June 2019

Chair report

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

With the Federal Election and an early start to this year’s influenza season, May was very busy for all of us. Prior to the election, RACGP SA&NT Council members met several of our local politicians, including South Australian Health Minister, Stephen Wade, to advocate for Australian GPs and their patients. I would like to congratulate the Liberal party on its victory. The RACGP looks forward to working with them and all sides of politics to improve the health of our nation.

The RACGP has asked our politicians to focus on four important matters on behalf of our members:

  • Medicare has not kept pace with advances in technology, and Medicare still does not recognise patient care if it is not provided face to face. Currently, there is no rebate for patients to contact their GP using Telehealth or other non-face to face methods, such as email, phone or video call. These methods allow many Australians access to healthcare from their home, particularly our rural and remote communities. Liberal has voiced support for this in their health policy and I expect them to deliver on this promise soon.
  • There has not been an increase in the value of patient rebates to reflect the real cost of general practice services for several years. Patient rebates do not reflect, and have never accurately reflected, the cost of providing high-quality general practice care. I would like to request the introduction of automatic price increases for patient rebates that fully reflect the rising costs of providing medical care, using the consumer price index method of indexation.
  • Mental health consultation items need a review. The time taken to assess and diagnose the patient, create a holistic mental health plan to coordinate patient care, liaise with other mental health providers and complete paperwork often requires a significant amount of time, but unfortunately, there is no support for consultations longer than 40 minutes in our current system. We want Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) items to support longer GP consultations. Item numbers for Mental Health Treatment Plans need to have assessment separated from planning and treatment.
  • The Government must support GPs to provide care for complex health issues by increasing the MBS rebate for longer GP consultations (level C and D) by 18.5% to support complex consultations and to align patient rebates with other medical specialists.  

GP19 is just around the corner and will take place in Adelaide this year! Registration is now open. Please visit the GP19 website to secure your place.
Dr Zakaria Baig

Calendar of events

RACGP SA&NT upcoming events calendar 2019

QI&CPD small group support session

Wednesday 12 June 2019

College House, North Adelaide

Emergency medicine and resuscitation update for GPs – Booked out!

Tuesday 18 June 2019

College House, North Adelaide

Men's health: Adolescents to elderly ALM

Saturday 22 June 2019

Hotel Grand Chancellor, Adelaide

Advance Care Directives

Tuesday 25 June 2019

College House, North Adelaide

Emergency medicine and resuscitation update (CPR for GPs)

Wednesday 17 July 2019

NT PHN, Winnellie

Midwinter Retreat

Saturday 27 July 2019

Adelaide Hills Convention Centre, Hahndorf

SA Fellowship and Awards Ceremony

Saturday 24 August 2019

Adelaide Town Hall

NT Fellowship and Awards Ceremony

Saturday 7 September 2019

Hilton Darwin

Events in the spotlight

Men's health: Adolescents to elderly

Saturday 22 June 2019

Males have more accidents, are more likely to take their own lives and are more prone to lifestyle-related chronic health conditions than women and girls of the same age.
This interactive workshop will explore men’s health issues from adolescence to older age.
If you have any queries, please call Roberta Morris on 08 8267 8334 or email roberta.morris@racgp.org.au
Register now.

Advance Care Directives

Tuesday 25 June 2019

There is a growing need for individuals to complete Advance Care Directives. An Advance Care Directive allows adults to record their preferences for future health care, end of life, living arrangements and personal matters, and to appoint a substitute decision-maker to act on their behalf when they are unable to do so themselves.

This interactive workshop will provide an overview on the use of Advance Care Directives.

If you have any queries, please call Anjelica Nowak on 08 8267 8312 or email anjelica.nowak@racgp.org.au

Register now.

Midwinter Retreat

Saturday 27 July 2019

Take a drive up to beautiful Hahndorf for the Midwinter Retreat. This event will incorporate a variety of education sessions presented by high-profile speakers, as well as a multitude of networking opportunities over a full day, followed by an informal dinner.
Go for the day or make a weekend of it and stay overnight.

Education topics

  • Influenza, measles and meningococcal: A public health perspective
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Applying advances in genomic and precision medicine
  • Common skin presentations
  • Hints and tips for a successful practice

 If you have any queries, please call Elaine Dalby on 08 8267 8362 or email elaine.dalby@racgp.org.au
Register now.


Welcome new Fellows

RACGP SA&NT is pleased to congratulate the following GPs who attained RACGP Fellowship in May:

  • Dr Geraldine Correa
  • Dr Christina Dizon
  • Dr Marco Gleeson
  • Dr Nina Holmwood
  • Dr Joanna McLeod
  • Dr Noor Suhana 
  • Dr Christopher Powell 
  • Dr Laura Zabidi

2019 RACGP SA&NT Fellowship Ceremonies

RACGP SA&NT is pleased to advise the dates for the SA&NT Fellowship and Awards Ceremonies for 2019.
South Australia
Saturday 24 August 2019
Registrations are now open.
For moreinformation, please contact Elaine Dalby.
Northern Territory
Saturday 7 September 2019
Eligible new Fellows will soon receive an email invitation.
For more information, please contact Jessica Fry.

In the past, a national academic ceremony has also been held in conjunction with the annual RACGP conference. This year, there is an exciting change in the RACGP conference schedule with multiple national conferences, tailored to the specific needs of a diverse membership being held around Australia throughout 2019.

As such, the national ceremony will not be held at GP19. You are instead invited to attend a graduation ceremony in SA or NT, or in another state at a time that is most convenient for you.

RACGP SA&NT Councillor spotlight: Dr Emily Kirkpatrick

This month, we place the spotlight on Dr Emily Kirkpatrick, Registrar Representative on the RACGP SA&NT Council.

Dr Emily Kirkpatrick currently works for Adelaide City General Practice and at MoleChecks at Bedford Medical Clinic, Tonsley on a casual basis as a GP with special interest in skin cancer.

She has been working for the past seven months as a medical educator in the area of research at GPEx, as the junior researcher on an RACGP Special Education Research Grant (ERG), investigating workplace-based assessment across the general practice training program.

Dr Kirkpatrick recently gained RACGP Fellowship after extending her training to undertake an academic post in skin cancer education at the University of Adelaide, where she continues to teach fifth-year medical students. She believes strongly in the importance of registrar representation and ensuring that trainee wellbeing is balanced with safety and competency to practice.

She has loved general practice as a career option since entering medical school and even though she contemplated a career in both gynaecology and dermatology, she has been thrilled with her final decision to pursue general practice. She appreciates the complexity of the specialty and the immense privilege it brings her to look after babies through to geriatric patients.

She is near completion of her Master of Medicine in Skin Cancer and hopes to continue researching education methods for skin cancer prevention. Having a family while undertaking training has been challenging, but she believes it has made her a better GP with greater insight and appreciation of all the issues that new mothers go through, including sleep deprivation. She enjoys being part of the RACGP SA&NT Council and participating in various committees in which she advocates for general practice.

On behalf of the RACGP SA&NT, we thank Dr Kirkpatrick for sharing her story with us.

Fellowship corner

A list of upcoming Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) exam-related events and key dates is available below. Up-to-date listings of the FRACGP exams are also available.


2019.1 Objective Structured Clinical exam (OSCE) results released

Wednesday 10 July 2019

2019.2 Key Feature Problem (KFP) (enrolments now closed)

Friday 19 July 2019

2019.2 Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) (enrolments now closed)

Saturday 20 July 2019

2019.2 AKT results released

Wednesday 28 August 2019

2019.2 KFP results released

Wednesday 11 September 2019

2019.2 OSCE (enrolment period closes 13 September)

Sunday 10 November 2019

2019.2 OSCE results released

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Pre-exam courses and events

2019.2 AKT and KFP tutorial series – Adelaide     

Tuesday 11 June 2019 (due to public holiday)
Monday 17 June 2019
Monday 24 June 2019
Monday 1 July 2019
Monday 8 July 2019

National news

Membership renewals

Save when you renew by 30 June

Receive a pay-on-time membership discount when you renew your RACGP membership by Sunday 30 June 2019.

As an RACGP member, you belong to Australia’s largest general practice community of more than 40,000 members. Renew now to enjoy the member benefits, have access to a number of collaborative spaces and participate in educational activities.
Discover your member benefits or renew now.

External news

SA Health update: National shortage of measles vaccine

There is a national shortage in the private market of three of the four available measles-containing vaccines (M-M-R II®, Priorix®, and Priorix-tetra®). Currently, there is no private market shortage of the other measles-containing vaccine, Proquad®.
There are adequate supplies of funded measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine for the National Immunisation Program, including catch-up for Medicare card-holders aged under 20 years who have not previously received two doses of the measles vaccine.
The two registered MMRV vaccines (Priorix-tetra® and ProQuad®) are only recommended for children up to 14 years of age.
The measles vaccine may not be available for anybody who is intending to travel and who has not received two doses of measles vaccine. Policies requiring measles immunity will need to be adjusted during this time of vaccine shortage based on workplace risk assessments for health care workers, childhood educators, staff in long-term care facilities and staff in correctional facilities – these policies will need to be adjusted during this time of vaccine shortage based on workplace risk assessments.

Serological testing for immunity to measles is not routinely recommended before or after receiving measles-containing vaccine, but may be useful if there is a history of measles infection.
Measles information for the public is available, including a useful measles poster. Health professionals should refer to the infectious disease control webpage.
For more information on communicable diseases, visit the Communicable Disease Control Branch website or call 1300 232 272.

Need support for older patients with diabetes or other complex or chronic conditions?

With ACH Group, your patients can access both Medicare and aged care funded allied health services.
As a registered Medicare allied health provider, we can collaboratively work with you and your patient to support:

  • chronic disease management plans (item 721)
  • team care arrangements (item 723)
  • group allied health services for people with type 2 diabetes (item 81110), and
  • exercise physiology assessment for group sessions (item 81110).

Our aged care specific health and wellbeing team can help.
Find out more.

* Paid contribution

Health Benefits of Good Work Biannual Forum: Fostering good work in the Territory

Friday 21 June 2019

You are invited to attend the biannual Health Benefits of Good Work Forum, a one-day industry forum of subject expert presentations, facilitated discussion, workshops and networking.

The theme, ‘Fostering good work in the Territory’, will bring multiple stakeholders together to discuss how good work affects small business, and rural and remote employment, as well as how to improve access to good work for people across Australia.

Register now.
For more  information, view the Health Benefits of Good Work Forum program.

Should I buy shares or property?

One of the most common questions to accountants is ‘Should I buy shares or property?’ The right answer is both, in fact as they can be excellent long-term investments respectively; however, not everyone has the luxury of buying both and so a decision needs to be made! 
Health finance experts, William Buck, explains your options.
*Paid contribution

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.