RACP calls on clinicians to partner in health care reform

Clinicians will be at the forefront of future health reforms by providing practical evidence directly to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (“RACP”).

RACP’s “EVOLVE” program aims to improve the quality of health care in Australia by eliminating ineffective processes as reported by those in the medical community. With 16 specialist medical societies already on board, RACP hopes its initiative will build “momentum for change through clinical leadership, in-depth engagement with front-line physicians and strong connections with the community”.

To view RACP’s media release, click here.

News

RACGP embraces emerging e-mental health interventions

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (“RACGP”) has developed a guide to assist GPs to navigate the growing number of online resources designed to deliver mental health information, services and care.

The “e-Mental Health: A Guide for GPs” (“e-Mental Health Guide”) provides guidance on the use of e-mental health resources with suitable patients in primary care.

The term “e-mental health” refers to the use of the internet and related technologies to deliver mental health information, services and care.  The use of online interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental illness is one of the major applications of e-mental health.

The e-Mental Health Guide was led by a team of GPs in response to strong evidence suggesting that these e-mental health interventions were effective for use in the management of mild to moderate depression and anxiety and could be easily disseminated in the primary care setting.

For further information, see the media release here.

A copy of the e-Mental Health Guide can be found here.

A copy of the executive summary can be found here.

Australian researchers to work with international experts

Australian researchers will collaborate with their international counterparts thanks to recent grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (“NHMRC”).  Eleven grants totalling over $5 million will contribute to research into global health issues, encouraging novel ways to treat leukaemia, diseases of the brain, heart attacks and other global diseases.

The different awards fall under the NHMRC – European Union Collaborative Research Grant scheme and the NHMRC – Californian Institute of Regenerative Medicine Collaborative Research Grant scheme.  These collaborations will benefit both international institutions, who have praised the level of talent in Australia, and the Australian public, which will benefit from the varied and unique experiences given to domestic researchers.

To view the press release from the NHMRC, click here.

Legislation

New e-Health Bill receives Second Reading 

The Health Legislation Amendment (e-Health) Bill 2015 ("Bill") was read for a second time on 17 September 2015 by Health Minister Sussan Ley.

The Bill supports the recommendations of the 2013 reviews of the Healthcare Identifiers Service and the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (“PCEHR”).

The PCEHR will be renamed “My Health Record” and an “opt-out” trial will be conducted to address the fact that only 10% of Australians currently use PCEHR.  The review concluded that this was an insufficient number to effectively conduct a national system.

The Bill also establishes the Australian Commission for e-Health to oversee the evolution and operation of national e-health systems.  The National e-Health Transition Authority will be disbanded.

To view the Bill, click here.

To view the Second Reading Speech, click here.