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ePulse - RNZCGP Newsletter

Vol 9 # 47
Tuesday 4 December 2007 ePulse


• News

o Primex results mailout this week
o Censor in Chief vacancy follows appointment
o Missing 2008~2010 MOPS Triennium Booklets
o Medical Council seeks nominations
o Advocacy

• Consultation

o Pharmac proposes changes to Ritalin
o Doctors who practise without practising
o Proposals to change tobacco displays
o New Physiotherapist Role
o Review of Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act
o Looking for Medical Assessors
• Research

o Call for papers for special Wonca edition of Lancet
• Wonca Alerts

• CME & conferences

• ________________________________________


Primex results mailout this week
The wait is almost over! Primex results are expected to be in the post by the end of the week.

Censor in Chief vacancy follows appointment
We have a vacancy for the Censor in Chief role. This is an important role for the College providing recommendations to the Board of Assessment on the awarding of Membership and Fellowship. The position aims to ensure that College assessment processes and decisions are fair and transparent. It is the point of contact for member’s complaints regarding the assessment processes. The position is ex-officio on the Board of Assessment. To read the Job Description:
If you would like more information on this is a flexible and rewarding role please contact Lynn Saul, National Director Assessment
Closing date: 21 December.

Missing 2008~2010 MOPS Triennium Booklets
It has come to our notice that some MOPS participants who have their birthdays from September to February may not have received their 2008~2010 MOPS Triennium booklets along with their reporting information. Please get in touch with Jeanette Satterthwaite (who looks after participants with surnames A-L) or Margaret Findlay (M-Z)

Medical Council seeks nominations
The Medical Council is currently seeking nominations for six members, three of them medical practitioners, the rest lay members. Nominations should be forwarded to Louise McLaren at the Ministry of Health by 3 January 2008, along with a current CV and completed application form. The form can be found at http:/

College executive member Dr Jan Whyte, who holds the exec portfolio on Pharmac, attended the new Pharmac Forum this week with College Director of GP Support and Advocacy, Andrew Stenson.

CEO Karen Thomas attended a "think tank" with the College of Pharmacists who were "securing a sustainable, relevant national pharmacist service framework."

The College has also been advised that the latest application to Medline the New Zealand Family Practitioner has not been successful.

Jonathan Fox, President, RNZCGP



Deadline: 17 December

Pharmac proposes changes to Ritalin
Pharmac is proposing changes that will potentially further limit GP’s abilities to prescribe medicines for ADHD. The proposed change - for dexamphetamine and methylphenidate – includes a requirement that the “relevant specialist” recommending treatment has seen the patient in person within the previous 18 months. The College is keen to hear your comments or else contact Pharmac directly by 17 December. More details can be found at:

Deadline: 8 February 2008

Doctors who practise without practising
The Medical Council are considering how best to recognise doctors who move into non-clinical practice, for example into advisory or management positions. One possibility is the creation of a new vocational scope of non-clinical practice. The link for the Council’s consultation document, which explores options for how such doctors might be registered and recertified:
The College welcomes your feedback. Bear in mind that questions one and five of the consultation will be answered by the College, though in this case good answers are worth repeating: the College indeed already runs a programme which enables doctors no longer in active clinical practice to maintain vocational registration, plus an individualised restoration programme for those whose registration has lapsed. Contact us if you’d like any more details.

Deadline: 15 February 2008

Proposals to change tobacco displays
The Ministry of Health has proposed alternative options for how tobacco products are displayed in retail outlets, which might be broadly summarised as educative, restrictive and more restrictive still. The Ministry’s consultation document asks for feedback on preferred options, and potential issues. Option one involves keeping current advertising restrictions, but increasing education and enforcement options. Option two increases limits on the size and numbers of tobacco displays. The third option proposes either banning displays in areas accessible to under 18s, or an outright ban. For information and submission details, check this link.

Last Chance for Feedback
Deadline: Friday 7 December

New Physiotherapist Role
What are your thoughts on the creation of a new Specialist Physiotherapy role, one that concentrates primarily on clinical and/or teaching practice? Responses are sought to a consultation document about the potential need for an advanced practitioner role in Physiotherapy. The document has been released by the NZ College of Physiotherapy, and can be found at:
Final closing date for responses is Friday 7 December. Send your thoughts to us at:

Last Chance for Feedback
Deadline: Friday 11 December

Review of Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act
Is compulsory reporting of practitioners who may be unfit working well? Would you say the HPCA Act is achieving its purpose? What changes do you recommend? Are scopes of practice achieving their intent - and if not, how could their development be improved? How well are registration authorities working, and who should be able to elect members? As part of a review of the HPCA Act, the Ministry of Health is asking for submissions. If you have any thoughts on these or related questions, send them to Cathy Webber by 11 December 2007. For more background see:

Deadline: 14 December

Looking for Medical Assessors
Looking to bone up on your assessment skills? The Medical Council of New Zealand is currently recruiting assessors who can visit practices as part of its performance assessment process, and ensure that doctors meet required standards in these fields: medical care, communication, collaboration, management, scholarship, and professionalism. Methods used will include interviews, questionnaires, patient observation, and reviews of records. Training is offered, plus a $790 per diem. Send a CV and the names of two referees to Sarah Campbell by 14 December.



Call for papers for special Wonca edition of Lancet

A call has been made for papers for the special edition of the Lancet, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the declaration of Alma Ata next September. See: Professor Michael Kidd, Wonca Executive Member at Large and Chair of the Wonca Working Party on Education has invited the submission of papers documenting original research relevant to primary health care and policy-oriented papers that take the debate forward. The deadline is 1 February, 2008. Andy Haines' editorial is also attached for your interest.


Wonca Alerts

Journal Watch

• ß-agonists associated with fractures

• Auditory distraction lightens the load of dyspnea in COPD

• Indoor biofuel cooking causes chronic bronchitis

• Don't bogart that joint my friend

• Breathing exercise helps asthma patients

• The long term risk of CIN3

Clinical Reviews

• Irritable Bowel Syndrome

• Mental illness in people with intellectual disability


Coming up

Your opportunities for MOPS & GPEP2 credits



check magazine offers the chance to keep up with developments in the medical arena, and gain extra credits while you are at it. Published by the Royal Australian College of GPs,check provides a self-assessment programme which examines a different topic each month. Each year the December issue includes a 100-question test that can be returned to the New Zealand College for assessment. Satisfactory completion will enable local readers to claim 10 CME hours for GPEP2, or 20 credits on MOPS. New Zealand GPs can subscribe or resubscribe through the College. Contact Annie Fleetwood.

Auckland: Spina Bifida in 2008

A Paediatric Perspective; Current Practice & the Future
When: 22-23 February, 2008
Venue: Waipuna Conference Centre, Mt Wellington
Organised by:
Mr Vipul Upadhyay FRCS, FRACS, Paediatric Surgeon & Paediatric Urologist, Starship Children's Hospital

Brochure: Click here
Dr Bobby Tsang, Specialist Paediatrician North Shore Hospital

Get screened and live forever?
In April next year, the National Screening Unit is holding a symposium looking at the benefits and challenges of health screening. Screening to prevent or identify diseases and conditions is a complex and sometimes controversial area. The symposium will look at current screening trends, and what the future may hold.

Get screened and live forever? A forum to explore the opportunities, challenges, benefits and harms of screening is being held at Wellington’s Te Papa on 14 and 15 April 2008.
This symposium is a "must attend" for anyone who works in screening or in an area affected by screening, or who has an interest in the issue. Abstracts for the symposium are being accepted until 14 December 2007. See the website to submit an abstract, or register for the conference.



RNZCGP Annual Scientific Conference
16-19 July 2008, Millenium Hotel, Queenstown
Reserve those dates now! Organise your locum!

Screening Symposium 2008

14-15 April 2008, Te Papa Wellington. Deadline for abstracts: 16 December 2007.

The National Screening Unit is co-ordinating a screening symposium looking at current and future screening trends.

Conference website:

4th Asian Pacific Congress of Heart Failure
Melbourne, Australia, 31 January-3 February 2008
'3D': Drugs, Devices and Diagnostics.

Fax: +61 2 9265 5443

New Zealand Bioethics Conference
'Wellbeing and Technology', 1-3 February 2008
Cumberland College. Dunedin
Bioethics Centre University of Otago, in association with the Health Research Council of New Zealand.
Conference Website:

Fax: +64 3 487 6625

7th International Diabetes Federation Western Pacific Region Congress, Diabetes Asia Pacific: Working for Solutions.
Over 1500 delegates are expected, with acceptances received from 40 invited speakers. Monday 31 March 2008 is designated Primary Health Care day with single day registration available. Invitation for abstracts and posters now open.

WPA & WONCA Thematic Conference “Depression and other Common Mental
Disorders in Primary Care”
18-21 June 2008, Granada, Spain.

Information now also available at the conference website,, where proposals and registration can be submitted.


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