Media Releases 2012

58 documents.
Title Date
UGPA media release -- GP leaders call for urgent action on GP workforce
Australia’s GP leaders – United General Practice Australia (UGPA) – met in Canberra today to discuss their response to Volume 3 of Health Workforce Australia’s (HWA) Workforce 2025 Report, which was released earlier this month, and to identify priority areas for Government investment to ensure a strong general practice workforce into the future. UGPA recognises the maldistribution of the current GP workforce and calls on the Government to address this issue as a matter of urgency.
28/11/2012
Review of GP registrar arrangements “critical”
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says a review of GP registrar employment models and the adequacy of teaching payments to GP supervisors is “critical”, given that increasing cost pressures and decreasing supports are leading more general practices to question whether they can afford to employ and supervise GP registrars.
27/11/2012
RDASA media release -- New President for Rural Doctors Association of South Australia
The past weekend has seen the gathering of rural doctors from across South Australia at the combined Rural Doctors Workforce Agency and Rural Doctors Association of South Australia annual conference. The weekend also saw the election of Dr Scott Lewis as President of RDASA. Dr Lewis is a General Practitioner who has been based in Wudinna for 5 years. Scott graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2002 and completed his specialist General Practitioner training in rural South Australia.
21/11/2012
Government ‘ROALS’ out expanded locum support for rural doctors
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed Federal Government funding to expand a highly successful program that has been providing much-needed locum assistance to rural obstetricians since 2006…and will now also assist rural anaesthetists. Formerly known as the Specialist Obstetrician Locum Scheme (SOLS), the program has been facilitating the provision of subsidised locum assistance to overworked rural GP and specialist obstetricians, to enable them to have crucial time-off for recreation or upskilling.
09/11/2012
Outgoing RDAA President slams Government inaction on key concerns
The outgoing President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Paul Mara, has sent a parting shot to the Federal Government for its failure to listen to rural doctors over the illogical Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system and District of Workforce Shortage (DWS) scheme. “While the Australian Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA) is finally undertaking a review of these programs, we have had five years of wasted opportunity that has severely affected and created uncertainty around rural health workforce policy” Dr Mara said. “The Department has now admitted that the massive cost blow-out in the scheme, that is intended to provide incentives to retain doctors in rural areas, was largely the fault of the ASGC-RA."
31/10/2012
Rural doctors call for salaried registrar system
The Board of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has called for the current percentage / turnover-based payment system for GP registrars to be replaced with a salaried system. GP registrars are fully qualified doctors who have completed their intern years, and are subsequently undergoing further training to become a doctor qualified to work in the discipline of general practice. They undertake a significant amount of their additional GP training in rural and urban general practices, with that training (and the oversight of patient consults undertaken by the registrars) provided by experienced GPs in these practices. “We believe a salaried system would benefit both registrars and the practices in which they work” new RDAA President, Dr Sheilagh Cronin, said.
31/10/2012
General practice — delivering taxpayer value in tight fiscal times: new RDAA President
The new President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Sheilagh Cronin, said today that in an era where governments are having to keep a close watch on budgets, medical practices right around Australia—both rural and urban—are providing high quality healthcare to Australia’s population at “bargain basement prices”. She said that with additional support from governments, these practices could be making an even greater contribution to cost-efficient healthcare provision into the future. Dr Cronin works as a rural doctor in Queensland, and replaces Dr Paul Mara as RDAA President following the completion of his two-year term.
30/10/2012
National award for rural doctor who works through ‘hell and high water’
In last year’s floods, when the small community of Theodore became the first ever to be entirely evacuated in Queensland, veteran rural GP, Dr Bruce Chater, was one of the last to leave. This year, at the national Rural Medicine Australia 2012 conference in Fremantle, Dr Chater was honoured with the ACRRM-RDAA Peter Graham ‘Cohuna’ award, recognising his dedication to his community for the past thirty years.
28/10/2012
NSW medical student takes top honour at Rural Doctors conference
Fourth year medical student James Roth, from Orange in NSW and studying at Deakin University in Geelong, has been named the Telstra RDAA Medical Student of the Year 2012, for his dedication to, and involvement in, rural health. James received the prestigious award at a gala dinner at Rural Medicine Australia 2012, the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), held in Fremantle over the weekend. RDAA President, Dr Sheilagh Cronin, said the awards selection committee was impressed by James’ commitment to rural health, his involvement in his university’s Rural Health Club and the National University Rural Health Conference, and his medical student placements right around Australia.
28/10/2012
Remote medicine specialist awarded rural medical Registrar of the Year
Cairns-based rural medical registrar, Dr Tonia Marquardt, has been awarded the Telstra RDAA-ACRRM Rural Registrar of the Year Award 2012 for her outstanding work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Dr Marquardt was presented the award during a gala dinner at Rural Medicine Australia 2012, the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), held in Fremantle over the weekend. ACRRM President, Professor Richard Murray, said he was very happy to be able to award the honour to such an accomplished doctor who is formalising her qualifications in rural health after gaining more than 10 years experience in third world countries.
28/10/2012
Rural doctor husband and wife team awarded top honour
Drs Martin and Fiona Altmann, from Murray Bridge in South Australia, have been recognised for their outstanding commitment to rural health and longstanding community service, by being jointly awarded the Telstra RDAA Rural Doctor of the Year Award 2012. The couple received the award at a gala dinner at Rural Medicine Australia 2012, the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), held in Fremantle over the weekend. For the past 20 years, Martin and Fiona have both worked in a large rural practice in Murray Bridge, as well as providing obstetric, anaesthetic, surgical and intensive care services to the local hospital.
28/10/2012
Media alert - Critical issues to be raised during major medico- political forum at national rural doctors conference
Over 370 rural doctors and medical trainees are expected to attend a critical medico-political forum in Fremantle tomorrow to discuss key issues impacting on access to healthcare services across rural and remote Australia, and the need to build adequate numbers of health professionals in the bush now and into the future. The forum is held annually as part of the Rural Medicine Australia conference convened by the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM). This year’s record-breaking conference is attracting around 450 delegates.
28/10/2012
Westward Ho, the doctors! Bush doctors go west for major national conference
A record number of rural doctors are heading west to update their medical skills and knowledge, and discuss key rural health issues as they gather in Fremantle for their key national conference, Rural Medicine Australia 2012 (RMA 2012). The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Demonstrating the diversity’, and the diverse and challenging nature of rural and remote health will certainly be on show through the range of discussion forms, workshops, and skills updates, as well as the array of research presentations which will be part of the biennial Scientific Symposium. Hosted by the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), RMA 2012 will be attended by more than 340 doctors, registrars, academics, educators, junior doctors, medical students and other health professionals with an interest in rural and remote health care.
25/10/2012
RDAV media release -- Rural doctors call for urgent action on Kyneton Hospital dispute
The Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV) is calling for effective action to restore proper medical services in Kyneton Hospital. RDAV President, Dr Mike Moynihan, said that the actions taken by the hospital are leading to poorer access to medical services for the Kyneton community. “Kyneton Hospital is heading towards a medical model that does not use the available rural generalist doctors with advanced skills capability in the town, which is causing a progressive deterioration in the standard of service provided” Dr Moynihan said.
16/10/2012
Report on the Survey of Rural Specialists 2012
In 2012 RDAA conducted a survey to learn more about issues facing specialist medical practitioners who are living and working in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia. The report on the survey was compiled by Kristine Battye Consulting.
11/10/2012
Senate inquiry findings vindicate Rural Doctor stance
The outcomes from the recent Senate Inquiry into rural health have provided a ringing endorsement for the policies put forward by rural doctors over many years. Dr Paul Mara, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), thanked the members of the committee and said that he was very pleased to read the outcomes of the report.
24/08/2012
Plain packaging more than just smoke and mirrors
Rural doctors are congratulating the Labor Government for their strong stance on plain packaging legislation for cigarettes with smoking being a leading cause of cancer in rural patients. Dr Paul Mara, President of the Rural Doctors Association (RDAA), has congratulated the Attorney General and the Health Minister after the High Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the legislation.
17/08/2012
RDASA media release -- Rural doctors encouraged to sign new agreement
The Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA) is encouraging rural GPs providing services at Country Health SA Local Health Network (CHSA LHN) hospitals to sign up to a new industrial agreement announced today. The new three-year agreement incorporates improved conditions of service for rural GPs working as independent medical contractors (or Visiting Medical Officers) at Country Health SA hospitals. “This agreement is the result of 18 months of intensive negotiations between RDASA and CHSA LHN” RDASA President, Dr Tim Wood, said. “It better recognises the substantial commitment that rural GPs make in providing medical services to their patients—both in their private practices and in local rural hospitals—and the significant time and cost impact of their hospital duties on their private practice workflow and primary care service provision.”
14/08/2012
RDAV and RDAA joint release -- Long overdue action on quad bikes applauded
The Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV) and Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) have added their voice to those concerned about the dangers of quad bike riding. "Since 2001, there have been over 150 deaths in Australia from quad bike accidents, with 23 deaths last year and 10 deaths so far this year” said Dr Malcolm Anderson, RDAV representative on the Victorian Farmers Federation’s Farm Safety Committee. "Almost 65% of these accidents occur on farms, and almost 50% are due to roll-over incidents where death is caused by asphyxiation. Other causes of death include head injury, and those due to other injuries sustained in the accident."
07/08/2012
Media alert -- Rural Medicine Australia 2012 conference, 26-28 October, Fremantle
Hosted by the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), Rural Medicine Australia is the peak annual national conference for rural doctors and other professionals working in rural and remote communities. More than 400 doctors, registrars, academics, educators, junior doctors, medical students and other health professionals with an interest in rural and remote health care are expected to attend. The three-day conference will feature: • Influential key speakers from Australia and abroad • A national medico-political forum • A wide range of clinical training sessions and research presentations • Announcement of the Rural Doctor, Rural Registrar and Medical Student of the Year awards at a gala dinner The biennial scientific forum on rural and remote medicine will feature research presentations in a variety of streams, discussion forms, workshops, and skills updates.
06/08/2012
RDAQ media release -- RDAQ President gains commitment for Breastscreen Queensland
The Rural Doctors Association of Queensland President, Dr Adam Coltzau, has sought direct clarification from Queensland Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg, about media reports suggesting Breastscreen Queensland will be ‘dismantled’ by the Newman Government. Dr Coltzau said he had directly spoken with Minister Springborg on Sunday, who reassured him that no woman would be worse off under the LNP Government’s changes.
06/08/2012
Rural doctors urged to "pin down" Medicare Locals on after-hours issues
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says that with existing rural after-hours medical services facing significant funding uncertainty from July 2013, rural doctors should urgently “pin down” their new Medicare Local on how after-hours services will be provided in their area from that time on. From next July, after-hours funding—currently delivered through the federal Practice Incentives Program system to practices providing after-hours services—will be instead be diverted to Medicare Locals, which will have responsibility for determining how the services are provided. Unless the funding is then passed in full to the rural practices providing after-hours services, these practices could stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars in critical support payments. In many cases, the loss of financial support could make providing the existing after-hours service unviable.
31/07/2012
RDAV media release -- Realism for Victorian rural maternity required
The President of the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV), Dr Mike Moynihan, today called for a more realistic approach to the provision of rural maternity services in Victoria. “The release this month of Monash research into outcomes of travelling in labour highlights the perils of not providing strategically placed and fully resourced maternity units,” Dr Moynihan said.
29/06/2012
United General Practice Australia media release -- GP leaders discuss primary care issues with Minister
The leaders of members of United General Practice Australia (UGPA) yesterday met Federal Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek MP, at Parliament House in Canberra to discuss the major issues affecting hardworking GPs across the country. Discussions centred on medical workforce, changes to Practice Incentive Payments, and the imminent implementation of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).
27/06/2012
Rural Aussies sick of health inequalities…literally!
The most recent report-card on the health of Australians has again shown that the further people live away from major cities, the less healthy they are likely to be. Australia’s Health 2012, the biennial report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, was released last week and the statistics on rural health are again very disappointing. “The shortage of doctors in rural towns is making us sicker…literally” President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Paul Mara, said. “The report shows that in the cities there is one doctor for every 255 people. In outer-regional areas that ratio almost doubles to one doctor for every 485 people! “This critical shortage of doctors contributes to the health inequalities described in this report."
27/06/2012
Dedicated rural doctors recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours
The dedicated service to their communities and profession of two Rural Doctors Association members—Dr Pieter Mourik (from Wodonga, Victoria) and Dr Johanna Kovats (from Crookwell, NSW)—has been recognised with Order of Australia awards on the Queen’s Birthday. President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Paul Mara, said he was very pleased to see the two highly committed doctors recognised for their exceptional service to rural medicine and their communities. “On behalf of RDAA, I warmly congratulate Dr Mourik and Dr Kovats on their awards” Dr Mara said.
20/06/2012
Long hours and isolation key factors in the safety of rural and remote professionals
Teachers, police, doctors and nurses in rural and remote areas feel vulnerable to violence in the workplace when working alone in isolated settings and working unsociable hours, according to a recent survey of more than 600 rural and remote professionals. The survey was carried out as part of the 'Working Safe in Rural and Remote Australia' project. The project is a collaborative effort of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Australian Nursing Federation, Police Federation of Australia, the Queensland Teachers’ Union and CRANAplus and is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Ageing. The report on the findings of the survey, and of a literature and document review, is available online at www.rdaa.com.au/policies-submissions/papers.
19/06/2012
RDAV media release -- Portland obstetrics closure: a warning
The Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV) has expressed significant concern today about the full closure of maternity services in Portland. “This is a large town with probably over 200 births every year. It is playing with fire to make mothers travel in labour over an hour to Hamilton or Warrnambool to give birth” said RDAV Vice President, Dr Sue Harrison. “For years Portland Hospital has provided a part-time maternity service, with only 32 births in 2009, and now even that is gone."
19/06/2012
National solution for training doctors for rural practice
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has today launched a discussion paper that outlines a proposal for a National Advanced Rural Training Program (NARTP), aimed at securing a pipeline of doctors with the qualifications, skills and experience required for rural practice. The paper was developed following consultation with a range of other stakeholders on core principles to underpin such a program. The discussion paper can be downloaded from www.rdaa.com.au (go to Papers). Submissions in response to the discussion paper can be emailed to ceo@rdaa.com.au or posted to: Chief Executive Officer RDAA PO Box 3636 MANUKA ACT 2603 The closing date for submissions is 27 July 2012.
19/06/2012
Why won’t you listen on the ASGC-RA? Queensland rural doctors ask the question.
The President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Paul Mara, has promised Queensland’s rural doctors that RDAA will be “like a dog at a bone” until much-needed fixes are made to the Federal Government’s troubled Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system. Dr Mara said the ASGC-RA was not only affecting the capacity of medical practices in many small rural towns to attract and retain doctors, but that inevitably it would affect the viability of rural communities themselves. His warning came during a sometimes heated medico-political forum at the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland’s annual conference, held at the weekend, at which one doctor asked of the Federal Government in frustration: “Why won’t you just listen to us?”
13/06/2012
RDAQ Conference 2012 media alert -- New health minister to share vision with bush docs
Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg will lead what promises to be a highly charged discussion on the future of health care across the state at this weekend’s Rural Doctors Association of Queensland annual conference on the Gold Coast. As one of the Queensland Government’s most experienced parliamentarians, Mr Springborg’s vision for state-wide health care is keenly anticipated. His appearance at RDAQ’s popular ‘Medico-Political’ forum at the Hyatt Regency, Sanctuary Cove on Sunday, June 9 from 11.20am-1pm will provide a platform for the new Health Minister to outline the future of healthcare across the nation’s most de-centralised state. Mr Springborg will be joined on the forum’s panel by one of the most powerful line-ups of key decision makers and health policy shapers ever assembled in the 23 years of highly successful RDAQ conferences.
05/06/2012
RDAQ Conference 2012 media alert -- RDAQ conference tackles mens' health
AN engaging session on men’s health provocatively titled ‘When Things Drop Off, Fall Out and Don't Work Anymore’ will form part of this year’s Rural Doctors Association of Queensland annual conference. Dr Toby Ford, founder of Ford Health, a leader in providing corporate health and workplace wellbeing programs for more than two decades, will explain what it takes to flush reluctant male patients from regional, remote and rural locations out of their "rabbit burrows" and into medical care.
04/06/2012
Government silence on rural “policy wreck” draws uproar of concern at Senate inquiry
Claims by the Federal Government that a classification system used to determine relocation and retention grants for rural doctors is working well have been strongly discredited by peak health bodies and rural doctors from across Australia at a Senate inquiry. After recently giving evidence to the inquiry into The factors affecting the supply of health services and medical professionals in rural areas, RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said he was overwhelmed by the response from other witnesses who echoed RDAA’s call for urgent action to address the obvious anomalies in the system. “The complete failure of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system to provide incentives that recruit and retain much-needed doctors in small rural towns—and instead to do the exact opposite—was exposed by witness after witness at the inquiry” Dr Mara said.
23/05/2012
RDASA media release -- Rural doctors praise SA Government on Keith hospital deal
The Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA) has welcomed a deal struck by the SA Government and the board of Keith & District Hospital to ensure the ongoing viability of medical services to the Keith community. The Government offered the hospital board a $350,000 grant for 2012-13, which should enable the community to obtain an appropriate general practice service for Keith and its surrounding areas.
23/05/2012
RDAQ Conference 2012 media alert -- Mark Loane to address rural colleagues
ONE of the world’s foremost specialists in diseases of the eye and former Wallaby great Dr Mark Loane will deliver the keynote address at next month’s Rural Doctors Association annual conference on the Gold Coast. Renowned in the expert care he provides out of his busy inner city clinic in Brisbane for glaucoma, cataract surgery and general ophthalmology, Dr Loane is no stranger to rural Queensland as head of the Cape York Eye Health Project, delivering eye health services to remote communities in the Cape York Peninsula.
23/05/2012
Rural doctors seek urgent answers on significant ‘budget sleepers’
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is “very concerned” about additional cuts announced in last week’s federal budget and is seeking urgent clarification from the Federal Government on them. “The Government has been trying to sell this budget as a big win for health, but we are worried about the devil in the detail on a number of fronts” RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said.
15/05/2012
Is there a doctor in the house? Rural doctors to appear before Senate inquiry.
Rural Australia is short about 1000 GPs, and many towns are lacking doctors with the appropriate skills, training and qualifications to provide the level of care needed in rural areas. “People in the bush shouldn’t be left asking “Is there a doctor in the house?” when they need medical care. They should be able to expect there to be appropriately qualified doctors available to them,” said Dr Paul Mara, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA). RDAA will be making a presentation to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs’ Inquiry into the Factors Affecting the Supply of Health Services and Medical Professionals in Rural Areas tomorrow, and a key point it will be making is the failure of government policy to ensure quality medical care in the bush. “The current policy of bringing in overseas trained doctors (OTDs) to overcome this acute shortage of GPs in the bush has failed miserably,” Dr Mara said. “Despite being in place for 15 years, we are still seeing this shortfall of around 1000 GPs."
14/05/2012
Budget again fails the bush: more doctors to walk away
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says the federal budget has again ignored the medical workforce crisis in rural and remote communities. “The Government just doesn’t get it. It has failed to listen and engage in any meaningful discussion on fixing the problems in rural health. Doctors and other health workers are losing hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and will simply drop out of services or even leave their towns” RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said.
08/05/2012
Federal budget 2012 — no time to let rural health slip through the cracks
Rural doctors are urging the Federal Government to invest more in the rural health sector in tomorrow’s federal budget, saying it not only makes sense from a health perspective but also from an economic one. In its pre-budget submission lodged earlier this year, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) called on the Government to implement measures to address the continuing shortage of rural health professionals and associated poorer health outcomes for rural and remote Australians.
07/05/2012
Government inaction on “policy wreck” flabbergasting, as more doctors leave the bush
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says it is “flabbergasted beyond belief” that the Federal Government continues to do nothing while a “policy wreck” of its creation continues to wreak havoc across rural and remote Australia. The latest town to fall victim to the “unbelievably misguided” Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system is Moree, in north-west NSW, where one long-serving doctor has announced she will reluctantly have to leave the town at the end of the year in order to be able to reduce her workload.
02/05/2012
RDAQ media release -- Country practice needs new blood and new ways
THE answer to getting more doctors into rural areas starts with training country students in regionally based facilities, according to Rural Doctors Association of Queensland President, Dr Ewen McPhee. Dr McPhee says RDAQ endorses the Australian Medical Association’s submission to the Senate inquiry into Australia’s Rural Health Workforce which points out the failures of traditional medical schools within Australian universities to address the doctor shortage plaguing rural and regional Australia. “The AMA report confirms that old-fashioned courses have failed to attract and train a sufficient number of country students. There are just not enough country kids getting into medical schools” Dr McPhee said.
17/04/2012
The National Advanced Rural Training Program: a rennaissance for rural healthcare
16/04/2012
You'll never, never know...
16/04/2012
E-health: not just a flick of a switch for overworked doctors
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has cautioned the Federal Government that the Personally Controlled E-Health Record (PCEHR) system will fail unless doctors and practices are fairly compensated for the time and risk involved in establishing and maintaining e-health records for their patients. RDAA has joined a range of other medical organisations in calling for better support for doctors and practices in implementing the new system. “RDAA strongly supports the PCEHR system—it will bring enormous benefits to patients and the health system, and we want to see it work” RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said. “But the Government seems to expect that doctors will do all the work and take all the risks in bringing patients to the system, but receive nothing in return."
16/04/2012
RDAQ media release -- Rural docs welcome new minister
Rural Doctors Association of Queensland President, Dr Ewen McPhee, has welcomed the appointment of Lawrence Springborg to the role of Health Minister in the new State LNP Government. Dr McPhee has also congratulated Premier Campbell Newman on his emphatic election win and his new ministry, which promises new energy for change across Queensland. Dr McPhee said his members particularly welcomed the appointment of Lawrence Springborg.
04/04/2012
Inquiry shows OTDs not a workforce solution for rural Australia
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed recognition by a federal inquiry that more needs to be done to better assist, support and supervise Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) seeking to register and work in Australia. The report of the Inquiry into Registration Processes and Support for Overseas Trained Doctors—undertaken by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing—makes various recommendations to increase the transparency, fairness and accountability of registration processes for OTDs. RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said recommendations in the report clearly showed that importing doctors from overseas and forcing them to work in the bush to solve Australia’s medical workforce shortage was not a short or even medium-term solution.
21/03/2012
RDAQ media release -- Bush docs welcome LNP health plan
A long-awaited plan from the LNP to address Queensland’s ailing health system in the bush has met with cautious approval the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland. RDAQ President, Dr Ewen McPhee, said comments made by Opposition Health spokesman Mark McArdle outside Beaudesert Hospital last week were reassuring and showed the LNP was prepared to acknowledge the depth of the state-wide problem. Dr McPhee said the LNP should be supported in developing workable solutions that would help alleviate the strain on medical services in rural and remote communities. Mr McArdle said he wanted to see a “rural generalist model” rolled out across Queensland, providing rural communities with doctors and nurses capable of delivering a broad range of vital services including maternity and obstetrics.
20/03/2012
RDAQ media release -- Chinchilla Hospital debacle: more ‘Yes Minister’
A new approach to rural health would have prevented last week’s downgrading of Chinchilla Hospital, according to Rural Doctors Association of Queensland President, Dr Ewen McPhee. “Birthing services at Chinchilla are at risk because the health district had assessed Chinchilla as not having the adequate staffing and medical support for the doctors and nurses in the town to deal with emergencies 24-7” Dr McPhee said. “This also puts in jeopardy surgical and procedural services previously available at Chinchilla. "It is RDAQ's advice that the health district had quite properly reclassified Chinchilla Hospital to a higher level as a response to community concern and to identified need. The only appropriate response is to then provide the necessary support."
20/03/2012
United General Practice Australia media release -- General practice must be funded to help implement PCEHR
At a meeting in Canberra today, United General Practice Australia (UGPA) leaders unanimously expressed concern about the lack of preparation for the practical implementation at practice level of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR), which is due to be introduced on 1 July this year. UGPA members have been working tirelessly with the Government and agencies for some time to ensure the PCEHR becomes a reality. The UGPA leaders agree that individual general practices and individual GPs must be properly funded and supported by the Government to assist in the smooth implementation of the PCEHR.
07/03/2012
RDAQ media release -- Bush docs urge action on rural health neglect
Chronic mismanagement of medical services in small rural communities has left several communities without a local doctor and others facing a similar fate, says the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland. President, Dr Ewen McPhee, said signs of the severe neglect of health service delivery for country folk could be seen right across Queensland. Dr McPhee said RDAQ’s pre-election submission, “A Healthier Health System for Queensland”, had a plan to turn this around.
06/03/2012
RDAQ media release -- Country doctors pre-election push for birthing mums
President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland, Dr Ewen McPhee, today called on all political parties to declare their positions on safe, sustainable maternity services in the lead-up to the State election. “Maternity closures have gone too far and risks are increasing” Dr McPhee said. “Queensland Health is allowing country Queensland families to face an increasing danger of giving birth in hospitals that are now less well-equipped, or where staff are not getting the ongoing training and support they need. Worse than that, anxious families will be having their babies in cars or ambulances alongside our country roads.”
28/02/2012
Rural doctors to hold national breakfast briefing for federal politicians -- Wednesday 29 February, Parliament House, Canberra
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) will hold a national breakfast briefing for federal politicians at Parliament House in Canberra tomorrow (Wednesday 29 February 2012). This is the third such annual briefing to be held by RDAA and coincides with the 25th anniversary year of the rural doctors movement in Australia. Around 20 rural doctors from across Australia will be at the briefing to discuss directly with federal politicians the key national health policy issues facing rural doctors and their patients.
28/02/2012
Significant changes needed to address rural health inequalities
Current policies are not addressing the healthcare inequalities faced by rural Australians and significant reform is needed inorder to ensure that people in rural communities can access a similar level of care afforded to those living in metropolitan Australia, according to a Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) Senate Inquiry submission. In the RDAA submission to the Senate inquiry 'The factors affecting the supply of health services and medical professionals in rural areas', Dr Paul Mara, RDAA President, said that Australians in rural and remote areas should have the same right to quality health services as their counterparts in metropolitan centres, but that unfortunately this is not the reality.
08/02/2012
Safe working for country professionals: national survey launched
A national survey has been launched today as part of an innovative project, Working Safe in Rural and Remote Australia. The project aims to explore a community-based approach to reduce workplace violence and improve safety for rural and remote health professionals, teachers and police. Instigated by the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) in collaboration with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, the Australian Nursing Federation, the Queensland Teacher’s Union CRANAplus and the Police Federation of Australia, the project was developed following a national roundtable held in 2009 on workplace violence, which identified common risks faced by rural professionals in the health, education and policing sectors.
08/02/2012
“Time to get real” on rural health funding, doctors urge in budget lead-up
The President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned the Federal Government that the time has come to “get real” on funding for rural healthcare. In its pre-budget submission for the 2012-13 federal budget, RDAA has put forward a range of initiatives to address the continuing shortage of rural health professionals and associated poorerhealth outcomes for rural and remote Australians. It has warned that the current health policy framework is failing to meet the needs of rural and remote communities and requires an urgent overhaul. “We continue to face a critical situation—people living in country Australia have much poorer access to local health services, significantly worse health outcomes and a significantly shorter life expectancy than those living in the city” RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said.
07/02/2012
RDAQ media release -- Bush docs warn Bligh to get it right
President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland, Dr Ewen McPhee, has called on the Bligh Government to step up to promised reforms of Queensland Health in preparation for the upcoming election. Dr McPhee said that announcements by the Premier this week were a major disappointment and a wasted opportunity to deliver a better deal for rural health. Dr McPhee said RDAQ had zero input into the preparation of the report that was delivered by KPMG’s Shane Solomon on January 16, recommending the old and broken Queensland Health should be split into two government entities – Health and Hospitals Qld and Health Corporate Services Authority. Dr McPhee said the Solomon recommendations failed to address the issues critical to the health and wellbeing of all Queenslanders.
01/02/2012
Australia Day awards recognise rural doctor champions
RDAA has congratulated three member doctors on receiving Australia Day honours in recognition of their service to rural medicine and their communities.
31/01/2012
GP Helpline gets little bang for 1000 bucks
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urging the Government to reinstate incentives that have supported rural practices to provide after-hours care following the release of data that shows the GP Helpline is less cost-effective than providing face-to-face after-hours services at a rural hospital emergency department. “The Minister for Health has recently announced that the GP Helpline has prevented 20,000 presentations to hospital emergency departments in the last six months,” said RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara. “By these figures, this works out to be 40,000 attendances a year avoided. “With the GP Helpline costing $40 million per year, taxpayers are therefore paying $1,000 for each person a GP staffing the helpline tells not to attend a hospital emergency department."
12/01/2012