"The forthcoming election has provided us with definite differences between the incumbent ALP and the opposition coalition parties. The former is campaigning on the basis of super clinics and NBN based eHealth policies. The opposition is promoting increases in public hospital bed numbers, more spending on mental health and unbundling of Medicare Locals with the maintenance of Divisions of General Practice. Both parties have promised a linear accelerator for the North West but have been silent on aged care, indigenous health and rural health.
Health, unusually, has taken a back seat to other issues such as the economy and border security. Notwithstanding this both parties have engaged with the AMA with many of their policies based on our "Investing in Health" document.
Locally, we will see the roll out of the Local Hospital Networks and, subject to the outcome of the election, Medicare Locals. The AMA has stressed the need for significant doctor involvement at all levels in both entities. If you are considering becoming a Director of either entity's Board of Management please contact me through our office. AMA Tasmania would like to hear from you.
Our annual parliamentary dinner will be held on 21 September. Past attenders have enjoyed these dinners, having had the opportunity to meet State parliamentarians of all parties from both Houses. You will be able to meet our political representatives and chat with them over a meal. Please contact our office for further details.
Recently, we launched our Council of General Practice with Don Rose as Chair and Peter Sexton as Convenor. This will develop into a valuable policy development group for AMA Tasmania. We plan to meet every three months. For further details contact our office."
The School of Medicine is developing a new program to support doctors in training to develop the necessary skills to perform sensitive men’s examinations. Volunteers have been recruited from the community to act as “professional patients” to undergo genital and other physical examinations. After training the volunteers can provide valuable feedback to medical students on appropriate technique and etiquette.
The MAN-CHECK program has been modelled on the successful women’s Clinical Training Associates (CTA) program which has been delivered in medical schools throughout Australia for over a decade. To date there is no published data on a male CTS program in Australia, this prompted the development of MAN-CHECK by Professor Turner.
With the recruitment and training of the “professional patients” underway, it is expected a comprehensive teaching program will be delivered to medical students in early 2011.
There are a number of projects underway to support increased student numbers. Included in these projects is the Tasmanian Clinical Placement Partnership (TCPP). This project aims to increase the number of clinical places available to medical students along with other health science students, by implementing a state-wide Clinical Partnership Placement scheme. It is anticipated that 20 new clinical placements will be provided for medical students, this will generate 21,468 additional hours of training.
This will be achieved by expanding clinical placements into new settings including an emphasis on work in rural and remote areas. The partnership is comprised of UTAS, DHHS, General Practice Training Tasmania and the Hobart Private Hospital.
New facilities which will underpin a portion of these places are the Centre of Excellence for Rural Clinical Education (CERCE) at the Mersey Community Hospital, and the Launceston and the Clarence Integrated Care Centres. The development of the CERCE will include a clinical skills and simulation centre, multi-use teaching spaces, learning hubs and study areas, new staff offices and separate clinicians and student lounge areas. The improved facilities will facilitate more students to experience the rewards of living and working in regional areas and encourage students to consider future careers in rural health.
Recently Hobart hosted the Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA) conferences. AMSA focused on two topics; Think Global and Climate Change - how does it affect health. The feedback from attendees commended UTAS medical students for their commitment to these areas. Their excellent organisational skills also contributed to the success of the conference
The Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning where announced recently. Two staff from the School of Medicine were recognised for their outstanding contribution. I would like to congratulate Dr Derek Choi-Lunberg for development and enthusiastic delivery of constructively aligned, diverse, active learning sessions that motivate undergraduate medical students to learn human anatomy. Also congratulations to Professor Sankar Sinha for developing innovative active learning activities which prepare compassionate, holistic, critical and highly skilled medical practitioners. Further congratulations are extended to Sankar on his recent appointment as Professor of Wound Care.
I am very pleased to say our membership numbers have remained solid this year, at June 30 we were very close to the December 2009 total meaning all new members for the rest of the year are additional. The more support we have the more we are able to do. Activity levels are up as well with all three divisions meeting monthly and the Council of GP’s underway.
This time last year we were expecting to have a substantial debt to AMA Federal, however we have not had to draw down as much as we thought and now we have paid back a significant amount. So we are now in a good position and able to start to extend services especially to doctors in Private Practice.
The President Michael Aizen has mentioned the Parliamentary Dinner on the 21st September and I also encourage all members to come along help continue to build the rapport with Parliamentarians and their understanding of the health sector.
Influence on Government
As you all know I started in this position in March 2009 and I am continually surprised at the level of influence the AMA has with Government. This Federal election has seen many major initiatives put forward by both political parties which have originated from the AMA and its selection of papers of the past year or so. It shows me and the rest of Australia the depth of knowledge and the effectiveness of the AMA. Advocacy is the major reason for membership according to all member surveys and it is working well indeed.
Inside the AMA structure in Tasmania are the Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation and the Tasmanian Salaried Medical Practitioners Society. ASMOF is a branch of the national group of the same name and TSMPS is the state registered union with the Tasmanian IR Commission. The work done inside these organisations continues and negotiations with the State Government are always underway. Members who wish to bring an issue to our attention are very welcome to call me.
GP’s and Practice managers
In the south of the state we have been visiting many doctors in private practice and seeing their Practice Managers. I ask that you make time to see Ray Srodzinski and seriously consider joining the AMA as the benefits out weight the costs and the responsibility you fulfil as a leader in our community is helping to ensure a better health system for Tasmania and Australia. Call us now on 6223 2047.
AMA Member benefits
The Tasmanian Branch of the AMA has taken a few initiatives to AMA Federal that will hopefully provide great new services to members and a small revenue steam to the branch as well. These new programmes include telephone deals, assistance with administration of Occupational Health and Safety, Human Resource Management and Text services.
More information will be available shortly.
As you can see we are busy and in a good position, a very good outcome.
More than 18 months on and the effect of the global financial crisis is still being felt by many people. I recently attended a luncheon at which the conversation turned to the GFC and its impact on super funds. Most people sitting at my table felt they had little or no control over their funds during this period. One gentleman suggested that perhaps if he had been in a self-managed super fund, he would have faired better than most.
Super is an integral investment for your retirement savings and, if you are thinking of switching to a self -managed superannuation fund (SMSF), look before you leap is good advice. While SMSFs are great for some people, they don’t suit everyone and professional advice is essential before committing to this kind of fund. Apart from consulting both your accountant and financial adviser, there are a few key issues to
consider: Time and skill: An SMSF is a small superannuation fund established for between one and four people that is controlled by trustees or directors who are also members of the fund. Control stays with the members, and they decide how the fund will operate and what it will invest in. Self-managed super means that you do the work, and even if you receive advice, you remain legally responsible. Before considering an SMSF, you need to make sure you understand your role as a trustee and have the time to carry out your responsibilities.
Purpose: It’s important to ensure that the sole purpose of the assets and money in your fund is strictly for retirement benefits only - not to run a business or to benefit you or anyone else outside the fund. Non-compliance may result in some hefty penalties! Sufficient assets and running costs: You need to ensure that you have enough super savings to make an SMSF viable. Many experts suggest you need around $200,000 in super to make the establishment and ongoing costs worthwhile. SMSFs typically cost around $1,500 to $2,000 each year to run and that cost can increase if you use an administration service to assist you with the compliance of the fund.
These are just a few issues concerning self-managed super funds. Deciding whether an SMSF is right for you takes careful consideration and professional advice. An Aequis adviser can help you consider an SMSF in the context of your entire financial position so you can assess whether it’s an appropriate super strategy for you.
*Jackie Kirkwood and Aequis Pty Ltd are Authorised Representatives of GWM Adviser Services Limited ABN 96 002 071 749 Australian Financial Services Licensee Registered Office at 105 – 153 Miller Street North Sydney NSW 2060. GWM Adviser Services Limited is a Principal member of the Financial Planning Association.
AMA Southern Division Meetings are held the 1st Tuesday of every month
Venue: Marion House – Calvary Hospital.
Time: 6.00pm for 6.30pm start
Dinner: Light meal provided
RSVP / Contact: Ngairi Pirere – email@example.com
Topics : Presentation provided by prominent speaker on medical issues, Pharmaceutical Representative in attendance
A much needed addition to the small field of medical Iphone applications has been released this month. iDoctor is a toolbox of different logs that allow training doctors to keep track of their procedures performed, hours worked, patients seen, education attended and consults given.
Dr Rhys Clark a PGY2 resident at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth has developed this app in collaboration with Bonobo an Australian based iPhone developer. Dr Clark saw the need for the app while working on the wards with other doctors. “Many doctors told me they were losing out on pay owed to them because they weren’t keeping accurate records of their overtime,” says Dr Clark. The app allows users to log any unrostered overtime and exports simply to email as a spreadsheet that can be printed and submitted. Payslips are notoriously difficult to read and claims for overtime can take several pay periods to come through making it difficult to keep track of what has been paid. Overtime hours are initially saved within the app as “unclaimed” and then can be changed to “unpaid” and then “paid” status as users check their payslips. iDoctor has the potential to ensure that doctors don’t miss out on pay they are owed.
Doctors often encounter problems storing information on the go. “I was struggling to keep track of my surgical logbook. I found I had lots of different pieces of paper and patient stickers in my pockets and was always missing cases that needed to be included.” Training and service doctors are required to keep logbooks in order to demonstrate their case load and mix. The app allows users to log cases at the bedside or in theatre and then easily export to Excel and other spreadsheet programs. Data that can be saved in the surgical logbook includes date, procedure performed, patient identifiers, role, supervisor and the option to attach a photograph taken with the iPhone.
For junior doctors who are not required to keep a logbook, iDoctor can be used to keep track of procedures performed or assisted with, which is invaluable when it comes to college interviews. As hospitals move towards experience based credentialing this app becomes relevant for Emergency, Anaesthetic, Obstetric and Medical doctors alike. Once doctors have reached the required number of supervised procedures it is simple to email and print off the spreadsheet for authorisation. Ticker wheels permit users to enter the procedures or operations specific to their speciality and these are saved for use next time a procedure is entered.
iDoctor is password protected ensuring patient and doctor confidentiality is maintained at all times. The data can be backed up on your computer and easily downloaded again in the event that an iPhone is lost.
The third log allows doctors to keep track of patients seen including interesting, teaching or a specific category of patients. For example Emergency registrars may need to have seen a minimum number of paediatric cases, or medical students need to have clerked a certain number of patients from rural regions. After each patient contact it is quick and simple to enter the data into the iPhone and have this data available at all times. In addition, it is easy to save photographs taken with patient cases stored in the log. These photographs are only accessible through the iDoctor program and so are password protected.
The app also has a feature to keep track of phone advice or consults given to other doctors which may have medico-legal implications in the future.
The Education log allows users to store information on any professional development activities undertaken such as courses, lectures, conferences and tutorials. This is important in order to keep an up to date CV, optimising any educational activities that have been completed.
Part proceeds from the sale of this iDoctor will go to Australian Doctors for Africa, a charity providing volunteer doctors and nurses to areas of need in Africa. The iDoctor medical logbook is available now from the Appstore on all iPhones.
For more information please contact Dr Rhys Clark on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0402 104 274