RDAA President, Dr Ewen McPhee

Responding to a report in the Australian (9 Aug) that the Federal Health Department seeks the removal of 41 health roles, including GPs, from the skilled occupations list for visas, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says such calls should be part of Australia's future medical workforce considerations.

It also wants an ‘urgently required’ National Rural Generalist Framework to get more Australian-trained doctors to the rural and remote communities that need them.

Iron deficiency is a common problem in general practice. Traditionally it has been treated with oral tablets, intramuscular injections or intravenous administration. Each of these modalities have their own problems.

While tablets are first line therapy, they take several months to work and are associated with significant gastro-intestinal side effects. Intramuscular injections are painful and may lead to staining of the skin. Previous intravenous formats of iron have been associated with serious side effects during administration, most notably anaphylaxis.

Rapid replenishment of blood and iron stores is needed for pre-operative patients where blood loss during or prior to surgery can be expected. Bowel surgery, gynaecological operations and major joint replacements are those where haemoglobin and iron replacement needs pre-operative optimisation.

The Federal MP for Page, Kevin Hogan (Centre), with his wife Karen, and Paul Murphy, manager of The Winsome & Lismore Soup Kitchen, at Homelessness Connect day.

I would like to congratulate our North Coast Primary Health Network, which has been selected as one of four lead sites across Australia to implement the new $192 million suicide prevention program. This is exactly what I have been advocating to reduce suicide in our community.

Any suicide is tragic and unfortunately we have far too many in our community. Under this new programme, the North Coast PHN will receive millions of dollars in additional resources to develop localised methods to help prevent suicides.

The eHealth component of Practice Incentive Program was tightened on 1 May 2016. Practices are now required to upload Shared Health Summaries (SHS) for 0.5% of the Standard Whole Patient Equivalent (SWPE) population each quarter to qualify for the Incentive. Quarters commence on the first of February, May, August and November. The incentive for a practice can be up to $12,500 per quarter. 

The North Coast Primary Health Network has developed a guide to assisting practices in meeting their ePIP requirements. Section 4.6 of the guide shows how to determine the number of uploads in the preceding 3 months for three of the commonly used general practice electronic health records, Genie, Medical Director and Best Practice. 

Uploads to the PCEHR

Medical Director has a specific tool to calculate the number of uploads for the quarter. For Genie users the guide runs through the process for extracting the details of uploaded Shared Health Summaries. 


Every day one in five GPs will see a patient for whom they have little or no information at all - Health Minister Sussan Ley

More than four million Australians, about 17 per cent of the population, have registered for My Health Record, the Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley has announced.

With a My Health Record, both a patient and their healthcare professional can gain immediate access to important health information on-line,” the Minister said. “This can improve co-ordinated care outcomes, reduce duplication and provide vital information in emergency situations.”

She said it enabled people to become more active in managing their health as well as providing links between the multiple services many may need through their life.

Ms Ley said a steady increase in registrations had followed the recent MH“Every day one in five GPs will see a patient for whom they have little or no information at all - Health Minister Sussan LeyR re-launch.