Today: Sat 29 Nov 2014
Register & Login:  Register
   Login
Register Login

workforce

The following articles have the tag workforce

A very rural Christmas miracle

A very rural Christmas miracle

It’s not often a government minister can bask in the warmth of genuine applause at a rural medical event.

Kiwis to bolster Aussie Ebola effort

Kiwis to bolster Aussie Ebola effort

AUSTRALIA’S contribution to fighting Ebola in West Africa will be an Anzac effort after all, with New Zealand preparing to dispatch medical teams to the same British-led effort.

Rural classification system scrapping applauded

Rural classification system scrapping applauded

GPs have hailed the federal government’s move to scrap its rural classification system and adopt a fairer model of cash incentives for doctors in the bush.

Physios call for right to refer and prescribe

Physios call for right to refer and prescribe

ALLOWING physiotherapists to refer patients directly to specialists for a Medicare rebatable visit would save millions of government dollars and lead to more efficient patient care, while freeing up GPs’ time, a new analysis suggests.

Health authorities meet on Ebola controls

AUSTRALIAN authorities will look at stepping up infection-control training for doctors and nurses and tougher quarantine measures to stave off the threat of Ebola.

Ebola poster dumped after GP complaints

Ebola poster dumped after GP complaints

THE RACGP has dumped a controversial Ebola poster it produced for GPs’ waiting rooms after it was mocked as a ploy to wipe out the medical workforce.

Warning on ‘Americanisation of health system'

A TOP US health expert has urged caution on budget reforms that would make the Australian health system more closely resemble that of his homeland.

Suicide high among young men in construction

Suicide high among young men in construction

THE rate of suicide among young men in the construction industry in Australia is almost 2.5 times the national average.

Workplace  ergonomics  for adults and children

Workplace ergonomics for adults and children

This Update describes the conditions that workers and GPs may encounter as a result of poor ergonomics in the workplace, and offers advice about setting up the workplace to avoid these work health and safety risks.

High expectations a strain on rural docs

High expectations a strain on rural docs

THE Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has been an active participant in the federal government’s review of after-hours primary healthcare services.

Seeking help for themselves

Seeking help for themselves

Many doctors experience mental health issues, but few find the support they need.

A new health system should build on past strengths

Twenty years ago Australia created Divisions of General Practice — 125 nationwide — to expressly support general practice in the way that ‘divisions of medicine’ supported hospital doctors.

Fate of nurse who gave dose of detergent

A NURSE who gave a hospital patient a dose of Morning Fresh dishwashing liquid from a bottle labelled as a hypertension treatment has failed in his bid for reinstatement to the profession.

Using nurses makes sense, and frees up GPs

At the end of June, Medicare Australia issued a directive that the time general practice nurses spend contributing to health assessments could not be legally claimed under the relevant MBS items.

Simplicity: key to e-health?

Simplicity: key to e-health?

Most GPs are still waiting for a functional e-health records system, so what lessons can be learned from early failures?

United we stand, and face the challenge

United we stand, and face the challenge

Before the federal budget, RDAA’s ‘wish list’ was outlined in our budget submission.

Labor's Save Medicare campaign claim on training places

Labor's Save Medicare campaign claim on training places

Among the claims in Labor’s Save Medicare campaign ad is an old chestnut about GP training. Does it stack up?

Oral health shouldn’t only be for the advantaged

Australia is fortunate to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world.

Mentoring important to Maori doctors’ careers

Mentoring important to Maori doctors’ careers

Mentoring has a significant impact on career choices among Maori doctors, according to results of a survey in New Zealand.

Abbott backtracks on co-payment plan

Abbott backtracks on co-payment plan

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has signalled for the first time that he is prepared to soften the impact of proposed $7 co-payments for GP services.

Crisis in general practice feared with deregulated uni fees

THE federal government's decision to deregulate university fees could spark a crisis in the general practice workforce, stakeholders have warned.

Streamline rural practice for survival

Streamline rural practice for survival

There are many opportunities for registrars working in rural areas to gain wide experience in caring for general practice patients, through providing primary healthcare in the clinic environment as well as undertaking hospital-based medicine.

Two meals a day may help diabetes

EATING a big breakfast and lunch may be more beneficial for patients with type 2 diabetes than having six smaller meals a day, research suggests.

Procedural skills never only factor

Procedural skills never only factor

THERE has been much focus in recent years on securing more GPs for the bush.

Inevitable co-burden of public anger

Inevitable co-burden of public anger

THE headline implication for the primary care sector in the 2014 budget is the introduction of a co-payment per service for GP services and out-of-hospital pathology and diagnostic imaging.

Medical degree cost may rise by over 200%

Medical degree cost may rise by over 200%

EXPERTS have warned university degrees will cost up to three times as much under a deregulated university fee system, and medical students could face significant fee hikes under the proposed scheme.

Co-payment unlikely to pass through Senate

Co-payment unlikely to pass through Senate

THE federal opposition has said it won't “horse-trade” over the government's planned Medicare co-payment, which looks unlikely to pass through the Senate.

Budget 2014: How you are affected

Budget 2014: How you are affected

THE federal budget amounts to the "murder of Medicare" and the end of bulk-billing, according to detractors who are not placated by the surprise announcement of a $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund.

Move to merge GPET and HWA not welcome by doctor groups

Move to merge GPET and HWA not welcome by doctor groups

EXPERTS have slammed a National Commission of Audit (NCOA) proposal to merge General Practice Education and Training Ltd with Health Workforce Australia (HWA) and consolidate them into the health department.

NCOA’s GP figures a ‘sham’: RACGP

NCOA’s GP figures a ‘sham’: RACGP

THE National Commission of Audit's assertion that there are 50,000 general practitioners in Australia has been labelled a "sham" figure by the RACGP.

Snowball to head NRAS review

FORMER WA Health director Kim Snowball has been appointed to lead the first wide-ranging review of the scheme that governs the registration of Australia’s health professionals.

At a glance: What’s in store for health?

THE Australian health system faces major surgery if the National Commission of Audit’s (NCOA) recommendations are taken up by the government.

‘Money before lives’: AMA slams $15 co-payment

‘Money before lives’: AMA slams $15 co-payment

THE Commission of Audit’s report proposing a mandatory upfront fee of $15 for medical services has been rejected by the AMA as policy that would put saving money ahead of saving lives, while hitting GPs with extra costs.

Doing it for themselves

Doing it for themselves

NO longer hostage to traditional business models, female GPs are finding practice ownership is feasible and rewarding.

After-hours service on wheels

A GP after-hours service based on the old home-visit model of care will open in Newcastle next month after two years of success in Townsville.

Worrying GP trend to work fewer hours

STEPS to help GPs feel more satisfied at work could be crucial for the health system to withstand the pressures of an ageing society, according to a new study.

GP in court win over super clinic

THE department of health has been court ordered to review a district of workforce shortage (DWS) application it rejected for a $10 million GP super clinic in Queensland.

Lack of headspace data a hindrance

Lack of headspace data a hindrance

OVER the last two decades, Australia led the world in novel service developments in youth mental health.

Gen X getting diabetes sooner

GENERATION X is becoming obese and developing a higher prevalence of diabetes at an earlier age than the baby boomers before them, research suggests.

GP in court win over super clinic

THE department of health has been court ordered to review a district of workforce shortage (DWS) application it rejected for a $10 million GP super clinic in Queensland.

If surgeons quit, Qld hospitals may fall

QUEENSLAND’S hospital system may be rendered “unworkable” by a slew of surgeon resignations, doctors have warned.

Qld offers $450k for interstate doctors

QUEENSLAND'S government is looking to employ doctors from interstate to replace any doctors who resign over new contracts.

Eradicate blues stigma on the road

Eradicate blues stigma on the road

MORE than three million Australians live with depression or anxiety, and recent figures show one in five has experienced symptoms in the past year.

Pharmacists to gain larger slice in care

HEALTH Minister Peter Dutton has hinted that pharmacists will have a wider role in delivering health services.

Give future GPs the skills to develop

Give future GPs the skills to develop

EACH year, the more than 500,000 GPs and other family doctors in over 130 countries around the world who belong to the member organisations of WONCA have over two billion consultations with our patients.

Co-payment would hurt rural health

Co-payment would hurt rural health

AMONG the roast dinners, seafood feasts and rich desserts of the Christmas period, the proposal to the National Commission of Audit for a $6 co-payment for general practice consultations certainly provided a talking point around many tables.

Workforce crisis to hit cities: RACGP

Workforce crisis to hit cities: RACGP

THE belief that GP shortages are limited to rural and remote areas is a myth, with a workforce crisis set to bite the nation’s cities, the RACGP has warned.

Means test may trump $6 fee

MEANS testing the MBS is more likely than the introduction of a $6 patient co-payment, according to the man whose policy document ignited the debate on GP service funding.

General practice nurses worthy of more respect

AS PRESIDENT of the professional association for nurses working in general practice and other primary healthcare settings, I often hear from many of our members about their frustration at the lack of recognition and respect they receive for their professional skills.

Older doctors should stop flogging dying horses

ANOTHER erstwhile general practice leader, this time in the UK, has criticised his junior colleagues about their unwillingness to commit to being more than “nine-to-five” doctors, chiding them that general practice is not a nine-to-five occupation, “never was and never will be”. 1

Boomers and their kids earn less than their grandparents

IF YOU’RE a baby boomer or a member of generation X, consider yourself unlucky.

Highest supply of GPs in remote Oz

THE most remote parts of Australia have the best supply of GPs, according to a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

No more support for Medicare Locals: AMA

THE Australian Medicare Local Alliance and the AMA have locked horns over the primary healthcare organisations’ future, after the AMA ended its conditional support by releasing a survey which it said showed most GPs wanted them shut down.

Highest supply of GPs found in remotest areas

Highest supply of GPs found in remotest areas

THE most remote parts of Australia have the best supply of GPs, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

An infection that’ll help the bush

An infection that’ll help the bush

MANY of the passionate rural doctors and medical students attending RDAA and ACRRM’s largest ever Rural Medicine Australia conference, held recently in Cairns, left with a positive spring in their step.

Singing doctor’s healing through music

MEDICAL research has long sung of the healing power of music for a range of ills, from mental health to cancer.

2014 prediction – Dr Steve Hambleton

2014 prediction – Dr Steve Hambleton

THERE is no doubt that health will see savings in the budget.

Rural registrars stay on for five years

ALMOST half the registrars who train in rural and regional locations remain there for at least five years after attaining their fellowship, new data confirms.

GPs’ ASGC-RA overhaul demand

GP LEADERS have called on the government to overhaul the classification system used to determine rural health workforce assistance and incentive payments to better address the needs of rural and remote communities.

TV influencing end-of-life docs

TV influencing end-of-life docs

DOCTORS involved in end-of-life care are too influenced by television shows depicting life-saving acts and must be more willing to confront the tough question of when to let a patient die, according to a new paper.

Doc outrage over non-med prescribing plan

Doc outrage over non-med prescribing plan

DOCTORS’ groups have demanded an “immediate reversal” of a plan endorsed by every Australian health minister that could give non-medical health practitioners the right to prescribe medications without supervision.

RDAA bid for reclassification

RURAL health could prove to be the big winner under the Coalition government, according to the new president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).

Prescribing rights for non-doctors backed by health ministers

NON-doctor health practitioners would have the right to prescribe certain medications under a plan endorsed by health ministers last week.

GP groups unite to call for workforce fixes

GENERAL practice leaders have joined to make their first official request to the Abbott government: redouble existing efforts to fix workforce shortages in hard-pressed areas.

Volunteering bubble burst

Volunteering bubble burst

THE romantic notion of grassroots medicine was a far cry from reality for one GP volunteer.

One in 10 Australians using mental health services

ALMOST one in 10 Australians accessed mental health services in 2010–11, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

Free taxi a hit with rural patients

Free taxi a hit with rural patients

A FREE taxi service administered by a rural NSW Medicare Local has helped hundreds of patients access after-hours GP care.

More academic doctors

THE AMA has called for a clinical academic pathway to be made a core component of medical training to encourage doctors to take up academic careers in medical research.

AGPT program eligibility may be cut

GPET has flagged the possibility of further limiting eligibility to apply for the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program, due to the growing number of applicants missing out each year.

$300k boost to help pain management

$300k boost to help pain management

A $300,000 pain management education and training initiative for GPs, nurses and allied health professionals aims to reduce waiting times at pain clinics as well as reliance on medication.

Whose health policy gets your vote?

Whose health policy gets your vote?

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Primary Healthcare, Dr Andrew Southcott, make a final pitch on why they should be elected.

Featured seats – 2013 federal election

THE absence of climate change as part of the discussion in the election is just extraordinary.

Abbott launches Coalition’s health policy

Abbott launches Coalition’s health policy

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has formally launched the Coalition's health policy, saying it would maintain existing levels of spending on health services if elected.

Qld ombudsman powers concern

DOCTORS could start abandoning Queensland, the state’s AMA has warned, after a parliamentary committee dismissed concerns that a controversial new health ombudsman would have unchecked power to name and shame practitioners without needing to consult professional bodies.

Disability forms and psychologist input

GPs no longer have the sole responsibility for establishing a patient’s fitness for work due to a change introduced to the application for the disability support pension (DSP).

ACT doctor-patient ratio on the rise: study

THE ACT’s long-standing GP shortage appears to be easing with a new report indicating the territory’s doctor to patient ratio has improved in line with the national average.

Cap on hold: ‘a win for common sense’

THE #ScrapTheCap Alliance has vowed to fight just as hard against the next federal government if it suggests capping tax-deductible self-education expenses, after Labor deferred its proposal following opposition from doctors.

Teething problems

Teething problems

AHPRA will soon face its third parliamentary inquiry in two years. But are attitudes to the once controversial scheme changing?

Good patient care comes down to coordination

AS THE population ages and we see more patients with chronic and complex conditions, there is evidence that care coordination can improve patient experiences, provide better health outcomes at a lower cost, and decrease avoidable hospitalisations.

Put health front and centre of election debate, say GP bodies

DOCTORS have called on the major parties to put health at the centre of the political debate in the run up to the 7 September election.

Scrapping the cap will ensure a healthy future

IT’S 3pm on a Wednesday as I hurry to Sydney Airport and just manage to catch my flight back to Melbourne, my mind preoccupied with the events and discussions of the last 24 hours at the Associations Forum National Conference.

AMLA ballot: no new doctor candidates

NO ADDITIONAL GPs will be appointed to the board of the Australian Medicare Local Alliance as only one doctor, already a director, is seeking re-election in the upcoming internal election.

Expedition to promote e-health records

NATIONAL E-Health Transition Authority clinical lead Dr Mukesh Haikerwal will make an impromptu trip to a remote WA town to promote e-health after a GP called for the system to be scrapped in the national media.

Opposition ridicules Labor’s $12 billion Indigenous health plan

LABOR’S new 10-year $12 billion plan for Indigenous health has been ridiculed by the Opposition as “another exercise in political spin” but the AMA said it should be treated as a catalyst for a new era of cooperation.

Stronger laws on sterilisation

Stronger laws on sterilisation

A SENATE committee has recommended stronger protection for people with disabilities against sterilisation without informed consent but has stopped short of an outright ban on the practice.

Stronger laws on forced sterilisation

A SENATE committee has recommended stronger protection for people with disabilities against sterilisation without informed consent but has stopped short of an outright ban on the practice.

Practising risk minimisation

Practising risk minimisation

IF YOU thought being sued was an inevitable part of practising medicine, then think again, says Dr Gerald Hickson, a world authority on what makes a high risk doctor and how to reduce that risk.

Plibersek’s $13.5m boost for primary care

PRIMARY care research is set to receive a $13.5 million shot in the arm after Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced additional funding for the sector via the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

No GP ‘stupid enough’ for this rural role

A TOWN in the Medicare Local area with Australia’s highest level of chronic disease remains without a GP as the last man in the job said no one was “stupid enough” to accept the 24 hours a day, seven days a week grind.

Prof Kidd reigns at WONCA

FORMER RACGP president Professor Michael Kidd will aim to reinforce the role of family medicine in caring for the marginalised and vulnerable after becoming president of the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA).

Indigenous doctors sign agreement to help close the gap

INDIGENOUS doctors' representatives and specialist medical colleges signed a landmark agreement today aimed at closing the gap in health outcomes and life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

ML suspends mental health services

ML suspends mental health services

THE funding shortage affecting GP-referred mental health services has hit election heartland with a Medicare Local (ML) in Sydney’s west forced to suspend Access To Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) referrals due to overwhelming demand.

Rural WA GPs on the rise

GP NUMBERS in rural and remote Western Australia have risen for the first time since 2008, on the back of an increase in the number of fly-in, fly-out doctors and GP registrars working in the areas.

More GPs working in remote WA

More GPs working in remote WA

GP NUMBERS in rural and remote Western Australia have risen for the first time since 2008, on the back of an increase in the number of fly-in, fly-out doctors and GP registrars working in the areas.

Push for rural med school queried

CHARLES Sturt University (CSU) in NSW has announced it will partner with Victoria’s La Trobe University as part of its push to gain approval for a new medical school.

No butts about it: Qld, Vic are dirty ashtrays

VICTORIA and Queensland have taken out the AMA’s most unenviable accolade, with the states named joint recipients of the 2013 Dirty Ashtray Award.

Optimism for better support of remote GPs

GPs working in remote and rural communities adversely affected by the model used to determine workforce support and incentive payments could finally see improvements within months, according to doctors’ groups.

Super clinic to challenge IMG hiring rules

Super clinic to challenge IMG hiring rules

HEALTH Minister Tanya Plibersek has been listed as the respondent in a Federal Court case in which a GP super clinic owner will challenge rules he says unfairly prevent him from hiring international medical graduates (IMGs).

Baby steps to preventive health

Baby steps to preventive health

The Healthy Kids Check aims to detect medical issues early. But critics argue it’s a symptom of family medicine’s decline.

Preparing for a pandemic

Preparing for a pandemic

Is Australia any closer to establishing a centre for communicable disease control to respond to bird flu and other outbreaks?

The federal budget: what GPs want

The federal budget: what GPs want

THE nation is this week digesting the details of the federal budget. See MO online for our coverage of the fallout.

Blissful oblivion doesn’t Close the Gap

Blissful oblivion doesn’t Close the Gap

I APPLIED for a job in an ACCHO this year — an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. I’m in my final year of GP training, and I’d been mulling over this decision for some time.

Remote GP slams cap on CPD

Remote GP slams cap on CPD

A GP working in a remote Northern Territory community has slammed the government’s proposed cap on tax deductible CPD, saying it would leave many communities struggling to recruit and maintain a medical workforce.

Addicts ‘not welcome’ in practices: survey

Addicts ‘not welcome’ in practices: survey

DRUG addicts “are not welcome in general practice” and more accessible specialist support would greatly facilitate GPs to prescribe opioid substitution therapy (OST), new Australian data shows.

Open minds needed on workforce

Open minds needed on workforce

WORKFORCE underpins all that we do in healthcare — who we use to deliver services, train our current and future healthcare professionals, drive research and innovation, and importantly make it all happen in a coordinated fashion.

Addicts ‘not welcome’ in practices: survey

Addicts ‘not welcome’ in practices: survey

DRUG addicts “are not welcome in general practice” and more accessible specialist support would greatly facilitate GPs to prescribe opioid substitution therapy (OST), new Australian data shows.

Fix our workforce, rural docs plea

RURAL doctors have called on all political parties to use this year’s federal election to properly address health workforce issues.

Super clinic sues government

THE Federal Court is set to hear the case of a GP super clinic owner suing the federal government over its refusal to allow him to hire international medical graduates (IMGs).

Mining funds could help in GP shortage crisis

THE potential involvement of mining companies in supporting the local health workforce has been welcomed as a positive development, but it will not solve the worsening GP workforce crisis facing WA’s Kalgoorlie-Boulder region and surrounding areas, an expert says.

Rural plea: solve our struggles

RURAL doctors have urged policy makers to work harder to solve ongoing health workforce issues in regional Australia following the release of the latest report outlining the extent of the problem.

Training pathways need fixing

NUMBERS and types of doctors in certain locations are failing to match the health needs of their communities and training pathways need to be fixed to improve this, Health Workforce Australia (HWA) has claimed.

Australia’s GP shortage only a ‘story’

Australia’s GP shortage only a ‘story’

AUSTRALIA’S GP shortage is a “story” maintained by “vested interests”, and service oversupply will continue as numbers of locally trained GPs and international medical graduates (IMGs) continue to rise, a new report claims.

General practice slowest-growing medical profession

THE AMA has called for a “whole of pipeline review” into health workforce numbers after a new report showed GP numbers were growing far slower than the rest of the medical profession.

Younger nurses shunning general practice: survey

MORE nurses are being employed in general practice but the workforce is ageing rapidly, with younger nurses shunning the profession, a national survey shows.

Fix our backyard first before Africa

TOP End registrar Dr Emma Griffiths has a word of advice for her young colleagues contemplating a stint in Africa and other exotic locations abroad – let’s fix our own problems first.

Decades of dedication recognised

THREE decades of GP registrar supervising and teaching by rural NSW GP Dr Maxine Percival have resulted in the latest national acknowledgment of her hard work and dedication – this time in the form of a nomination in the GPET GP supervisor of the year award.

An extra $200K would lure GPs to work in the bush

An extra $200K would lure GPs to work in the bush

CITY-based GPs would demand a salary increase of up to $200,000 to work in some of Australia’s most remote rural practices, according to a University of Melbourne report.

Young women and weight

Young women and weight

Young women are a high-risk group for weight mismanagement.

Proportion of GPs falling as students seek specialities

THE proportion of GPs in Australia’s healthcare system fell significantly during the decade to 2009, as general practice lost ground to the other specialties, according to a new report from Health Workforce Australia.

No change expected in IMG moratorium

THE controversial moratorium forcing IMGs to work outside metropolitan areas for 10 years looks set to stay, after Health Minister Nicola Roxon said she had no plans to change it.

IMGs may be forced to return

A SHORTAGE of training places and uncertainty regarding achievement of residency may force international medical students (IMGs) to head back overseas, a leading Australian academic has warned.

IMG work restrictions ‘unlikely to change’

IMG work restrictions ‘unlikely to change’

The controversial rule to keep MBS rebates from international medical graduates (IMGs) until they work outside metropolitan areas for 10 years looks set to stay, after Health Minister Nicola Roxon said she had no plans to change it.

Govt backflip on $5m Darwin super clinic

THE federal government has reversed its decision to cancel the $5 million super clinic project in Darwin’s northern suburbs following a meeting between Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon and NT Health Minister Kon Vatskalis in Melbourne earlier this week.

GPs retiring faster than being replaced

AUSTRALIA will lose more GPs, nurses and pharmacists to retirement than it trains between 2017 and 2026 unless major changes are made, according to a study of retirement trends in Australia’s skilled workforce.

General practice ‘not winning’ as the medical workforce surges

A SIGNIFICANT rise in overall medical practitioner workforce numbers has failed to translate into a win for general practice, with the bulk of the increase being reflected in higher numbers of specialists and specialists in training, according to a new report. The Medical Labour Force 2009 report, released last week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, revealed that despite an increase of almost 25% in overall primary-care practitioner numbers between 1999 and 2009, the rate of full-time equivalent (FTE) practitioners remained marginally lower than 1999 levels. According to the report, primary-care practitioner numbers had risen ...

Registrar places filled: Govt promises more

A RECORD number of GP registrars have entered the General Practice Education & Training (GPET) program this year, with all 900 places successfully filled. The announcement by Health Minister Nicola Roxon, made last week at the GPRA conference in Canberra, follows the promised increase in GP training place numbers – up from last year’s intake of 700. General practice appears to have been a popular career choice for medical graduates, with GPET receiving 1235 eligible applications, leaving over 300 applicants without a GP training place. Ms Roxon told delegates the increases to training place numbers over ...

All GP registrar places now filled

A RECORD number of GP registrars have entered training programs this year with all 900 places having been successfully filled. The announcement by Health Minister Nicola Roxon, made today at the General Practice Registrars Australia conference being held in Canberra, follows the government's latest increase in GP training place numbers - up from last year's capped intake of 700. Ms Roxon told conference delegates the Government's increases to training place numbers over the past four years had put 475 extra GPs in training. By lifting the total number of training places to 1200 by 2014, the Government ...

Aged care needs overhaul: Productivity Commission

A PRODUCTIVITY Commission's report on aged care has recommended an overhaul of the system, including means testing of aged care residents and the removal of caps on care packages and residential bed numbers. The draft report, Caring for Older Australians , identifies a number of weaknesses in the aged care system including difficulties navigating the system, gaps in service coverage, inequitable service charges and workforce pressures. According to the report, pressures on the aged care workforce could also be alleviated through wage increases for nurses and other care staff delivering aged care services. Other workforce ...

GPs fitting more chronic disease care into fewer hours

NEW data revealing the continuing rise in GP management of chronic disease has sparked fresh calls for better remuneration of complex care. The latest General Practice Activity in Australia 2008-09 (BEACH) report has shown that chronic conditions management constitutes over a third of GPs’ workload with more cases being diagnosed and treated, despite fewer hours being worked.  The report published this week by the AIHW based on almost 100,000 consultations carried out by almost 1000 GPs, has also shown the number of GPs working more than 40 hours per week has plummeted from 43% in ...

Red tape adding to ACT workforce crisis

FEDERAL bureaucracy has hampered ACT Government and health authority efforts to ease the territory’s workforce crisis, the ACT Division of General Practice (ACTDGP) has claimed. ACTDGP chair Dr Rashmi Sharma has called on the Federal Government to declare the entire ACT as a district of workforce shortage (DWS), to ease the red tape burden on general practices attempting to lure IMGs to their area. The calls come after more than 12 months of ACT Government efforts to reverse the territory’s GP workforce crisis. The crisis was the subject of an ACT GP Taskforce’s final report, which was ...

Money and procedural work key to luring future GPs

MORE cash and more procedural work opportunities could entice nearly 400 additional GPs into Australia's health system each year, a new study has found. The survey of more than 532 junior doctors revealed that 16% more would choose general practice if there was more procedural work involved, such as obstetrics. A further 12% said they would pursue a career in general practice if their projected future earnings were $50,000 per year greater. However, the data indicated that many would be prepared to sacrifice increased earnings for the opportunity to do more procedural work. The data was ...

Report reignites tensions over physician’s assistants

RURAL workforce experts have rejected claims from the AMA that a formal role for physician’s assistants (PAs) would drain much-needed training resources from medical students. The dispute has emerged following the release of a report on a 12-month PA pilot in rural Queensland, which found the health professionals integrated well with their clinical teams and were supported by doctors and nurses alike. The trial involved five American PAs being recruited to work under doctors’ supervision in general practice, primary care and hospital settings. Despite the reported success of the program, the AMA dismissed any suggestion of ...

Independents’ power play sparks new hope for rural health

RURAL doctors have welcomed the knife-edge result of last weekend’s election as an opportunity to finally achieve better supports to boost health services in the bush. With three rural and regional-based independent MPs set to decide the outcome of a likely hung federal Parliament, RDAA president Dr Nola Maxfield said the situation provided a unique opportunity “for rural Australia to have a real voice in how health is provided in rural Australia”. “We hope that Kennedy MP Bob Katter, New England MP Tony Windsor and Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott will step up to the plate on rural ...

Rural GPs better paid than city colleagues

RURAL GPs may face longer hours and have more trouble finding locums but they remain higher paid than their urban colleagues, according to research. Data from the first wave of Monash University’s longitudinal Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) study has indicated that GPs in outer regional, rural and remote Australia are 11.5% higher paid than GPs in major cities. The new data, based on data collected from almost 4000 GPs, also indicated that earnings are lower for GPs working in socio-economically more advantageous areas with a higher concentration in the number of GPs relative ...

Super clinics setting up in crowded territory

GPs claim they have been left battered and frustrated by the controversial GP super clinics initiative, following Labor’s pre-election pledges to expand the program. NSW GP Dr Alex Joannou, from Coffs Harbour on the state’s north coast, has become the latest opponent of the scheme, following the announcement of a $7 million super clinic in his town despite the opening of his own ‘super clinic’ style practice set for October. His $2 million clinic will house nine GPs, along with three nurses, allied services, pathology collection and an after-hours service, but Dr Joannou said he feared a ...

Solve the workforce shortage by coaxing retirees back: study

GPs looking towards early retirement, and their colleagues who have already prematurely ended their careers, are an untapped resource for those attempting to solve Australia’s health workforce shortages, researchers say. Despite general practice recording an 82% workforce retention rate of doctors younger than 65 years, more needs to be done to coax early retirees back into surgeries, according to a study from the University of Adelaide. The study, published in the latest MJA , examined retention rates within various health professions and has identified those within the traditional working age bracket that were no longer practising. ...

GPs strike back at late fees accusations

GPs at two Victorian practices have hit back at tabloid accusations that they routinely charge patients $20 for being 10 minutes late to a doctor’s appointment.  The practices, both located in the Melbourne CBD, criticised reports appearing in the ­Herald Sun last week that they slapped patients with late fees, arguing that they only charged patients who completely failed to turn up to confirmed appointments on regular occasions.   The reports claimed the Collins Street Medical Centre “imposes a $20 charge on patients who are 10 minutes late for a standard 15-minute consultation; for longer consultations, the ...

More talk, less action as prescriptions fall

GPs are pulling out their prescription pads less and less, according to the latest report card from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Australia’s Health 2010, released last week by the AIHW, showed GP prescribing rates have dropped from 94 medications prescribed per 100 encounters in 1998/99 to 86 per 100 consultations in 2008/09. Conversely, the use of counselling in management of problems increased, from 31 per 100 encounters in 1998/99 to 34 per 100 encounters in 2008/09. A spokesperson for the National Prescribing Service was positive about the figures. “Quality use of ...

Survey aims to examine doctors’ work-life balance

GPs are again being encouraged to participate in one of Australia’s largest ongoing longitudinal surveys examining the changing patterns of doctors’ working lives to better understand workforce issues. The third wave of the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) survey, conducted by the University of Melbourne and Monash University, has now commenced, with researchers hoping to gain further insights into doctor shortages and the role of doctors in the health system. The study’s long-term analysis of changes in doctors’ personal and professional lives such as family circumstances and earnings will eventually be used to help ...

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 ...

ACT banks on UK doctors for recruitment push

ACT health workforce recruiters will focus on UK doctors as part of a renewed push to fill ongoing gaps in the territory’s general practice workforce. The ACT Government, in collaboration with the ACT Division of General Practice, has launched a new campaign, believed to cost around $23,000, to find doctors for the territory’s 50 existing GP vacancies. Full-page ads will be taken out in the British Journal of General Practice promoting Canberra’s lifestyle, with applicants put in touch with local practices through the division. Division chair Dr Rashmi Sharma said that although the ACT included several designated ...

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 ...

Big numbers, little detail in historic training boost

GP groups are delighted with the Federal Government’s “milestone” $632 million cash injection into doctor training but supervisors have warned they won’t be able to cope with more registrars without a boost to training subsidies. Rural doctors have also cautiously welcomed the historic plan to  deliver an extra 5500 GPs by 2020 but say it’s vital the new doctors head to the bush where they’re desperately needed (see story p4). Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Health Minister Nicola Roxon last week pledged to invest $339 million in extra GP places alone. General Practice Education and Training (GPET) ...

A third of Vic rural doctors plan to leave in five years

MORE than a third of rural doctors in Victoria are set to leave their posts within five years, according to a recent survey by AMA Victoria. The survey of 233 rural doctors found 37% planned to leave rural practice in five years, 29% planned to leave in 5-10 years, while 34% planned to remain for 10 years or more. AMA Victoria president Dr Harry Hemley said the prospect of losing more than a third of the state’s rural workforce in such a short time was very concerning. “We knew we would lose a substantial number of ...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement