20 September 2019

Vote now: Convocation 2019

RACGP members are encouraged to vote on Convocation items by 4.00 pm Wednesday 2 October (AEST) on shareGP. All votes received will be collated and carried across to the Convocation meeting on Thursday 24 October at GP19, Adelaide.

Log into shareGP to access the 2019 Convocation space to vote, or to learn more about how to vote on a Convocation item.

Rural health webinar: Palliative care for rural GPs

Ensuring quality palliative care for people near the end of their life is an important part of primary health service provision. For people living outside of major cities, access to appropriate end-of-life and palliative care can be challenging.

RACGP Rural is pleased to present the second webinar in the rural health series, ‘Palliative care for rural GPson Thursday 3 October at 7.30pm (AEST).  It will explore end-of-life care planning, management of chronic disease, monitoring deterioration, and the use of medication for patients with end-organ dysfunction at end of life to support rural GPs in increasing their knowledge and skills in this area.

Facilitated by palliative care specialist, Dr Arron Veltre, this webinar is accredited for two Category 2 RACGP QI&CPD points and is free of charge for all participants.

Register here for the webinar.

Communicating between medical and mental health professionals

The General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC) identified a need for practical guidelines on effective communication to support mental health professionals. The Practice guide: Communication between medical and mental health professionals outlines best practice principles for communication among health professionals, with the aim of improving communication, collaboration, and ultimately, patient outcomes.

The guide includes a summary on referral and reporting obligations under the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative. This includes information on the obligations for the referrer and service provider.

To view a list of GP resources, factsheets and guides on various topics relating to primary mental healthcare, visit the GPMHSC website.

Webinar: Getting started in GP research

RACGP members are invited to join the ‘Getting started in GP research’ webinar on Wednesday 24 September, 7.00­–8.00 pm (AEST).

During the webinar, Dr Susan Wearne will share her story of starting as a researcher, describe the research process and give participants the opportunity to consider how being involved in research can refresh their own general practice career and provide important evidence for the future of the profession.

General practice is described as the foundation of the Australian healthcare system, but GP’s express concern that their roles and skills are poorly understood and underestimated.  

GPs can feel threatened when other disciplines and professions want access to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rebates or prescribing rights. GPs are also expected to follow guidelines derived from evidence generated in secondary or tertiary care which may not apply to their patients. To counter these trends requires robust evidence regarding the unique skills of GPs and their effectiveness in primary care. This evidence can only be generated if more GPs become researchers or are involved in research projects.

If you would like to join the webinar, please register here.

Request for member feedback on the NDIS

The RACGP is currently seeking feedback from members on their experiences of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to help inform our submission to the review of the NDIS Act and the new Participant Service Guarantee.

The review has been commissioned in a bid to cut red tape and reduce wait times for people seeking access to the NDIS. The Government has promised to develop and legislate an NDIS Participant Service Guarantee, which will outline timeframes for key steps in the NDIS process.

The review of the NDIS Act will consider changes to NDIS legislation to support the introduction of the Guarantee.

A discussion paper outlining key topics and issues has been released to guide the development of submissions.  For further information on this consultation and how to provide feedback, please visit our member consultations page.

Shortage of nuclear medicine scans – Advice from acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly

RACGP members are advised that the Australian Government has responded to the shortage of nuclear medicine scans following an equipment failure at Lucas Heights, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) facility.

The Department of Health (DoH) is aware that ANSTO has secured a limited supply of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) for Tc-99m generators from international suppliers and that this supply is increasing over the next few weeks. This supply is being distributed to priority areas on the advice of the Nuclear Medicine Working Group in consultation with the states and territories.

The DoH will continue to monitor this issue closely and work with all state and territory jurisdictions, ANSTO and the Nuclear Medicine Working Group to minimise the effects of this shortage.

Visit the DoH website for further information and ANSTO website for regular updates.

Media enquiries

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