General Practice Updates

In a constantly changing environment, we summarise the most important updates for General Practitioners. 

This week’s summary includes updates from:

  • The Department of Health
  • AHPRA
  • RACGP
  • Medical Board of Australia

and Check-ins with

  • OET
  • AMC

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH-

Total Coronavirus Cases – 

There have been a total of 27, 854 cases in Australia. Of that 25, 355 have recovered and 907 have died. There have been 6 new cases in the last 24 hours, with 95 current active cases. 

Find more: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers

AHPRA-

What happens if English language testing in Australia becomes unavailable again? – 

If English Language testing in Australia becomes unavailable again due to COVID-19, please contact AHPRA for further information if you:

  • have successfully completed an approved program of study in Australia,
  • can give evidence from your preferred test provider that you have attempted to book as early as possible and cannot currently secure a test.

Read more here: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/News/COVID-19/COVID-19-queries.aspx#registration 

MEDICARE –

December 2020 Updates – 

From 1 December 2020, amendments to MBS item 18361 for the treatment of moderate to severe upper limb spasticity due to cerebral palsy will enable Medicare benefits to be paid for injection of the patients who meet the same criteria as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS) listed medicines.

The changes to item 18361 will include adding Clostridium Botulinum Type A Toxin-Haemagglutinin Complex (Dysport®) as an acceptable alternative treatment, and a patient who is at least 18 years of age no longer has to have commenced treatment for the spasticity with botulinum toxin supplied under the PBS, as is currently outlined in part (b) of the existing MBS descriptor.

RACGP-

Fellowship Exam Enrolments – 

Enrolments for the 2020.2 Remote Clinical Exam are now open. Enrolments for the 2021.1 AKT and KFP are now open and will close on the 7th of December. 

Apply here: https://www.racgp.org.au/education/registrars/fracgp-exams/exam-enrolment-instructions/enrol-now 

Special Arrangements – 

Special arrangements are available to the following groups of candidates:

  • Candidates with exam results expiring on 30 June 2020 or 31 December 2020, who are eligible to sit the 2020.1 or 2020.2 RCE, may be eligible for an automatic six-month extension of results to maintain their eligibility for the delayed clinical exams
  • All candidates eligible to sit the RCE or Clinical Competency Exam (CCE) in 2020 or 2021 will be granted an additional semester in their candidacy. Candidates can sit one or more exams in this semester, or use the time to prepare for a later exam.
  • All candidates who were enrolled in the 2020.2 AKT or KFP as at 9am on Friday 9 October 2020 will be granted an additional semester in their candidacy. Candidates can sit one or more exams in this semester, or use the time to prepare for a later exam.

Candidates may be eligible for more than one of these special arrangements. Eligible candidates may have a maximum of eight semesters in which they can enrol in exams over four years (plus approved suspensions and leave).

Find out more here: https://www.racgp.org.au/education/registrars/fracgp-exams/exam-enrolment-instructions/enrol-now 

Changes to 2021 AGPT Final Intake Selection Process –

Due to the recent suspension of the Candidate Assessment and Applied Knowledge Test (CAAKT), the selection process for the 2021 AGPT Program final intake has changed. An outline of the revised selection process is below in the final intake timeline and eligible applicants have been contacted by email with further details.

MEDICAL BOARD OF AUSTRALIA-

Revised advertising guidelines are now available – 

Health practitioners are encouraged to check and correct their advertising to make sure it complies with revised guidelines released today.

The National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) have jointly revised the Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service (the guidelines). The revised guidelines take effect on Monday 14 December.

Anyone who advertises a regulated health service must meet the advertising requirements of the National Law. This includes registered health practitioners, individuals who are not health practitioners and businesses.

Read the guidelines here: https://www.medicalboard.gov.au/News/2020-11-17-News-item-Advertising-guidelines.aspx 

CHECK INS-

English Language Tests– 

As of October 2020, test providers indicate that testing in Australia is available in all states and territories.

AMC MCQ- 

The AMC MCQ Examinations have commenced on a staged basis and where possible. 

AMC Clinical-

The AMC is now pleased to advise international medical graduates and stakeholders the project is progressing very well toward the initially communicated commencement date of February 2021.

Using an alternative online delivery method for the clinical examination the project is being developed beyond an initial response to COVID-19 and delivering the examination in a COVID-19 safe manner.

With the initial objective in February 2021, the online clinical examination delivery will retain the current structure of 16 stations with two unscored stations. The pass mark will remain at 10 stations. There will be no change to existing blueprinting, standard setting and monitoring processes. The Clinical Examination Results Panel will continue to analyse candidate and examination performance as it formally approves candidate results.  

The backbone of the clinical examination delivery will be a triad between a candidate, a simulated patient and an invigilator. The invigilator will act as a case manager who will stay with the candidate throughout the examination, provide candidate tasks, introduce patients, and provide operational and technical support. The invigilator will also perform important security functions such as verification of the candidate identity.

All contacts will be conducted initially via the Zoom platform with added functionality enabling the recording of video and audio. The recordings will be made available to examiners for remote marking.

When clinical examinations were originally cancelled in response to COVID-19, many candidates elected to retain their payment with the AMC to receive priority scheduling with the recommencement of the examinations from February 2021. These candidates will be provided with priority scheduling which will be communicated in early December 2020.

Read more here: https://www.amc.org.au/assessment/clinical-examination/ 

3GA PROGRAM IMPORTANT DATES:

  • AGPT applications are currently closed for the year
  • RVTS applications are currently closed. 
  • PEP applications are currently closed for the year.  
  • ACRRM Independent Pathway intake is currently closed for the year.

DID WE MISS SOMETHING IMPORTANT?

We’re here to help. If there is something we’re missing, please let us know! Our team are available at [email protected] 

DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS? 

Our team offer General Practitioners assistance with finding jobs and a career pathway, and Medical Facilities to find a new Medical Practitioner. We also help with the full application process with AHPRA, RACGP, ACRRM, Department of Health, Medicare including 19AA & 19AB. If we can help, please contact us at [email protected]

People Medical Consulting are a team of professionals with a passion for guiding those specialising in the Medical industry to find their career pathway and settle into Australia. Working with both Australian trained and Overseas trained professionals, we have extensive experience in Recruitment of General Practitioners and Document Assistance for those requiring support with RACGP, AHPRA, 19AA and 19AB Medicare Exemptions.

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