a partnership with Medicare Locals (MLs) to fight smoking, binge drinking and obesity, the agency’s new CEO has told the AGPN national forum.

$80,000 boost for adult immunisation

$80,000 boost for adult immunisation

THREE general practice focused vaccination programs are set to share in $80,000 worth of grant funding as part of an adult immunisation program being run by pharmaceuticals manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.

AGPN questioned over legality of asset switch

A STATE-BASED organisation (SBO) overseeing GP divisions has questioned whether AGPN can lawfully switch its assets to the new national Medicare Locals (MLs) body without first putting the move to a member vote.

Better Access cuts will go back into mental health: Roxon

HEALTH Minister Nicola Roxon has given GPs a guarantee that every cent saved through the controversial cuts to the Better Access scheme will be reinvested elsewhere in mental health services.

GP recognised for innovative vision

A FORMER GP leader has been hailed as an “innovator” and handed top honours at the HESTA Primary Health Care Awards this week.

Govt announces new Medicare Locals

THE Federal government has unveiled the second and third rounds of Medicare Locals, this time giving winning division-led bodies two months to prepare before changing over from 1 January.

Rebate cuts jeopardise GP role in child mental health

CHILDREN’S mental health visits to GPs have risen dramatically under the Better Access program and cutting the rebates would leave the profession’s role in child mental health care in doubt, new research suggests. An analysis of Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) data by the research project’s own authors also suggests GP involvement in child psychology has become less prescription-focused under Better Access as the family doctor plays a more active ongoing role in the mental health care of young Australians. The study, published in the latest Australian and New ...

Medicare Locals require a change in mindset

THE new era in primary healthcare through Medicare Locals (MLs) will bring a new mindset as well. Primary healthcare colleagues across the nation will become part of a system of accountability that will increasingly influence the type, frequency and availability of health services for ML regions. Over time, the changes will also increase the ‘cross-pollination’ of the medical, allied health, aged care and social care sectors that is fundamental to promoting real health. The reform task ahead requires leadership that understands the objectives and the outcomes to be achieved – socially and economically responsible healthcare that ...

GPs set to ditch Medicare Locals contract over board restrictions

GPs at a division awarded one of the first Medicare Locals contracts have warned the Federal Government that they will “walk away” from the deal if they are forced to give up control on their boards. Medical Observer understands the contracts, sent to many of the first 19 winning bidders in recent weeks, explicitly state the Medicare Local (ML) must have a board of 7–10 directors with no single profession dominating. NSW division, GP Access, is involved in one of the first tranche of MLs, and currently has six GPs among its eight ...

Loophole leaves GPs in performance authority sights

A SENATE inquiry has called on the Government to close a loophole in its health reform legislation that leaves the door open for  the National Health Performance Authority to potentially assessing individual general practices. The call follows a recent Government promise that the authority would not assess individual GPs despite consumer groups advocating for GPs to be compared on a My School-style website. However, a number of submissions to the Community Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry pointed out the original draft of the performance authority legislation remained vague on which bodies or organisations providing healthcare services would be ...

Divisions set to vote on future of AGPN

THE AGPN has downplayed fears it will become a fundholding body for Medicare Locals ahead of a vote by divisions that will determine whether the organisation continues to operate after July next year. AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic has confirmed he will ask the 111 divisions to vote next week in favour of a change to the organisation’s constitution to allow it to continue operations as an overseeing body for the new primary healthcare hubs. But MO understands some divisions have indicated they will vote against the change due to concerns the new body would ...

Who wants the health money

In the battle for the Budget, Byron Kaye looks at this year’s top priorities.

NZ colleagues offer warning over Medicare Locals impact

NEW Zealand’s most influential GP has delivered a stark warning to the Australian Government as it prepares to unleash the first Medicare Locals: Don’t make the same mistake the NZ Government did. Dr Peter Foley, chair of the New Zealand Medical Association, said Australia must learn from the hugely unpopular introduction of Crown Health Enterprises – similar to Australia’s Medicare Locals (MLs) – which he said had failed to ensure adequate GP leadership. “If the [Australian] Government truly regards general practice as central to the delivery of primary healthcare… then this position must not be undermined by ...

Doctors want reassurance on Medicare Locals fund-holding

THE Gillard Government has come under fire for failing to consult GPs about the fund-holding role of Medicare Locals (MLs), with doctors now calling for reassurances that the new bodies will only be able to directly fund primary care services in cases of “severe market failure”. Announcing the new guidelines for MLs, Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week flagged the new bodies would evolve to take on a greater fund-holding role. “I also want to make sure that Medicare Locals over time become fund-holding organisations… so if there isn’t enough of a particular service available, Medicare Locals ...

First Medicare Local applications accepted, after-hours care funding fast-tracked

THE Federal Government has today begun accepting applications from GP divisions and primary care organisations to form its new Medicare Locals (MLs). Meanwhile, new guidelines for establishing MLs, released by Prime Minister Julia Gillard as part of the Invitation to Apply process launch, have been welcomed by the AGPN as further clarifying the roles the new organisations will play in ongoing health reforms. AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic said the guidelines announced today by Ms Gillard and Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon provided "tangible steps for the network as it transitions from the divisions of ...

More is less for Medicare Locals

The Gillard Government’s decision to increase the number of Medicare Locals (MLs) has received a mixed reaction from the divisions of general practice, with some claiming it will stymie and delay health reform.  As part of the revamped COAG deal, Prime Minister Julia Gillard raised the number of MLs beyond the planned 57 to ensure the organisations were more responsive to community needs.  But AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic said the decision would result in weaker, less effective organisations. “Creating a larger number of what will be less capable organisations with a dilution of funding and ...

More is less for Medicare Locals

THE Gillard Government’s decision to increase the number of Medicare Locals (MLs) has received a mixed reaction from the divisions of general practice, with some claiming it will stymie and delay health reform.  As part of the revamped COAG deal, Prime Minister Julia Gillard raised the number of MLs beyond the planned 57 to ensure the organisations were more responsive to community needs.  But AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic said the decision would result in weaker, less effective organisations. “Creating a larger number of what will be less capable organisations with a dilution of funding and ...

Helping victims of domestic violence

PRACTICE nurses can learn how to help patients exposed to domestic violence at a free training course.The Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) says there are simple measures practice nurses can take to assist women and children experiencing family violence. AGPN is running Domestic and Family Violence Training (DiVeRT) courses in all states in the first six months of 2011. The courses are free for practice nurses and Aboriginal health workers, with travel subsidies available for those who live in rural, remote and metropolitan areas three to seven. The DiVeRT courses will help nurses develop skills to ...

Flood crisis: GPs fear mental health funding shortfall

DIVISIONS of general practice working in flood-affected communities have welcomed a further $1.3 million in funding for Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS), but warn more will be needed to cope with the ongoing trauma and mental distress of the flood victims. The additional funding, announced yesterday, will be available to divisions of general practice dealing with flood-affected communities. The Acting Minister for Health and Aging, Mark Butler, said the Federal Government had no doubt the floods would cause lasting mental health ramifications for some residents in flood-affected areas. “Trauma reactions to natural disasters, such as ...

PIPs for after-hours care the latest reform reversal

THE Federal Government has backed down on another health reform proposal with the announcement it would delay the removal of Practice Incentive Program payments (PIPs) for after-hours care until mid-2013. The Government had planned to scrap the PIPs in July 2011, in preparation for Medicare Locals (MLs) to take on full responsibility, including funding, for after-hours services.  The plan caused widespread anxiety among GP groups, who warned that with the new bodies not set to be fully established until mid-2012, removing the PIP funding would decimate after-hours care.  RACGP president Professor Claire Jackson was pleased the ...

Divisions fear Govt will limit flexibility of Medicare Locals

DIVISIONS of General Practice have expressed concern about how Medicare Locals will be funded, with fears Government contracts will not allow adequate flexibility to respond to local needs. In response to a recently released Federal Health Department discussion paper detailing plans for the new organisations, the AGPN has warned the Government against dictating how Medicare Locals are to spend government-allocated funding. “Funding contracts that are too restrictive and program driven, as opposed to being needs driven, will stymie the ability of Medicare Locals to design programs and service models that address the specific needs of their local communities,” the ...

Roxon agrees reforms need reworking

FEDERAL Health Minister Nicola Roxon has moved to reassure GPs that no practice will be worse off under proposed health reforms, after facing a grilling from doctors at the AGPN National Forum. During a heated question time, Ms Roxon conceded the Government would need to revisit some of its more unpopular health reforms, specifically the diabetes scheme, the practice nurse incentive payment and the after-hours grants. “There are some teething problems and tweaking that needs to be done,” she said. Ms Roxon said she was aware that a “small number” of practices might be disadvantaged by ...

Roxon agrees reforms need reworking

FEDERAL Health Minister Nicola Roxon has moved to reassure GPs that no practice will be worse off under proposed health reforms, after facing a grilling from doctors at the AGPN National Forum. During a heated question time, Ms Roxon conceded the Government would need to revisit some of its more unpopular health reforms, specifically the diabetes scheme, the practice nurse incentive payment and the after-hours grants. “There are some teething problems and tweaking that needs to be done,” she said. Ms Roxon said she was aware that a “small number” of practices might be disadvantaged by ...

Citizens’ jury aims to improve division profile

DELEGATES at this week’s AGPN National Forum will have the rare opportunity to take part in a citizens’ jury aimed at improving community engagement with divisions of general practice. A mock citizens’ jury of 15 members will be presented with expert opinion on how to ensure equity in healthcare for all, and will then be charged with forming recommendations as to how Medicare Locals should best spend the health funding they will be allocated.  It is hoped the citizens’ jury – which will be formed from conference delegates – will provide insight into how to establish and ...

Changes to health portfolios after ministry reshuffle

OUT of caretaker mode and down to business, Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week announced her new ministry, which includes changes to the Government's health portfolios. Nicola Roxon will stay on as Minister for Health and Ageing, telling the ABC's Lateline that she was keen to bed down the health reforms introduced during her last term. Her return was welcomed by AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic, who expected implementation of the reforms to be underway soon. "Over the past three years, we have seen a tremendous amount of planning and decision making; what is needed ...

GP groups tell Gillard to prioritise primary care

THE Gillard Government must maintain its strong focus on primary health care and general practice, GP groups have urged. Both the RACGP and the AGPN have welcomed yesterday’s decision by Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor to support the Australian Labor Party in a second term of office. The Independents’ decision means controversial reforms included in the National Health and Hospitals Network plan – such as the diabetes scheme and the new practice nurse incentive – remain firmly on the agenda. The rollout of the unpopular GP Super Clinics scheme also looks set to continue, ...

Experts divided on Local interaction

Experts divided on Local interaction

UNDULY bureaucratic Medicare Locals could jeopardise the level of involvement GPs currently have with their divisions, a health systems expert has argued.  Philip Davies, professor of health systems and policy at the University of Queensland school of population health, says that under the proposed Medicare Locals, GP engagement “will inevitably be reduced”. “We are moving towards less GP-led autonomy and more into Medicare Locals being part of a sort of Government health system,” he said. Professor Davies, also the former deputy secretary to the Federal Health Department, noted such trends had occurred in New Zealand and ...

Smooth divisions evolution uncertain

BUILDING Medicare Locals on the foundations of existing divisions of general practice is unlikely to be a straightforward exercise, the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance has warned. In its submission to the recently completed Senate inquiry into the Council of Australian Governments health reforms, the alliance voiced concern that structural problems would hamper the evolution of the new bodies.  “A funding organisation cannot allocate funds to itself or be comprised entirely of potential recipients of the funds,” the submission stated. There were also legal issues “inherent in the assumption that divisions will hand over their roles and ...

Medicare Locals boundaries mapped

THE overarching plan for Medicare Locals has started to take shape, with the release of a new proposal for their geographical boundaries. According to the proposal, there will be 44 to 60 Locals, each covering populations from 250,000 to 500,000 people. The boundaries were originally put forward in a report commissioned by the AGPN; however, this will now be used by the Federal Government as the basis for consultation. Two options have been put forward, and in each case the Northern Territory and Tasmania would have just one Medicare Local, while NSW would have the most ...

Reform: Hansard

KEY professional bodies have expressed their concerns with the health reform agenda at the Senate inquiry into COAG reforms relating to health and hospitals.  Representatives from the AMA, RACGP, AGPN, RDAA and Doctors Action questioned the effectiveness of policy relating to super clinics, chronic disease management, funding models and the relationship between Medicare Locals and local hospital networks. Key quotes from the senate inquiry Hansard: Australian Medical Association AMA president, Dr Andrew Pesce said he was disappointed at the lack of evidence based policy around funding models proposed by the Government. “We ...

Govt needs to put a face to the name of Medicare Locals

THE lack of a long-term vision for the new Medicare Locals must be addressed if the new bodies are to fulfil their potential, the AGPN has argued. In its submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee inquiry into COAG health and hospital reforms, the AGPN voiced concern at a “lack of an overall, longer-term vision” for Medicare Locals. There was also a lack of alignment between the outcomes these new bodies would be expected to achieve, and the authority and resources they would be handed to achieve them. “[Medicare Locals] require real authority, responsibility ...

Poll: GPs fail to see merits of Medicare Locals

Poll: GPs fail to see merits of Medicare Locals

THE Federal Government is facing an uphill battle to convince GPs that Medicare Locals are worthwhile, with a recent MO poll indicating that half do not see advantages in the new bodies.  The national poll of 150 GPs revealed just 14% were on board with the pending transformation of divisions of general practice. The Federal Government has budgeted $290.5 million for the transformation.  Eighty-three per cent of those surveyed did not believe the new bodies would lead to improved planning of primary health care services – a key objective of Medicare Locals. Seventy-two per cent ...

Cautious welcome for Medicare Locals

THE Federal Government’s plan to sink $416.8 million into a national network of primary health care organisations called Medicare Locals has been broadly welcomed by GPs, but concerns remain over their impact on existing services and patient care.  Beginning next year, divisions of general practice will merge and transform into Medicare Locals, which will be responsible for improving and coordinating the delivery of primary care in local communities.  Their first task will be to improve and coordinate after-hours services. They have been allocated $126.3 million to carry this out. AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic said the ...

Notify national register of child flu vaccinations

GPs around Australia are being asked to send data on seasonal flu immunisations of children younger than seven years to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR). A spokeswoman for the AGPN said a request went out last week through divisions for GPs to add data on flu vacc-inations to information sent to ACIR on National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccinations. This followed a request from the TGA, who along with the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance are investigating the spate of serious adverse events in children related to seasonal flu immunisation. “Practices are doing the ...

Guild comments

GPs and pharmacists were unable to see eye to eye last week following the Federal Government’s announcement of a deal that would allow pharmacists to supply patients with medications without a prescription. Acting national president of the PSA Grant Kardachi and AMA vice-president Dr Steve Hambleton share their views on medication continuance with Medical Observer. Do you think this is a reasonable agreement? Grant Kardachi: “[The agreement] appears to make reasonable sense from the pharmacy angle... When somebody has run out of a prescription and can’t get a new one in a timely manner ...

Pharmacists to bypass GPs on script renewals

DOCTORS have voiced alarm over a new deal struck between pharmacists and the Federal Government that will allow chemists to dispense medication to patients after their prescription has run out. Under the finalised Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, which takes effect from 1 July, pharmacists will be able to dispense a standard, one-month pack of oral contraceptive and cholesterol-lowering medications to patients who have visited their pharmacy for that medication in the past six months. Protocols to prevent patients from securing medication from multiple pharmacies are yet to be developed, but the Pharmacy Guild said the system would ...

Lack of space, PIPs stunt nurse growth

Lack of space, PIPs stunt nurse growth

OPENING up incentive grants to all practices and providing infrastructure funding are key to ensuring practice nurses become integral to every practice in Australia, GP groups say. The AMA, RACGP, AGPN as well as the Australian Practice Nurses Association (APNA) have strenuously lobbied the Federal Government to open up the Practice Nurse Incentive Payment to all practices. Currently only rural and remote practices and those in areas of workforce shortage qualify for the payment, worth up to $40,000 a year. The GP groups also want infrastructure grants for additional practice space. The pressure on the ...

AGPN maps future of 49 divisions

The new primary care landscape is beginning to take shape, with the AGPN mapping out a possible 49 Primary Health Care Organisations (PHCOs) across Australia. The golden number was cited in a PHCO options paper obtained by MO and drawn up by consultants Carla Cranny & Associates, who were commissioned by the AGPN to develop an objective assessment of the number of PHCOs required. The consultants estimated the final number at between 44 and 55, but 49 was the preferred option. AGPN CEO David Butt said the final number of PHCOs would be the product ...

Call to expand practice nurse incentive

ONE in four GP practices operating without a practice nurse do so because they do not qualify for the associated practice incentive payment (PIP), an AGPN survey has revealed.  The National Practice Nurse Workforce Survey found that, of the 2584 practices surveyed, 56.9% employed a practice nurse. Of those that didn’t, 24.4% attributed it to their ineligibility for the practice nurse PIP, while 17.3% cited lack of space. Only rural practices are eligible for the PIP, prompting AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic to renew calls for the Government to extend the incentive to all practices. He also ...

AGPN clashes with Govt over immunisation rates

AGPN clashes with Govt over immunisation rates

THE Federal Government has rejected claims from the AGPN that immunisation rates for four year olds have fallen since the decision to axe the immunisation SIP in 2008. Last week, the AGPN published a statement claiming the rate had fallen to a seven-year low of just 83 per cent. Immunisation rates for four-year-olds are measured from the 60-month mark. And according to AGPN, older figures previously published on the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) showed that the immunisation rate was 88.92% in December 2008. This figure was based on immunisations in children aged 60 months or just ...

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