As we wind down to the end of the year, we look at the latest items in terms of policy including revalidation, cloud-based medicine and patient experiences of general practice.

Read on!

Revalidation – a rose by any other name….

The Medical Board of Australia released its long-awaited response to the Expert Advisory Group on revalidation and their recommendations.

The result is…(drum roll) the Professional Performance Framework.

And all 18 of the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Group were either accepted or accepted in principle.

Not a UK style revalidation system (big breath of relief there). The report notes the progress already made in CPD by colleges and the consistency with the proposals in this framework.

But one not likely to endear itself to those aged 70 years or over who provide clinical care to patients.

That’s a step way back from the profile of those previously identified at risk of poor performance that included being male, over 35 years of age and having prior complaints.

The new system requires peer review and health checks for those aged 70 years and three-yearly subsequently.

It also identifies those at risk of professional isolation and requires them to undertake education on how to identify and manage this risk as well as increasing peer-based CPD.

The PPF also targets those who have had multiple substantiated complaints and will require them to participate in formal peer review.

For everyone else, it’s 50 hrs of CPD with a mix of performance review, outcome measurement and educational activities with CPD to be relevant to scope of practice, based on a personal professional development plan and parked with their “CPD home”. That bit’s new. You’ll need to find yourself a CPD provider (one of the colleges or an alternate provider) and participate in that provider’s program.

And self-directed CPD undertaken outside an accredited CPD program will not be recognized.

Reflective practice also features heavily.

And this will apply to ALL registered medical practitioners.

The other new bit that’s not about revalidation per se but is a welcome step in addressing an age-old problem is that of identifying and managing poor professional behavior in early career doctors. That one’s been hand-balled to the AMC.

None of this is going to happen quickly of course. There will be consultations all the way through to 2020. But some activity on issues such as establishing (or not!) the legal basis of peer review, health checks, data sharing and a revised registration standard will start to be tackled next year.

We will keep you posted!

Read all about it here:


The first document is quite helpful and the one-page “pillars” document is very useful.

Cloud-based medicine

For those who were not at GP17, one of the opening plenary speakers was a very hip dude (hey, Jay Parkinson) who has founded a business called Sherpaa – “the world’s first primary care-in-the-cloud practice”.

This is a model of primary care that is…. Interesting. And caused quite a bit of buzz amongst the GPs who attended.

Who knows? It could be the future. Uber, AirBnB, Sherpaa  –  innovation through technology is taking hold in every sphere.

You be the judge: https://sherpaa.com/

You can also view Jay’s plenary address here: http://gp17.com.au/speakers/jay-parkinson

Ps no interest to declare!

Patient experiences in Australia, 2016-17

This is cause for celebration in GP world!

Scroll past the stuff on waiting times, barriers and after-hours care and reflect in the glow of these stats!

Of those who saw a GP in the last 12 months:

(Men reported slightly higher results on these three factors than women).

These figures were 79%, 82% and 80% respectively for medical specialists (which apparently doesn’t include you, or does it??).

But still, those are great stats!

Brought to you by the ABS who successfully carried out the Postal Survey on Marriage Equality!!!


Marriage equality – now law

Unless you’ve been completely detached from the electronic world, marriage equality is now law in Australia.

And here is the official bill:


That’s it for Policy News for 2017!



Date reviewed: 13 November 2018

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