Latest Issues for General Practice

Statewide Men ACWY vaccine now available to General Practice


All General Practices in WA can order meningococcal ACWY vaccine for administration to persons aged 15 to 19 years as part of the WA Statewide Meningococcal ACWY Vaccination Program.


Under this program, all persons aged 15-19 years are eligible for a single dose of Meningococcal ACWY vaccine through to 31 December 2017.


Before the end of the year, we urge GPs to offer Meningococcal ACWY vaccination to any age-eligible patients who have not already been vaccinated through school or university immunisation clinics.


We kindly request that GPs bulk bill eligible patients who attend only to receive the meningococcal ACWY vaccination.


How to order meningococcal ACWY Vaccine – Nimenrix ®:
• Go to the usual vaccine ordering website
• Click on the tab marked ‘School, Catch-up and Refugee vaccines’.
• Select ‘Men ACWY – Nimenrix 0.5 mL – catch up for 15 to 19 years’.


IMPORTANT: Use a 23 gauge needle when reconstituting the Nimenrix® meningococcal ACWY vaccine as larger needles may shear the vial stopper.
For more information on the program, visit:

AMA rejects report suggesting parents lack confidence in GPs


Federal AMA Vice President, Dr Tony Bartone, has appeared in the media advocating for parents to consult their family doctor when their child is in pain. While hospital emergency departments can assist, a trusted and known GP may be better placed to address the problem.
“It’s important to realise that in the first instance the best place to seek information and care for that child’s presenting problem would be the usual family doctor or practice where that child attends,” Dr Bartone said.
“It’s ideal to get a handle on what are the symptoms and what are the actual steps that need to follow and whether we can better manage in the clinic, whether we can do something to immediately put some management into play during the transfer, or organising for an emergency presentation to occur.”
A recent survey of 2100 parents in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health found that 93% of parents were mostly or completely confident in GPs to provide general care for their children. This high figure reflects positively on the work of family GPs. Oddly however, the authors focused on the figure of 45% of respondents being ‘mostly confident’ in their GP, as opposed to the 44% who reported feeling ‘completely confident’. Only 2% of respondents reported that they were ‘not very confident’ (defined as able to handle few general health issues for my child).


For more information, please click here

AMA Appearance in Senate Medicare card Inquiry


The AMA has provided a submission in response to the Senate Inquiry being conducted by the Finance and Public Administration Committee regarding the circumstances in which Australians’ personal Medicare information has been compromised and made available for sale illegally on the ‘dark web’.


The AMA will appear before the Senate Inquiry today and will emphasise the importance of ensuring that Medicare numbers cannot be accessed inappropriately. As with the previous AMA Submission to the Independent Review of Health Providers’ Access to Medicare Card Numbers, the AMA states that any recommendations made as a result of the Senate Inquiry need to be proportionate to the risks.


The administrative burden on practitioners or practices must not be increased, nor should any unnecessary barriers be introduced which will impact negatively on patients, particularly vulnerable or disadvantaged patients, access to care.


Submission to the Senate Inquiry being conducted by the Finance and Public Administration Committee.

Submission to the Independent Review of Health Providers’ Access to Medicare Card Numbers.

WA Health Dept launches mosquito awareness campaign


The WA Department of Health (DoH) has recently launched a community awareness campaign about mosquitoes called Fight the Bite. The campaign aims to provide individuals with relevant information on mosquito-borne disease and simple ways to prevent being bitten at home, on holiday in Australia and on holiday overseas.


There will be increased mosquito activity and a greater risk of mosquito-borne disease in Perth and the south-west over the coming months, and in the north of the State once the wet season gets underway. As general practitioners, you are a vital source of health-related information for patients. A variety of resources are available to you, including brochures, posters and digital content, should you wish to incorporate Fight the Bite into the health information available in your clinic.


You may also wish to direct patients to the new Healthy WA website which contains expanded information on mosquito-borne diseases and repellent application for both adults and children. The website is available at:


If you would like to request resources for your practice or be kept up to date on mosquito-borne disease in WA, please contact Dr Abbey Potter at

New stroke guidelines for GPs


The Stroke Foundation has released the Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management 2017. In accordance with the NHMRC Standards, these guidelines provide best-practice recommendations to assist decision-making for GPs in the management of stroke in adults.

The guidelines provide a guide for effective management of stroke, including key points regarding initial presentation in primary care. Importantly, they cover the education of GP reception staff to recognise the FAST (face, arms, speech, time) symptoms of stroke. They also include the administration of continuity of care across a range of areas:

  • pre-hospital;
  • assessment and diagnosis;
  • acute medical and surgical;
  • secondary prevention;
  • rehabilitation;
  • discharge planning;
  • community participation; and
  • management of transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

The full guidelines can be found here.

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Why I Joined the AMA (WA)...
"It is my hope that we can tackle the challenges our profession faces, united as one. If we dislike our working hours, our pay, gender inequality or low training opportunities, we can change these together. As a nurse in my previous life, I know that when a profession stands as one, people listen."
Dr Rebecca Cogan
Dr Rebecca Cogan
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Tuesday, 7th January 2020

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