February 2020

Chair report

Message from the RACGP SA&NT Chair, Dr Zakaria Baig

Welcome to 2020!

2019 flew by and we are now entering a new decade. I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas and New Year break with your friends and family.

I would like to start by acknowledging the bush fire crisis sweeping the nation. Australia has seen some of the worst bushfires in decades that have caused catastrophic loss of both human and animal life with plantation, livestock and properties burned. My heart goes out to those affected by the devastating fires. If you have been directly or indirectly impacted by the fires, the RACGP is here to support you. Visit our Bushfire information for GPs webpage to find an array of resources to support you and your patients and for updates from federal and state governments.

Unfortunately, we are all aware that Coronavirus is an evolving international health concern. Please refer to the RACGP website for regular updates on this developing issue and resources to support you in your practice. We have also included an article on coronavirus in the External News section of this newsletter.

On a brighter note, I would like to acknowledge the exceptional South Australian doctors recognised in the 2020 Australian Day Honours. Dr Anthony Lian-Lloyd, a GP in the rural town of Quorn was awarded an Order of Australia medal for his service to medicine and the community. South Australian eye surgeon Dr James Muecke was named Australian of the Year for his contributions to healthcare and will be advocating for developments in preventive diabetes-related eye disease. Congratulations to both of these gentlemen for their immense achievements.

With the start of the New Year, a new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) triennium has begun for 2020–2022. While the Medical Board of Australia has proposed a new Professional Performance Framework for CPD for medical practitioners, the RACGP has aimed to keep our CPD requirements simple and straightforward for this triennium. The requirements are as follows:

  • Total points needed: 130
  • Mandated activities: 2 CPD accredited activities and a Basic Life Support Course
  • Chosen learning activities: Self-directed activities or provider-led CPD accredited activities

RACGP SA&NT has been delighted to see a keen interest in the New Fellows events. A New Fellow is a practitioner who obtained their Fellowship within the last five years. The next event, titled ‘The neXt Factor’, will be held on Friday 20 March in North Adelaide. The event will provide New Fellows with the opportunity to showcase their talents outside of general practice. We welcome submissions for various works or performances, including but not limited to visual and digital art (painting, drawing, sculpture and photography), pre-recorded or live acts such as dancing, drama, music or singing, poetry and short stories. For more information on this event and other upcoming RACGP SA&NT events, please visit the RACGP website.

RACGP SA&NT has many exciting educational and social events planned for 2020. We look forward to the year ahead and hope you all stay cool in these warmer months.

Dr Zakaria Baig

Calendar of events

RACGP SA&NT upcoming events calendar 2020

Webinar: Polypharmacy Wednesday 26 February 2020 Online
2020 Medical Colleges Career Expo Wednesday 4 March 2020 Morphettville Racecourse
Communication and dealing with difficult patient behaviour Tuesday 17 March 2020 College House, North Adelaide
New Fellows social event – The neXt Factor Friday 20 March 2020 The Kentish,
North Adelaide
Dermatology for GPs Saturday 21 March 2020 Oaks Elan, Darwin
Emergency management – BLS/CPR for GPs Tuesday 31 March 2020 College House, North Adelaide

Events in the spotlight

2020 Medical Colleges Career Expo

Wednesday 4 March 2020

Final-year medical students, post-graduate Year 1s (PGY1s) and Year 2s (PGY2s) are invited to the annual college career evening at Morphettville Racecourse.

There will be presentations by senior representatives and trainees on behalf of each college and the opportunity to ask questions during the exhibition.

For more information and to register, visit the Career Expo webpage.

New Fellows social event – The neXt Factor

Friday 20 March 2020

The RACGP SA&NT New Fellows Committee welcomes you to the 2020 New Fellows social event.

In a relaxed ‘no judgement’ zone, this social event will be a celebration of the passions and talents of GPs beyond medicine, the creative pursuits that promote relaxation and wellbeing and renew the joy in our lives and work.

New Fellows are invited to display their talent or simply come along to experience what others have created. Use this opportunity to connect and network with other New Fellows, Council and Committee members and special guests.

We invite submissions for various works, including but not limited to:

  • visual and digital art – painting, drawing, sculpture or photography
  • pre-recorded or live acts – dancing, drama, music or singing
  • poetry or short stories
  • extreme sports or activities.

To exhibit or perform your talent, please email sa.events@racgp.org.au by Monday 2 March 2020. Send the details of your exhibit or performance, such as:

  • photo and measurements of the work or activity to be exhibited
  • digital art
  • pre-recorded performances
  • a description of your live performance.

If you have any queries, please call Rebecca Woodcock on 08 8267 8327 or email rebecca.woodcock@racgp.org.au

Register now.


Welcome New Fellows

RACGP SA&NT is pleased to congratulate the following GPs who attained RACGP Fellowship (FRACGP) in December and January:

  • Dr Zainulabdeen Alsharshawi
  • Dr Dipak Bosamia
  • Dr Ivan Delgado Capacho
  • Dr Pasdunkorale Arachchige Gunawardhana
  • Dr Timothy Harrison
  • Dr Sagarika Mallawarachchi 
  • Dr Emmy Nishimura
  • Dr Jaewook Oh
  • Dr Long Yao Quek
  • Dr Suniel Reddy
  • Dr Raymond Roque
  • Dr O’Sam Shibeeb
  • Dr Zhi Jian Su
  • Dr Neda Zamanifar

RACGP SA&NT Councillor spotlight: Dr Shirley Fung

This month, we place the spotlight on Dr Shirley Fung, Member of the RACGP SA&NT Council.

Dr Fung shares her time between two roles. She works at Parkside Family Practice and is the Director of Education at Fullerton Health Academy. Her areas of interest include dermatology, women’s health, health technology, practice management and education.

For Dr Fung, a key aspect of general practice is the ability to be able to get to know her patients and find out their stories. She also acknowledges that general practice opens a number of doors and paths and enables mobility of work both within Australia and internationally.

However, she struggles to find enough time in her day with a full plate of roles. “With my two jobs, the needs of my young family, being a TGA scheduling committee member, my college commitments and completing an MBA, I have built up a large stack of books I haven't yet read by my bedside”, says Dr Fung.

She has also recognised the importance of non-clinical knowledge, such as financial and business literacy, at least to a basic level.  “No point providing the best care when the business goes bankrupt” says Dr Fung.

Dr Fung is passionate about helping ensure the viability and sustainability of general practice. She acknowledges that the profession is facing threats from many fronts including changes and reduction in funding and threats from other health professional and from non-health sectors. Despite increases in medical student numbers, less are deciding to become a GP. She is keen to share her tips to ensure the viability of general practice.

  • Work with patients to advocate for general practice and the vital role it plays in the health of their community, family, friends and of course themselves
  • Promote the benefits of this wonderful profession to the early career doctors and medical students
  • Provide our doctors skills in finance and business, and
  • Embrace technology as one of the tools that will make the care that we deliver even better.
On behalf of RACGP SA&NT, we thank Dr Fung for sharing her perspectives with us.

Vale Dr Jeanette Linn

We would like to pay tribute to Dr Jeanette Linn OAM, an influential member in the history of the RACGP SA&NT. Sadly, Dr Linn passed away on 19 November 2019.

Dr Linn first joined the College in 1958 and four years later was appointed member of the SA&NT Faculty Board. She remained in this position for 28 years. In 1989–90, she was the first female to be appointed as Faculty Provost.

Dr Linn was awarded RACGP Fellowship in 1971 having been the only female general practitioner to participate in the first Australian exam seminar. During this time, Dr Linn was also editor of the newsletter and did not relinquish this role until eight years later.

Other contributions to the RACGP SA&NT included Faculty Censor, Chair of the Medical Education Committee and Chair of the Accreditation Committee. Dr Linn worked with young graduates at the University of Adelaide, where she was a Member of Council, Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Department of General Practice, Convenor of the Academic Progress Appeals Committee and had various roles with the Alumni Association.

Dr Linn’s service to the RACGP was certainly not limited to the above, and her dedication to the SA&NT Faculty was appreciated to the highest degree.

Dr Linn enjoyed a long career as a general practitioner in medical partnership with her husband, Dr John M. Linn at Mallala and Walkerville. Sadly, John passed away in 2000, and Jeanette retired from practice in 2003.

Fellowship corner

2020.1 KFP results released Wednesday 18 March 2020
2020.1 AKT results released Thursday 2 April 2020
2020.1 Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE)
(enrolments close 6 April 2020)
Saturday 23 May 2020

SA&NT pre-exam courses

2020.1 OSCE preparation workshop – Adelaide Saturday 4 April 2020
2020.1 OSCE preparation workshop – Darwin Saturday 18 April 2020
2020.1 Simulated OSCE – Darwin Saturday 9 May 2020

National news

Member survey: RACGP Medicare Benefits Schedule fee summary

The RACGP’s Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee summary aims to provide RACGP members with a quick and easy reference to item numbers relevant to general practice. It is revised and published annually, or as major updates to GP-specific MBS items are announced.

Accompanying the fee summary is a short guide covering the most commonly used items in general practices.

We welcome your views on how these resources can be improved to ensure they remain useful for members in their daily practice. Please let us know your thoughts by completing this short survey via the RACGP website.

Thank you for your feedback.

NACCHO and RACGP Project: Working in Partnership

The peak Aboriginal Health body in Australia (NACCHO) and the RACGP have worked together to develop resources for GPs and other health professionals to support culturally-responsive primary healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, wherever they seek care.


Following the March 2018 launch of the third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (National Guide), the teams at RACGP and NACCHO have worked towards:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receiving high-quality preventive healthcare based on the latest evidence (National Guide)

  • GPs and practice teams having resources and information available to support provision of culturally-responsive, high-quality healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

A new website has been launched www.racgp.org.au/cultural-safety
It houses resources that support primary healthcare that is accessible, effective and valued by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Key resources:

  • Good Practice Tables: Building on the existing resource Five steps towards excellent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare, five good-practice tables provide activities for all members of the practice team, with each activity linked to accreditation.

  • Quality 715 health check resource: This one-page resource provides an opportunity for your practice team to reflect on what you are doing well, and what could be improved to support quality MBS item 715 health checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

  • MBS Item 715 health check templates (due for release in 2020): Five new templates are currently being finalised with the Department of Health after having been co-designed with our working group. These will be available early in 2020:

  • Infants and preschool 0-5 years

  • Primary school age 5-12 years

  • Adolescents and young people 12-24 years

  • Adults 25-49 years

  • Older people 50+ years

  • The National Guide (existing): The National Guide advises on activities that can help prevent disease, detect early and unrecognised disease, and promote health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, while allowing for local and regional variations.​

For more information contact:
RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
Phone:  1800 000 251
Email: aboriginalhealthunit@racgp.org.au

External news

Novel coronavirus information

As we are all aware, coronavirus (Covid-19) is an evolving health concern that has made its way to Australia. More information is being advised each day.

To ensure we have the most relevant information to assist general practice, please refer to the RACGP website. We are continuously updating this as new information and advice becomes available from both local and Commonwealth Departments of Health.

The RACGP is working with the Chief Medical Officer and State and Territory Departments of Health to provide updates to our members, ensuring that you are supported to provide your patients high quality and safe healthcare.

Please also be aware of alternative testing options available, such as the SA Pathology’s Domiciliary and collection services, by referring to the SA Pathology website for further details.

SA Health update *

Eliminate hepatitis C GP Education Project (GPEC-SA)
GPs have a critical role to play in finding, diagnosing and curing the thousands of South Australians who are still living with hepatitis C. In-practice lunch education and support is now available to GPs in northern Adelaide.

Men B vaccine eligibility for children
The SA Meningococcal B Immunisation Childhood program is still being offered to children six weeks to 12 months of age. The Childhood catch-up program ceased on 31 December 2019, but children who started a course of Bexsero during the catch-up period can still complete the course. View the Meningococcal B Immunisation Program webpage for further information.

For general information on communicable diseases, visit the Communicable Disease Control Branch website or call 1300 232 272.

Discontinuation of Notification of Motor Vehicle Injury form*

The Notification of Motor Vehicle Injury form, formerly introduced by the Motor Accident Commission will be discontinued from 1 March 2020.

The Voluntary Medical Certificate (VMC), introduced in April 2019, provides an efficient mechanism for medical practitioners to advise injury information to the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer so that the injured person can access funded injury recovery interventions. More information about the VMC and a copy of the document can be found on the CTP Insurance Regulator’s website.

*Inclusion does not imply RACGP endorsement.

Visit recruitGP – the RACGP’s trusted, single source for general practice employment opportunities across urban, remote and rural Australia.

It’s free for RACGP members.

The RACGP does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may result from reliance on, or the use of, any information contained in this newsletter.