North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1318: June 12, 2013
eNews is a weekly electronic newsletter sent to all GP practices (with email addresses) within the NEV catchment. The aim is to provide up to date information relevant to GPs and to disseminate the latest activities and resources from the division. All feedback and enquiries welcome and should be addressed to Patty Marshall. You can also visit our website at:
To subscribe to eNews click on subscribe. To be removed from the eNews distribution list click on Unsubscribe


In this issue:

Editorial                                                Latest After Hours Contract News   

Aboriginal Health                                National Indigenous Health Conference

Chronic Disease Management            Teens Empowered to Actively Manage Type 1 Diabetes, Bounce

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Information Management                  Medical Director, Best Practice & General Computer Tips

Items of interest                                  GP Network News

Men’s Health                                        Testosterone and diet therapy to treat obesity in men

Positions vacant/wanted                  

Fun stuff                                              


A Word from the Editor

Latest After Hours Contract News

·         Government withdraws onerous “after hours” contract requirements

·         Medicare locals requested to adopt updated guidelines for after-hours contracts

Following complaints from many practices across Australia regarding the many “onerous” clauses contained in the recent contracts offered by MEDICARE LOCALS for “After Hours” Care the Department of Health and Ageing has now indicated that it will immediately issue “New contracting guidelines”.

As indicated in our previous eNews, many of our members had brought a range of clauses contained in the “After Hours” contracts to our and the AMA’s attention.

On behalf of these many practices across the country the AMA has now secured the Department’s agreement to issue new contracting guidelines to the Medicare Locals.

Under the new arrangements, “Medicare Locals will no longer be required to include any terms of their Deed or their equivalent in contracts for after-hours GP services”.

The AMA is now calling on the “Medicare Locals to follow these new guidelines & issue revised and simplified contracts for after-hours GP services”.

Mr Ken Mansbridge, CEO, North East Valley DGP



Confusion Threatens Patient Access to After Hours Care

Meeting in Canberra today, United General Practice Australia (UGPA) has expressed serious concerns about threats to the availability of general practice after hours services around the country.

UGPA leaders unanimously agreed that, without urgent action, patient access to quality GP after hours services would be compromised.

The provision of after hours services is currently hampered by increasing red tape and confusion around the new arrangements. Furthermore, this may also be a disincentive for practices to remain accredited as providers of high quality care.

UGPA welcomes recent changes to Medicare Locals after hours service contracts announced yesterday by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA), and calls on Medicare Locals to advise local GPs of the changes to quickly put an end to any confusion around how after hours services will be managed.

To provide certainty for patients, PIP after hours funding needs to continue for another six months during the transition to new contracts.

There is a growing need to provide and improve community access to after hours care. UGPA says this requires more investment, not less.

UGPA comprises the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the Australian Medicare Local Alliance (AMLA), the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN), General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA), the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).


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Aboriginal Health

National Indigenous Health Conference

Monday 25 – Wednesday 27 November in Cairns. Anyone interested in attending the conference is encouraged to register early as numbers are filling fast. To register or for further details visit or email


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Chronic Disease Management

Teens Empowered to Actively Manage Type 1 Diabetes (TEAM T1)

This is an exciting new type 1 diabetes education program developed and run by Diabetes Australia – Vic. It is for teenagers who want to get on top of their diabetes management and meet other young people with diabetes. There is a TEAM T1 program running at Sunshine Hospital during the July school holidays

Monday 1st July– Friday 5th July at approx. 10am–3pm each day - (first day starts at 9am) at Sunshine Hospital, Furlong Road, St Albans. For further information contact Lauren Cooper on (03) 8648 1866 or email



Diabetes Camps Victoria (DCV) - a consortium of Diabetes Australia – Vic (DA–Vic), Monash Children’s (MC) at Southern Health and the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) are holding a day event at Bounce, 2 Weir Street, Glen Iris on Wednesday, 10 July. 2 sessions: AM: 6-11 years old, PM: 12-17 years old. Cost: $25. Contact: Julia Stoneham on 9667 1746 or email: 

Spend the day trampolining at Bounce. There will be many volunteers on hand to supervise and help children during the day. Diabetes Nurse Educators will be present to attend to any hypos which may occur.


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Continuing Professional Development

CPR training

The Benchmarque Group with support from NEVDGP have organised to run a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation evening on Tuesday 16th July 6.30-8.30pm (dinner and registration from 6pm) at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe Uni. Cost: $55 – full payment is required on Registration. Please return this registration form by mail (with cheque) or fax (9496 4349) or email ( and pay on the night by cash or cheque. Credit card facilities are NOT available. Postal address is North East Valley Division of General Practice, C/- Repatriation Hospital, Locked Bag 1, Heidelberg West, VIC 3081.



Many patients exercise with the support of exercise professionals in the fitness industry within a variety of settings. For patients with chronic disease these professionals support our efforts in lifestyle management.
This week ThinkGP in partnership with Fitness Australia presents a new video discussing how an exercise professional can assist in the safe and effective implementation of a long term exercise program for your patients.


Immunisation: New Handbook Updates

This workshop is for GPs and Practice Nurses. The event will cover the changes to the 10th Edition Australian Immunisation Handbook and the New Strive for 5 National Vaccine Storage

Wednesday 25 June 6.30pm – 9pm at Treacy Centre, 126 The Avenue, Parkville. For more information and to register click here or call 9347 1188.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Adding extemporaneous preparations to the Medication list

You can use the Recipes function in Medical Director to enter recipes for preparations into the drug database. This is especially useful for adding extemporaneous preparations and keeping a record of complementary medicines in the patient’s current medication screen.

Adding user-defined Preparations (recipes)

From the Clinical menu select Recipes... The User Defined Preparations window is displayed. Click the Add button and the Extemporaneous Preparation window is displayed. Enter the appropriate information for this recipe and click Save. The Recipe is saved into the Medical Director drug database and can be added to the current medication list. You can now “prescribe” this item, and in the case of complementary medicines you can mark the item product advised elsewhere when prescribing.


This week’s MD problem - Have the summary screen as the opening screen

Question:   I would prefer when I open a patient record that the summary screen would display. The summary screen is great because on the one screen it displays Family and Social History, Past History, Immunisations, Medications and Preventative Health prompts. I have checked under Tools/Options/General and the only choices are: Patient Screen, Holding File, Investigation Screen and Main Menu. Please tell me there is a way!!

Answer: I didn’t notice a question here but rather a plea! Fortunately there is a way to do it. From the main screen (no patient record open) select Tools/Options and select the Clinical tab. You now have a separate group of choices including Summary. The other “new” choices are Progress Notes and Past History.


Best Practice Tip - Having more than one patient record open

Sometime a family with related conditions will present (e.g. food poisoning) and you are able to save yourself typing by copying and pasting information between the patients. Or you just may wish to have more than one patient record open at the same time.

1.      Open the first patient’s record and select Today’s notes – make your notes. Highlight and copy the notes (Control + C) that are relevant to the next patient.

2.      From the File menu select Open patient in new window.

3.      Click on Today’s notes and paste in the notes (Control + V).

Note: To switch between the 2 (or more patients) click on the BP icon in the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen, or more quickly, press Alt + Tab to toggle between the different patients.


Best Practice problem - Adding a hyperlink to a letter

Question: Can I modify a template so that it adds a link to a website in a referral or other correspondence?

Answer: The answer is yes and you will be pleased to know that MD does not have this feature at the time of writing.

1.      Open LetterWriter by clicking on the LetterWriter icon.

2.      From the Templates menu click on Edit template and select the template you wish to add the hyperlink. 

3.      Insert the cursor where you wish to add the hyperlink and from the Insert menu select Hyperlink – this opens the Insert Hyperlink window.

4.      Type in the text and the website address (URL) and then click on Insert – this will place a blue hyperlink in your template – clicking on it will take you to the designated website.


General Computer Tip - Worst formatting clangers in Word

It pays to know how to format a document correctly, but many people still have very bad formatting habits. Here are the four worst, followed by an explanation on how to do it properly.

1.      Pressing Enter several times to get onto the next page.

Put in a page break instead. Insert >Break >Page Break. Or easier still, press Control + Enter.

2.      Pressing the Tab key several times to either line up text to the line above, or worse still trying to centre the text.

Learn how to set your tabs in the ruler, or if trying to centre text using the centre alignment button.

3.      Don’t used Space Bar twice after a full stop – you are working with a word processor that has proportional spacing, not a type writer that has mono spacing.

4.      This one is the worst!! Pressing Enter at the end of a line and then the Tab key to line up text – like I have done in this and the above two paragraphs.

You need to know how to set the left indent markers on your ruler (these are the two small triangles that sit on top of each other). The top one is for the first line indent and the bottom is for the 2nd and subsequent lines of a paragraph. There is also a square block underneath them. If you wish to indent both markers you can place the pointer on the block and move the margin in, or simply do Control + M.

The golden rule is: If you press the Enter, Tab or Space Bar keys more than once you are doing something wrong!!


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Items of Interest

GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: COAG Report shows that Government cooperation can help close the gap; Education Expenses Discussion Paper leaves little room for discussion; AMA urges recognition of ACRRM’s Independent Pathway as a 3GA program; Important information for clinicians - MERS Coronavirus; New resource to help GPs providing Medicare services under Better Access; New clinical practice guidelines for the management of obesity; New requirement for PIP diabetes incentive – kidney function test;


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Men’s Health

Testosterone and diet therapy to treat obesity in men

Weight loss in obese men is challenging. Obese men frequently have low levels of testosterone which may contribute to obesity and metabolic complications. The group at the Dept Medicine & Endocrinology, Austin Health, University of Melbourne are investigating the use of testosterone treatment with an Optifast diet to help men lose weight over 1 year. Treatments are provided for free. We are seeking men aged 18-75y with BMI 30-60 (approx weight 90-150kg depending on height). Enquiries: Dr Mark Ng on 9496 2082 or email


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Positions vacant/wanted

Please note: only new ads or resubmitted ads will be posted here. All other ads can be found on the website


Positions vacant


Watsonia - Rosanna Medical Centre is seeking a PT/VR GP. A computerised, accredited, mixed billing, long established practice. Friendly supportive team. Please call (03) 9435 1191.


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An Emergency Call Centre worker in England has been dismissed from his job, much to the dismay of colleagues who are reportedly unhappy with his treatment.

It seems a caller dialled 999 from a mobile phone, stating "I am depressed and lying here on a railway track, waiting for the train to come and end it all."

Apparently "remain calm and stay on the line” was not considered to be the correct response.


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And remember


            I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.