With the ever-changing nature of legislation, practices & procedures surrounding the Australian medical industry, GP’s, clinicians and support staff need to ensure they are keeping up to date on the medical industry not simply for their own interests, but also to ensure their patients are best served.

The latest changes to the industry are game changers to many patients and physicians around the country, and their impact should not be taken lightly, especially those affecting people with chronic pain.

Changes in the distribution of Codeine based products

From February 1st 2018, codeine has been rescheduled to be prescription only. The flow on effect of this is significant for pain suffers, who may have – rightly or wrongly – being relying on these medications for relief of numerous symptoms.

With the TGA reviewing and responding to reports of misuse, dependence and toxicity, it must be noted that within the community there are a large number of people with limited access to GP – such as the elderly, regional or disabled.

There have been reports ranging from prescriptions of higher dosages and alternative pain relief treatment that are creating ultimate confusion and potential ‘overmedication’ for patients due to these requirements.

New Data Breach Rules Commencing this month

The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 is due to come into effect by the 23rd of February 2018. The amendment will require APP Entities to promptly notify the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and any potentially affected individuals of an “eligible data breach”.

For GP’s and their support staff, this is particularly important as the rise of cybercrime and identity theft continue to reap havoc, especially on the most venerable without our society.

So what can you do to have your practice prepared? Firstly, speak with your IT department or experts in terms of ensuring your security is of the highest standards possible. Secondly, ensure that all staff are briefed in relation to the amended legislation and that everyone is brief and procedures are in place to protect your patients, your practice and abide by the incoming law.

Crackdown on after hours GP home visits

With the rise of the requirements of ‘after hours care’ – more than 150% in the past six years[1] to be exact – there has been concern that patients are receiving care from ‘junior’ GP’s with a view to ‘make money’ through a corporate model, rather than medical needs.

Dr Michael Gannon from the AMA agreed that “after hours GP services” are a critical part of the health system, it has been misused by patients who were not seeing GP’s with a knowledge of their background and medical history – which many people were exploiting.

As such, Health Minister Greg Hunt in December 2017 pushed legislation through both houses of parliament that would see qualified GP’s and doctors paid the top Medicare rate, while junior & trainee doctors will be paid progressively less.

This measure is expected to push back the corporates that are seeking to not only exploit the loophole and employ doctors with fewer qualifications but also the doctors themselves and of course ensuring that patients receive the best care possible from qualified professionals.

It also must be noted that regional & remote areas would not experience a change due to the requirements within those catchments and a lack of feasible alternatives.

Arjan Consulting is a highly specialised health recruitment agency who pride ourselves on understanding what confronts our industry, to ensure all our candidates and clients are best informed to take on the ever changing industry demands.

If you’re a GP or allied health professional looking to apply for a role in Australia, it’s best to register and engage the services of an established health recruitment consultant who can assist in all matters of registration, employment and candidate support.

Arjan Consulting have been servicing clients since 2013 and offer recruitment services to physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and general practitioners.

If you’re looking for a job in health in Australia, look no further than Arjan Consulting. Send us your CV or register your interest in a role today.


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