22 June 2018

RACGP Council Election 2018

Voting for the RACGP President-elect will open on Friday 22 June and close on Monday 2 July at 5.00pm AEST.

Only Fellows, Members and Registrar Associates may vote to elect the President. 

Voting will be conducted on a secure external voting website by the RACGP’s Returning Officer, the Australian Election Company. A preferential voting system will be used.

The Australian Election Company will email voting instructions to eligible members. This will include a unique, random password and a link to the voting website.

Should you have any difficulty with voting, please contact the help desk at Australian Election Company on 1800 224 420 or 07 3408 8711 or email at help@austelect.com.

Visit the RACGP website for more information on the presidential election, including a video of the presidential forum and the candidates’ profiles and election platforms.

My Health Record in general practice

All Australians registered with Medicare or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will have a My Health Record created for them by the end of 2018 unless they choose to opt out between 16 July – 15 October.

The RACGP is delivering ‘My Health Record in general practice’ face-to-face workshops across Australia in each of the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) regions over the coming months. These workshops, delivered by GPs, will address questions GPs and practice staff may have regarding the expansion of My Health Record, including how it may affect their practice and patients. A series of webinars will supplement the face-to-face workshops. Workshops and webinars are accredited for four Category 2 RACGP QI&CPD points.

Visit the RACGP website for event details and resources to support general practice in the use and understanding of My Health Record.

Changes to Medicare Benefits Schedule item fee arrangements for non-vocationally recognised GPs

The Department of Health (DoH) has released information about changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for non-vocationally (non-VR) recognised GPs (other than those participating on approved training programs), effective 1 July 2018. These changes were announced in the 2018–19 Federal Budget

A new MBS item group will establish tiered rebates on GP items for non-VR GPs, under Group A7 – Acupuncture and non-Specialist Practitioner items. These items will replicate the general practice items under Schedule A of the MBS, and set the relevant item fee at 80% of the equivalent vocationally registered (VR) items.

Accompanying this change, from 1 November 2018, no new participants will be admitted to Other Medical Practitioners (OMP) programs. Doctors who are participating in one of the OMP programs will have up to 30 June 2023 to fulfil their commitment to obtain Fellowship.

There are no changes to the MBS fees payable to VR or Fellowed GPs or to registrars training on the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program, Remote Vocational Training Scheme and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) Independent Pathway.

Contact the DoH for further information.  

Constitutional Recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2018

RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health is seeking input on the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 2018  (the Joint Select Committee) submission.

The issue of constitutional recognition is not yet settled. The Referendum Council finalised its national consultation process in June 2017, recommending implementation of the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’, a majority resolution that emerged from the Uluru - National Convention in May 2017.

The Joint Select Committee has been established to inquire into and report on matters relating to constitutional change, reviewing work to date from the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians (2012) until now. The Terms of Reference for the Committee are available from the website.

RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health has developed a draft submission and welcomes review and comment by close of business Monday 2 July.

Visit the RACGP website for more information.

In Practice poll: Department of Health (DoH) letters on opioid prescribing

In early June, the Federal Chief Medical Officer sent letters to the 20% of GPs who have the highest rates of opioid prescriptions. In total, more than 3400 urban and 1400 rural and remote GPs have received (or will receive) a letter from the DoH comparing their prescribing rate to their peers. The department will monitor opioid prescribing over the next 12 months to determine the effect of the letter campaign. This follows a similar campaign in 2017 which targeted prescription of antibiotics.

The RACGP is interested in hearing from members who have received a letter about their opioid prescribing as part of this campaign.

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP should contact:

Callie Morgan

Media Advisor

Jorgia Brown

Media and Communications Officer