The Health News – 21 May 2014

Overview

  • Doctors’ groups have launched a counterattack against the Federal Government’s proposed GP co-payment saying it discourages them from bulk billing.
  • For the first time in five years there will be a ballot for the AMA Presidency after Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb and AMA New South Wales President Associate Professor Brian Owler both nominated for the position.
  • The technology, a wristband called the Parkinson’s Kinetigraph, has a built-in accelerometer like the common one found in smartphones and wearable tech devices such as the Jawbone Up and Fitbit Flex.



This is the news on Health Professional Radio.  Today is the 21st May 2014.  READ BY Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-20/doctors-launch-campaign-against-proposed-co-payment/5465574

Doctors launch campaign against proposed $7 GP co-payment in budget

Doctors’ groups have launched a counterattack against the Federal Government’s proposed GP co-payment saying it discourages them from bulk billing.

On ABC’s Q&A program, Treasurer Joe Hockey flagged there would be exemptions to the co-payment for those with chronic healthcare plans.

He also suggested doctors could use their $2 component of the co-payment to bulk bill the most needy patients.

It further angered doctors’ groups already concerned about the impacts of the proposal.

They say the co-payment scheme has been structured so that they will lose more money if they bulk bill patients.

… SO

Doctors HAVE launchED CoPayNoWay campaign

General practitioners have launched a campaign against the co-payments called CoPayNoWay.

It includes a social media campaign, a website dedicated to co-payment stories and signs in waiting rooms.

Dr Hambleton said there were groups in Australia who would struggle to pay the $7.

Concerns have also surfaced about the impact of co-payments on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups.

Dr Hambleton said some Aboriginal health services had indicated they would not charge the co-payment and would start losing money.

“We’re very concerned about the impact of the co-payment on this very needy group, even with multiple members of family, it’s going to provide a barrier to care,” he said.

“We don’t want to open the gap up, we want to close the gap.”

https://ama.com.au/ausmed/senior-medicos-contest-ama-presidency

For the first time in five years there will be a ballot for the AMA Presidency after Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb and AMA New South Wales President Associate Professor Brian Owler both nominated for the position.

The vacancy has been created by the imminent departure of current President Dr Steve Hambleton, who is stepping down from the post he has occupied since 2011.

Both Professor Dobb, who is Head of Intensive Care at Royal Perth Hospital, and Associate Professor Owler, who is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, are members of the AMA Executive Council.   …

The election for the AMA Presidency will be held on Sunday, 25 May – the third day of the AMA National Conference in Canberra.

The new President will serve for two years if a proposed new Constitution for the AMA is adopted by the AMA Annual General Meeting to be held on the first day of the National Conference, Friday 23 May.

Under the overhauled structure, the operational and corporate compliance responsibilities will be devolved to a governance board, freeing the Federal Council to focus on its prime policy formulation role.

AMA Secretary General Anne Trimmer said the change would allow the AMA to become a more effective and agile organisation, raising the possibility the new-look Federal Council could appoint small working groups and task forces to develop contributions to health policy debates, drawing on the expertise of AMA members as needed.

While the positions of President and Vice President will be contested, two other Executive Officer posts, Chairman of Council and Treasurer, have been filled without contest.

Ms Trimmer, who is also the AMA Returning Officer, reported that Canberra-based ophthalmologist Dr Iain Dunlop was the sole nominee for Chairman of Council, a position he currently fills, while current AMA Treasurer and anaesthetist Dr Elizabeth Feeney was confirmed in her role uncontested.

While both have been declared elected, their renewed tenure could be exceedingly short – both positions would be made redundant under the proposed new Constitution.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/technology/wristband-aid-to-help-manage-parkinsons/story-e6frgakx-1226923183489

Wristband aid to help manage Parkinson’s

A MELBOURNE firm is expanding its production of wearable technology designed to help ­Parkinson’s disease sufferers live a better quality of life.

The technology, a wristband called the Parkinson’s Kinetigraph, has a built-in accelerometer like the common one found in smartphones and wearable tech devices such as the Jawbone Up and Fitbit Flex.

The Kinetigraph collects raw movement data which shows the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Clinicians can use the data to finetune medication.

The Melbourne-based Global Kinetics Corporation managing director Andrew Maxwell said the firm had developed two software algorithms that turned the wristband data into information discernible to doctors.

Global Kinetics, a private Australian company incorporated in 2007, has focused on Parkinson’s since its inception, through the initial research and development phases to commercialisation and production.

The device was first developed at the Melbourne based Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health through work undertaken by Professor Malcolm Horne and Dr Robert Griffiths. They co-founded Global Kinetics Corporation.

Global Kinetics was IS now seeking to penetrate the US and European markets and was hopeful of getting US Food and Drug Administration approval this year, Mr Maxwell said.

He said Global Kinetics also was looking to expand the device’s functions. “We think the way things are progressing more and more medical data collection will occur from wrist-worn sensors or sensors worn on the body, and they will communicate with each other. More and more data will be connected and there will be platforms that evolve to interpret the data over time.”

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