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RACGP Queensland newsletter

6 November 2014

Chair report

Dr Eleanor Chew – Chair, RACGP Queensland Faculty

Having only just recovered from a jam-packed RACGP conference, I am sure all who were also in attendance can attest to Adelaide being a fabulous venue for GP14. The weather was glorious, the people friendly and the conference highlights were innumerable.

The RACGP Academic Session saw the official handing over of the Presidential Chains of Office by Dr Liz Marles to Dr Frank R Jones. Dr Marles has worked tirelessly and passionately to represent GPs and the RACGP during her 2 year term as RACGP President, facing challenges to the profession head on. Her immense contribution to the RACGP was acknowledged by a standing ovation by her peers. I would like to extend a sincere thanks to Dr Marles for her leadership and wish her all the best in her ‘retirement’.

Dr Jones originally hails from Wales but now calls Western Australia home. He has already gained popularity with his emphatic proclamation 'I am proud to be a GP!' at the GP14 Gala dinner. This is indeed a statement that we can all echo. GPs truly are the backbone of the Australian healthcare system. GP14 keynote speaker Dr Bazemore highlighted the difficulties encountered by the current US health system and made it evident that there was much to be envied in how Australian GPs deliver primary healthcare.

The extent and diversity of the session topics ranged across chronic disease management to procedural skills and mental health to health informatics was a clear demonstration of the depth and breadth of general practice. It is this mastery of dealing with undifferentiated problems across a spectrum of diseases whilst providing continuing whole person care that defines the unique specialty of general practice. 

The closing address by Dr Jill Benson was truly inspirational. She spoke of how GPs are healers, mentors and leaders for our patients, each other, students and our communities; and how by being more conscious of our leadership skills, we can inspire ourselves and our colleagues to be more resilient, courageous and visionary in our everyday lives.

GP14 provided an opportunity to reflect on the many positive aspects of being a GP, and I too can say that I am indeed proud to be a GP! As a practicing GP and practice owner, Dr Jones fully understands the complexities of our profession. I look forward to the next two years with Dr Jones at the helm as he steers the RACGP through the challenging waters ahead.

Queensland faculty news and events

Calendar of events

Clinical Emergency Management Program (CEMP) Intermediate workshop Saturday 22 November 2014 Brisbane
CPR workshop Tuesday 2 December 2014 Brisbane
The business of private practice Saturday 21 February 2015 Brisbane
Dermatology workshop Saturday 21 March 2015 Toowoomba 
58th Clinical Update Weekend Saturday – Sunday 2 – 3 May 2015 Brisbane

RACGP Brian Williams Award 2014

The RACGP Queensland Faculty congratulates Dr Barbara Jones, Queensland Faculty Assessment Panel Chair, on her recent achievement of being awarded the RACGP National Rural Faculty’s (NRF) Brian Williams Award for 2014.

The Brian Williams Award is the highest accolade to be awarded by the NRF and is awarded to a member of the RACGP who has made a significant contribution to the personal and professional welfare of rural doctors.

Literature review

No Advertising Please

This month's literature review is by Dr Andrew Gunn, a GP from Inala Primary Health Care. 

'We're obviously going to spend a lot in marketing because we think the product sells itself.' – Jim Allchin, Microsoft

No Advertising Please was launched at GP14 in October. The campaign, to just say no to drug reps for a year, is based on a premise that meeting drug reps is associated with poorer prescribing practices, overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

A Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) article1, published in August, has added to the body of literature2 suggesting pharmaceutical companies don’t waste the many billions they spend on marketing. This study surveyed a representative sample of several thousand first and fourth year medical students and third-year residents in the USA.

Participants were asked how they obtained information about prescription drugs. Fourth-year students and residents also answered questions on appropriate initial therapy for diabetes, hyperlipidaemia, hypertension and insomnia.

What was the most important source of information for 4th year students and junior doctors? Did you guess guidelines, the net and phone apps? Then you're wrong, because it was faculty and colleagues. We seem more inclined to trust words we hear than recommendations we read.

When the data was crunched, the study concluded that being relaxed about industry-physician interactions was associated with less knowledge of evidence-based guidelines and a greater recommendation of brand-name drugs. The authors suggested that trainees should be insulated from pharmaceutical marketing and drug reps.


  1. Austad KE, Avorn J, Franklin JM, Campbell EG, Kesselheim AS. Association of marketing interactions with medical trainees’ knowledge about evidence-based prescribing: Results from a national survey. JAMA Intern Med 2014;174(8):1283–90.

  2. Spurling GK, Mansfield PR, Montgomery BD, et al. Information from pharmaceutical companies and the quality, quantity and cost of physicians’ prescribing: A systematic review. PLoS Med 2010;7(10):e1000352.

National news and events

Upcoming webinars

The RACGP is increasing its offering of webinars to provide its members time efficient and convenient opportunities to keep up-to-date and engage with learning alongside key opinion leaders and peers.

Cancer genetics and medical prevention for general practice – exploring BRCA 1 / 2

Thursday 13 November 2014 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm Free Registration or more

ECG interpretation update 2

Presented by Cardiologist, Dr Vincent Khoury. Developed for GPs confident in reading ECGs or for those who have completed 'ECG interpretation update 1'.

Wednesday 19 November 2014 7.45 pm – 8.45 pm $65 (member) $95 (non member) Registration or more information

Cancer genetics and medical prevention for general practice – exploring lynch syndrome and other genetic conditions

Thursday 27 November 2014 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm Free Registration or more information

2014 MBS Fee Summary now available

The RACGP’s 2014 Medicare Benefits Schedule fee summary is now available.

The fee summary assists GPs and staff in billing appropriate services without the need to go through the entire MBS schedule, while also helping them locate item numbers that they might be unfamiliar with. Many RACGP members have indicated that this resource is an invaluable tool, frequently utilised in their everyday practice.

The fee summary can be freely accessed from the RACGP website. To request a hard copy, email


Digital Business Kits

The RACGP has launched its Digital Business Kits (DBK), an initiative funded by the Department of Communications Digital. The key aim of the RACGP’s DBK is to encourage general practices to improve their knowledge base and digital skills in areas where barriers to uptake have been identified. Examples of these barriers include a mistrust of, or lack of interest in, technology; a lack of belief that technology can improve the management of health information and lead to better evidence-based health outcomes; the high cost of investment in expensive technologies, training and ongoing support; and new technologies and systems impacting negatively on GP-patient relationships.

The RACGP DBK provides a range of resources to assist GPs improve their knowledge and skills in relation to technology, enabling practices to increase efficiency, deliver better patient outcomes and provide timely communication and data collection, ensuring safe and high quality care. The RACGP DBK is broken into the following four kits:

  • Kit 1:      Using technology to deliver healthcare
  • Kit 2:      Using technology for business
  • Kit 3:      Protecting your practice information
  • Kit 4:      Building your web presence

DBK users can work through each individual kit to target a specific area of interest or topic, or can select one of four plans that cover topics aimed at a particular level of technology, catering to all levels of proficiency. The RACGP strongly encourages you all to visit the RACGP website and investigate these free resources to see for yourself how they can help improve your daily practice. 

Silver book survey – win $200

The RACGP would like to thank everyone who participated in the RACGP's Silver book survey so far. If you would like to provide feedback on the Medical care of older persons in residential aged care facilities (Silver book), and you haven’t yet done so, please complete the brief online survey. Survey participants will go in the draw to win a $200 gift voucher from a department store of their choice. The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete and all survey responses will remain strictly confidential.

For enquiries, please email the RACGP’s Quality Care Unit at

External news and events*

Strengthened Immunoglobulin Product Authorisation and Management

The National Blood Authority (NBA) has developed a national policy for access to immunoglobulin products funded under the national blood arrangements in Australia, effective from 5 November 2014 (except Western Australia). This document clarifies the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders involved in the management of immunoglobulin, including:

  • the provision of information required to support initial and ongoing therapy
  • standardised national patient treatment review process with revised forms correspondence, and timeframes for providing information to support access requests for ongoing therapy
  • coordinated in-hospital ordering and management to improve transparency of product inventory, ensure that product is provided to approved patients only and to reduce expiry related wastage.

For more information on these changes, visit the NBA website.

Bowel cancer prevention campaign

The Jodi Lee Foundation recently launched Australia’s first national bowel cancer television commercial as part of a campaign to encourage Australians to screen regularly for bowel cancer. The message is simple – the more people who screen, the less bowel cancer we will see.

The Jodi Lee Foundation encourage people to screen at least every 2 years from the age of 50 and advise they visit their GP or pharmacist to obtain a test kit, particularly in the years they are not eligible for the National Bowl Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP). A positive test indicates the need for further assessment, which can be provided by a GP.

For more information, visit the Jodi Lee Foundation website.

Children’s Health Queensland Health and Hospital Service – Update

On Saturday 29 November, The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH) will open and the old Royal Children’s and Mater Children’s (public) hospitals will close permanently. The Mater will continue to provide private paediatric services. LCCH will bring together services and staff from the two original hospitals to form the largest and most advanced paediatric facility in Australia. LCCH is located at 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane.

Secondary paediatric services outside of LCCH, including those delivered in the greater Brisbane area at The Prince Charles, Redcliffe, Caboolture, Redlands and Logan hospitals, will continue and in some cases be expanded. The emergency department at the LCCH will open at 8.00 am and will be the emergency department for all paediatric patients from within the LCCH catchment from this time. Public paediatric emergency services will not be available at the Royal and Mater children’s hospitals after the 29 of November. Patients outside of the LCCH catchment should be referred to a local paediatric emergency department and they will be triaged and transferred to the LCCH if required.

Further information is available on the LCCH website

PHN update

Greater Metro South Brisbane will host a Primary Health Network update evening on Tuesday 11 November 2014 at The Landing Dockside, Brisbane.

This event continues on from the series of PHN events and will provide an update on the current changes in primary health, the transition of Medicare Locals to Primary Health Networks and what this means for primary healthcare, the not-for-profit sector and policy makers in the South-East Queensland region.

For more information or to RSVP for the event, contact or visit the event website.

Practice manager breakfast

Medical Insurance Group Australia (MIGA) invite GPs and practice managers to join a breakfast meeting, Clear and present danger ... How to recognise and deal with common practice failures, at the Hilton Brisbane, Thursday 27 November 2014. The meeting will focus on better understanding the five common areas of risk and how to be prepared.

For more information or to register for the event please visit the MIGA website.  


RACGP Queensland Faculty classifieds

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