May 2019

Chair report

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

It is amazing how quickly April has passed as we now approach the upcoming Federal Election on Saturday 18 May 2019. As a committed GP in the Australian community, the time between now and the election serves as an excellent opportunity to make your voice clearly heard among your local Federal Election candidates.
General practice remains the most accessed part of Australia’s healthcare system, with more than 150 million patient services provided by GPs and their healthcare teams each year. Despite this, general practice receives only 7.4% of total government health expenditure.
GPs and patients are asking all parties to put politics aside and demonstrate a genuine commitment to working with the RACGP to improving primary healthcare for all Australians. Please talk to your patients and let them know the challenges general practice faces today as well as the resulting negative implications for the community if there are no changes made.
I ask you to also find an opportunity to meet with your community’s local candidates and voice your concerns around the increasing difficulty of running general practice on a bulk-bill model. Today, many practices are forced to charge a co-payment to cover the cost of delivering quality general practice to their patients. Unfortunately, this increases the out-of-pocket expenses, which many Australians simply cannot afford.
The RACGP is calling the next Australian Government to:

  • recognise non face-to-face consultations (eg a video or telephone consult). This will allow patients to access health services if they are unable to drive to medical centres or live in a remote community  
  • increase the rebate for GP consultations to reflect the real cost of general practice services with subsequent appropriate indexing annually (as per the Consumer Price Index)
  • invest in mental health services by creating new item numbers for mental health consults lasting longer than 40–60 minutes combined with an overhaul of the mental health care plan structure
  • appropriately fund complex consultations in general practice that simply require more time spent with patients (eg C&D Consults).

I trust you will take this opportunity seriously and advocate for general practice in your community, while also encouraging your patients to do so.

Together, we can make a difference.
The RACGP has developed materials to help spread the call to make the health of all Australian’s the priority this election. Refer to the RACGP website for these resources.
Dr Zakaria Baig

Calendar of events

RACGP SA&NT upcoming events calendar 2019

Communication and dealing with difficult patient behaviour

Tuesday 7 May 2019

College House,
North Adelaide

Grand rounds: Emergency medicine

Tuesday 14 May 2019

Royston Park

Cultural awareness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Tuesday 28 May 2019

College House,
North Adelaide

Administering iron infusion intravenously

Tuesday 4 June 2019

College House,
North Adelaide

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

Emergency medicine and resuscitation update (CPR for GPs)

Wednesday 17 July 2019

NT PHN, Winnellie

Mid-winter 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

Grand rounds: Emergency medicine

Tuesday 14 May 2019

These interactive Grand Rounds will expose you to a number of clinical cases that you may see in your practice. Improve your confidence in treating them appropriately.
Specialist panel members will facilitate the clinical case discussions that will focus on:

  • cardiac failure – identifying uncommon presentations
  • paediatric meningitis – recognising concerning features and knowing when to act
  • deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – differentiating between stable and unstable patients.

If you have any queries, please call Elaine Dalby on 08 8267 8362 or email
Register now.

QI&CPD small group support session

Wednesday 12 June 2019

RACGP SA&NT is running a complimentary face-to-face session to assist you with meeting the QI&CPD requirements for the 2017–19 triennium.

Session outlines

  • Outline options available for the QI activity
  • Revisit PLAN – assistance with commencing or completing PLAN (if you would like this to be your QI activity or you would like help finishing the PLAN activity you have already started.)

If you have any queries, please call Roberta Morris on 08 8267 8334 or email
Register now.

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
Register now.

2019 RACGP SA&NT Fellowship Ceremonies

RACGP SA&NT is pleased to advise the dates for the Fellowship and Awards ceremonies for 2019. 

South Australia – Saturday 24 August 2019

Northern Territory – Saturday 7 September 2019

Each year the RACGP celebrates the achievements of graduates by inviting them to receive their Fellowship at graduation ceremonies held around the country.

In the past, a national academic ceremony has also been held in conjunction with the annual RACGP conference. This year sees 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. 

More information is coming soon.


Welcome new Fellows

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

  • Dr Terence Chung
  • Dr Sophie Donald
  • Dr Katherine Drinkwater
  • Dr Jessica Lawson
  • Dr Joel Lee
  • Dr Margaret McShane
  • Dr Alicia Stevenson
  • Dr Julia Wellala Godage

2019 RACGP Awards – Recognising excellence in general practice

Nominate your peers for an RACGP award for their exceptional work in general practice. The RACGP Awards celebrate the important contribution GPs make to the health of patients and communities across Australia. Nominations are now open for all state-based and honorary awards.

Awards for General Practice of the Year, General Practice Supervisor of the Year, General Practitioner of the Year and Registrar of the Year are open across all states and territories.

State winners in each award category will be announced in July, with the national winner selected from the pool of state winners. National winners will be announced at GP19 in October.

To help you engage with your community, the RACGP has developed support materials, including social media images, an email signature banner and a poster to promote nominations for your GPs and practice.

To access the materials and for further information, visit the RACGP Awards webpage.

RACGP SA&NT Councillor spotlight: Dr Stratos Roussos

This month, we place the spotlight on Dr Stratos Roussos, RACGP SA&NT Councillor and Northern Territory Assessment Panel Chair.

Dr Roussos works for Danila Dilba Health Services in the Rapid Creek Clinic.

His initial interest in primary health care started as a medical student when he undertook a placement in Central Australia within the remote Aboriginal community of Aputula. He describes it as an incredible experience for many reasons: the extent of pathology he encountered, the wonderful people he met and the outstanding natural beauty of Central Australia was something he had never experienced before. Being a bright-eyed young Tasmanian medical student, he was exposed to the breadth and flexibility that general practice could offer.

After a multitude of hospital and overseas-based placements, he undertook his first GP training placement in the rural Tasmanian town of George Town. He considers himself very fortunate to have had such enthusiastic and highly skilled GP supervisors and be exposed to a wonderful variety of acute and chronic medicine. 'I was hooked and knew this was the career for me', said Dr Roussos.

Dr Roussos’s motivation for working as a GP is to strive towards better health outcomes for the local population. He enjoys helping patients with complex or chronic issues and working in a team to empower people with making better health choices and lifestyle decisions. While this often challenging, it is also incredibly rewarding.
He also enjoys being actively involved in registrar training and teaching. He believes that imparting knowledge and skills to junior colleagues is an essential part of the role of general practitioners.

'Being a member of the RACGP is not simply about belonging to a group of professionals. As a collective, we are in a stronger position to advocate for our patients and to hold the government accountable to ensure investment in high quality, accessible general practice services for all Australians.

'Being on the RACGP SA&NT Council allows me to help shape what general practice in the Northern Territory will look like in the future and facilitate the ongoing standards, fairness and integrity of the RACGP Fellowship program.'

On behalf of RACGP SA&NT, we thank Dr Roussos for sharing his perspectives 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 OSCE Saturday 25 May 2019
2019.1 OSCE results released Wednesday 10 July 2019
2019.2 KFP (enrolment period 18 March – 17 May) Friday 19 July 2019
2019.2 AKT (enrolment period 18 March – 17 May) Saturday 20 July 2019
2019.2 AKT results released Wednesday 28 August 2019
2019.2 KFP results released Wednesday 11 September 2019

SA&NT pre-exam courses and events

2019.2 AKT and KFP preparation workshop – Adelaide Saturday 4 May 2019
2019.2 AKT and KFP pre-exam workshop – Darwin Saturday 11 May 2019
2019.2 AKT and KFP tutorial series – Adelaide Monday 3 June 2019
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

AGPT 2020 – Applications are now closed

Thank you to all the candidates who applied for selection into the 2020 Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program with the RACGP. 

Applications and supporting documents will be checked by the Department of Health (DoH) to establish eligibility for the AGPT Program. Candidates will be notified of their eligibility status from the DoH by Thursday 6 June 2019. 

If you are deemed eligible, you will be required to sit the Candidate Assessment and Applied Knowledge Test (CAAKT). This national assessment will be held from Thursday to Sunday 27–29 June 2019 at various locations.

The CAAKT comprises a knowledge test and situational judgement test questions. It is based on the RACGP education framework and focuses on knowledge, skills and attributes related to becoming a GP. For sample CAAKT questions, visit the RACGP AGPT website.

For more information regarding the CAAKT, please contact

External news

SA Health update: Has the flu season started already?

South Australian influenza surveillance data indicates that the level of notifications for 2019 is four times the five-year average. In response, SA Health is arranging distribution of Commonwealth and State funded influenza vaccine earlier than originally planned. 

General practices, residential care facilities and other health services are encouraged to review their influenza management plans, including infection control measures, now.  

SA Health and Commonwealth resources on influenza management, influenza vaccination and infection control measures are available.
For more information on communicable diseases, visit the Communicable Disease Control Branch website or call 1300 232 272.

New options for MATOD prescribing training

Medical practitioners can apply for authorities to treat up to five patients with buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) for opioid dependence.
To prescribe methadone, buprenorphine (Subutex®) or buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) for more than five patients, a medical practitioner must be accredited.
Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) offers training to become an accredited Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (MATOD) prescriber that involves:

  • theory – available as an online resource 
  • skills development – half-day activity using standardised patients and supervised by an experienced MATOD prescriber. 

Clinical resources for MATOD prescribing are also available.
For further information, email Jane Scarborough at or call 08 7415 5045.

CrazySocks4Docs day – Friday 7 June 2019

CrazySocks4Docs day is all about raising awareness of the mental health of all doctors and health practitioners around the world! No matter who you are, anyone can get involved.
A breakfast will be held on Wednesday 5 June 2019 at the Adelaide Convention Centre to launch CrazySocks4Docs day.


  • Dr Geoff Toogood – Cardiologist and founder of CrazySocks4Docs
  • Professor Michael Baigent – Psychiatrist
  • Professor Paul Ward – Head of Public Health, Flinders University – leading research on doctors’ mental health and suicide risk           
  • Dr Jill Benson AM – GP at Doctors’ Health SA

 Visit the CrazySocks4Docs website for more information and to register for the breakfast.

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.