24 May 2016

Outcomes Statement for meeting held on 24 May 2016





Purpose of UGPA

  • A useful forum to share ideas and agree on areas of commonality
  • Value in a united statement
  • At each meeting, UGPA will aim to prioritise one or two key issues that all organisations agree on, so that a united position can be stated.


Federal Budget 2016/17

  • UGPA condemned the freeze on MBS rebates in March 2016 and all organisations are disappointed with its extension (announced as part of the 2016/17 Federal Budget)
  • Minister for Health has indicated that it was not her decision
  • Labor has committed to lifting the freeze as of 1 January 2017 if elected.
  • The Federal Budget has grossly underfunded the medical home.

ACTION: Statement on the freeze, indicating:

  • Patient focus, highlighting the increase in out-of-pocket expenses for patients
  • Welcome pledges from Labor and Greens to lift the freeze
  • General practice organisations will campaign until all sides of politics agree to lift the freeze and provide adequate funding for the delivery of quality healthcare services
  • Long term plan for general practice is needed.


General practice research: PHCRIS and BEACH

  • PHCRIS has been given a reprieve until December 2016.
  • Part of the Medical Home will be a requirement to collect data, which should be transparent to patients and the profession.
  • Primary Health Networks should not be gathering data solely for their own purpose. They should be sharing data more broadly.
  • UGPA will consider a statement post-election, prompting the new government to implement and start planning healthcare based on data and evidence.

ACTION: Put GP research on August UGPA agenda. Invite Grant Russel from Australian Association for Academic Primary Care (AAAPC) to speak to the issue.


After hours: growth in service providers and MBS items


ACTION: Retain on August UGPA agenda.


Pathology collection centres

  • Current statistics co-located collection centres are questionable.
  • Evidenced and data is required


GP Training Advisory Committee (GPTAC)

  • GPTAC is looking to have a full day meeting to strategise on GP training later this year.


Meeting with the Privacy Commissioner

  • The Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner (OAIC) does not aim to be punitive, rather it will begin with advice and education on how to comply with privacy legislation. o 90 to 95% of complaints raised are conciliated without punitive action.
    • In 2015, of 100 voluntary notifications, almost all of them are not known in the public arena.
    • Privacy assessments will work with organisations to improve privacy.
    • To date, there has been no cause for civil penalties under the Australia Privacy Principles (APPs).
  • The OAIC is providing guidance for health practitioners and the community on MyHealthRecord.
  • For the MyHealthRecord opt-out trials, information must be provided consumers to advise them that they do have a choice.
  • The Privacy Commissioner’s position on Digital PIP: must maintain the rights of the individual in terms of privacy legislation. The expectation is that the individual has a right to how privacy information is dealt with, and if done appropriately, not an issue from OAIC perspective.
  • GPs can seek advice regarding privacy issues from OAIC, but advice provided will be of a general nature.

My Health Record

  • OAIC will be reviewing the opt out trial as it is implemented.
  • A GP will not breach patients privacy by uploading information in the opt out trial. It is the patient’s responsibility to opt out.
  • According to the Privacy Act, informed consent does not necessarily need to be written.
  • Generally speaking, if GP in good faith uploads a patient summary, and the patient does not fully appreciate the implications and what it means for them, the GP will not be reprimanded.
  • It would be good practice for general practices to include in their privacy statement information regarding how the patient’s health information will be used, including My Health Record.
    • OAIC would be happy to work with AMA and RACGP on templates and notices for My Health Record.
  • Check Privacy Management Framework and template, which provides a checklist for things to think about, check to see whether it can be adapted for GPs and general practices

Security breaches in general practice

  • Practices need to look at their security protections and make sure that they are up to date.
  • A lot of privacy breaches are a result of failure to have sufficient security.
  • In general practices, those who need access should have access.