POLICY NEWS September 2017


You are entering a policy news zone free of any references to marriage-equality or dual citizenship.

Instead this month’s Policy News looks at the outcomes from the Medicare Taskforce, strategies galore (digital health, drugs), an important report from AIDA and find out which skills you need to avoid being made redundant by robots!

Read on!

Medicare taskforce outcomes

The Federal Government has responded to the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce recommendations by accepting 45 recommendations in full and modifying some others.

The changes to the MBS include:

These changes will begin on 1 November 2017, with the exception of changes to colonoscopy, which will begin on 1 March 2018.

Get all the detail here:


Digital health strategy

Ouch! My finger hurts!

No! Not that kind of digital health!

Everything you always wanted to know about MyHealth Record and all other things related to the digital health strategy can be found here.

For instance, did you know that  84% of people go online first when seeking health information? There you go! So you need to go have a look at this, even if it’s just for the execsumm.

In case you don’t get that far, here are the 7 strategic priorities


National Drug Strategy 2017-2026

Harm minimization is still the driving philosophy in this latest iteration of the National Drug Strategy.

The priority actions are:

Priority substances are methamphetamines and other stimulants, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, non medical use of pharmaceuticals, opioids and new psychoactive substances.

You can download it here:


AIDA report on bullying, racism and lateral violence in the workplace

The results of this survey have echoed around the system and make for disturbing reading. The survey was open only to AIDA members and received 53 responses.

The main findings were:

10% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survey respondents chose to largely conceal their identity in their workplaces for fear of bullying and racist stereotyping.

More than 48% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survey respondents had experienced either a few incidents per month, or daily incidents of bullying, racism and lateral violence in their workplaces. Only 43% of those who experienced these incidents reported them. A further 14% of respondents preferred not to say.

About half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survey respondents reported that colleagues had a negative reaction to their cultural identity, with misconceptions about perceived privileges and easier pathways into and through medicine for Indigenous Australians being the most commonly cited reaction.

Less than one in ten respondents believed that existing workplace policies and procedures offered accessible and adequate support – both for victims and for perpetrators.

Recommendations cover issues such as mandatory cultural safety training for all health professionals, independent complaints processes and increased support for Indigenous health staff at all levels.

You can read the full report here:


Will general practice still be around in 10 years? 

So you will have read in previous editions of Policy News and Research Roundup about the future of work, the rise of the robots and so on.

This latest report analyses what skills will be needed in the next 10 years for the workplace. Ready?

  1. Sense-making – the ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed.
  2. Social intelligence – the ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions.
  3. Novel and adaptive thinking – proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based.
  4. Cross-cultural competency – the ability to operate in different cultural settings.
  5. Computational thinking – ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning.
  6. New media literacy – ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication.
  7. Transdisciplinarity – literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines.
  8. Design mindset – ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes.
  9. Cognitive load management – ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and technique.
  10. Virtual collaboration – ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.

So there you have it! How well-placed do you think being a GP makes you for the future????

Read the report here:




Date reviewed: 31 July 2018

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