New gold standard preventative management for knee osteoarthritis might be overlooked as surgery is “cheaper”?

osteoarthritis of the knee clinical care standard

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) endorsed a new Osteoarthritis of the Knee Clinical Care Standard. The standard includes encouraging patients to lose weight and do more exercise, as well as using pain relieving medicines. Referral to an orthopaedic surgeon and knee replacement surgery would only be considered when a patient’s symptoms no longer respond to [Read More…]

Reminder to check, correct & comply with professional and legal advertising obligations

regulated health service advertising

Registered health practitioners are reminded to check, correct and comply with their professional and legal advertising obligations. The National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) have published a strategy for the National Scheme to help keep health service consumers safe from misleading advertising. AHPRA CEO Mr Fletcher said, “The National Law limits [Read More…]

From scepticism to rolling out the welcome mat: 8 professions respond to the federal health budget

2017-18 federal health budget response

The 2017-18 Federal Budget was handed down on 9 May 2017 by the Turnbull Government. The budget received mixed responses from various health associations and organisations. The freeze will be lifted from bulk billing incentives for GP consultations from 1 July 2017, from standard GP consultations and other specialist consultations from 1 July 2018, from [Read More…]

How to be a Happy Health Practitioner – by optometrist Carina Trinh

Carina Trinh

So, there’s this talk that I feel extremely passionate about that I give to the new graduate optometrists who enter the workforce in NSW/ACT each year as part of Young Optometrists Inc. NSW/ACT that covers the importance of self-care for optometrists. But really, it applies to all health care practitioners.   Being a Health Care [Read More…]

Mindfulness for health professionals – by Dr Kathryn Choules (PhD) and Dr Samantha Clarke (PhD)

Kathryn Choules

Due to my own developing interest in mindfulness in my own practice as an optometrist, and for the wider community of health practitioners, I thought it was worth asking mindfulness teachers and psychologists about how health practitioners can be mindful in their practice and interactions with patients. I was fortunate enough to receive responses from [Read More…]

New AHPRA podiatry registrant data released

registered podiatry data december 2016

There are almost 5,000 podiatrists registered in Australia, with many being aged between 25-29 years, according to the data in the Podiatry Board of Australia’s 1 October 2016 – 31 December 2016 registrant report. Of the 4,805 podiatrists in Australia, 4,666 are in general practice, 31 general and specialists, and 108 non-practising podiatrists. Age group [Read More…]

APA statement on physio role in acute ankle sprain management

physio role in acute ankle sprain

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has reacted to a suggestion by a recent study that there is no evidence to support a clinically important improvement in outcome with the addition of supervised physiotherapy to usual care for acute ankle sprain. Despite the findings of the study and some reports with similar suggestions, APA strongly asserts [Read More…]

Identifying and eliminating biofilm in chronic wounds

identifying and eliminating bioflim

Some sources claim that almost 80% of chronic wounds are colonised with biofilm. Biofilm has a significant tolerance to antibiotics and biocides while remaining protected from host immunity. While awareness of the presence and impact of wound biofilm has advanced enormously, understanding of its pathogenesis is yet to be clarified fully. The International Wound Infection [Read More…]

Podiatry Board consultation on therapeutic endorsement guidelines for podiatrists

consultation-endorsement-standard

The Podiatry Board of Australia has released a consultation paper on the review of the Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines and the related Guidelines: Endorsement for scheduled medicines. The profession, stakeholders and the community are invited to provide feedback and comments, including questions by Friday 9 December 2016. Submissions will be published on the [Read More…]

ATARs for every podiatry course in Australia

raining ATARS

As at September 2016, there are 8 accredited undergraduate podiatry courses in Australia and 3 postgraduate courses. For entry into a podiatry course commencing in 2016, the ATAR ranged from 70.00 to the mid-90s. The following table shows the ATAR / OP scores that were required to enter each undergraduate course at the beginning of [Read More…]

Revised infection prevention and control guidelines for podiatrists

podiatry infection prevention and control guidelines

All practising podiatrists and podiatric surgeons must practise within the recommendations of the National Health and Medical Research Council Australian (NHMRC) guidelines as they apply to the practice setting in which they work. The core principles in the Podiatry Board of Australia’s revised Guidelines for infection prevention and control are to prevent the transmission of [Read More…]

Exhilarating! My week with the Royal Flying Doctor Service – by Rebecca Irwin – medical student and NRHSN Chair

Rebecca Irwin RFDS week

The unique exhilarating experience of flying to remote communities and stations to provide health care is unparalleled by anything I have experienced thus far. I loved flying with the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) to remote locations, hopping from station to station, community to community, providing health care as we went. Occasionally we were diverted [Read More…]

Telemedicine: A Fundamental Addition to Contemporary Medical Curricula – by Christopher Lemon

Christopher Lemon

“Medicine and technology are intrinsically linked. Many advances in health have been contingent upon synonymous advances in technology. This has become particularly clear in recent times when considering the extent to which to technology has helped to substantially improve not only understandings of disease processes, but also the ways in which they can be managed. [Read More…]

Skilled Occupations List submissions put workforce shortages and excesses in the spotlight

Skilled Occupation List 2016

The new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) comes into effect on 1st July 2016. There have been changes to the status of a number of health professions, and a large number have been flagged for consideration in 2017. Health professions being added to SOL from 1st July 2016: Orthotist or prosthetist Audiologist Health professions being removed [Read More…]

Are you really listening? A view from the other side. By Gitte Backhausen – patient

Gitte Backhausen profile

Okay, so I know it’s practitioner month on My Health Career in May and that most of what we’re doing is sharing stories about the inspiring things health professionals are up to. When I got this article through from Gitte, I literally felt a bit sick in my stomach reading about everything she’d been through. [Read More…]

Checked your professional indemnity insurance lately? Revised PII standards for 8 professions will come into effect on 1 July 2016

AHPRA professional indemnity insurance

Effective on 1 July 2016, eight health professions in Australia will need to meet the obligations of the revised standard for professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements. The revised standard will replace the existing standard that is currently in place. The registration standard does not apply to the current cycle of renewals. However, the practitioners need [Read More…]

The 10 commandments of patient-centred care

the ten commandments for patient-centred care

A team of UK researchers has transformed their paper, published in the British Journal of General Practice, into a website fully dedicated to covering the 10 commandments for patient-centred treatment. Although it is about general practice, the principles are similar for any health profession, particularly where the profession involves disgnostics, prescribing medications or giving medications [Read More…]

Over 40% of diabetics with a foot ulcer die within 5 years

diabetic foot ulcers mortality rate

A recently published UK study has confirmed long-believed association between diabetic foot ulcers and an increased risk of death. 414,523 people with diabetes enrolled in practices associated with The Health Improvement Network in the United Kingdom were analysed for this study to evaluate the effects of diabetic foot ulcers and the covariates on death. Among [Read More…]

$250 million for translating medical research into real benefits

Biomedical Translation Fund

The Australian Government will invest $250 million over two years to help translate Australian health and medical research into commercial reality as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). This investment will provide the funds to improve the quality of life of Australians. The Biomedical Translation Fund alongside the Medical Research Future Fund [Read More…]

10 year road map for Closing the Gap

ten year road map to close the gap

Minister for Rural Health Fiona Nash has launched an Implementation Plan as a further commitment to Closing the Gap. The Implementation Plan is a ten-year road map: a strategy to better health for Indigenous children, Indigenous youth and Indigenous adults. The Coalition decided to adopt and build on the 10 year National Aboriginal and Torres Strait [Read More…]

The health industry responds to “Wasted” – the 4 Corners report on overdiagnosis and treatment in medicine

4 Corners Wasted health care system

Following the airing of the Four Corners report “Wasted” on 29th September, which featured commentary on the over diagnosis and over treatment of common health complaints including back pain, knee pain, chest pain and prostate testing, the conversation about inappropriate tests and procedures has gone well beyond the medical profession. “Wasted” implied that doctors are [Read More…]

ATARs for every podiatry course in Australia

ATAR for podiatry

The information in this article has been superseded by our 2016 article. As at September 2015, there are 7 accredited undergraduate podiatry courses in Australia and 3 postgraduate courses. For entry into a podiatry course commencing in 2015, the ATAR ranged from 70.00 to the mid-90s. The following table shows the ATAR / OP scores [Read More…]

Allied health misses a guernsey in the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce – by Amanda Griffiths

Medicare Benefits Scheme Review Taskforce

It’s been about a month since Minister for Health Sussan Ley announced the members of the Federal Government’s Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce and the Primary Health Care Advisory Group (PHCAG). Although the PHCAG is made up of members from a number of health professions including physiotherapy, medicine and pharmacy, it is blatantly obvious [Read More…]

#WhyWeDoResearch campaign – by Cheryl Prescott and Claire Gibbs

Claire Gibbs and Abby Greaves

“The #WhyWeDoResearch campaign was conceived and launched via Twitter by Claire Gibbs, Senior Clinical Research Nurse (@ClaireGibbsUK) and Abby Greaves, Research Administrator, (@JPUHResearch) at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in December 2014. Their intention was to use the hashtag #WhyWeDoResearch as a way to introduce core research team members to the public, [Read More…]

Call for health professionals to be more aware of signs of child sexual abuse surfaces during royal commission

child sexual abuse in institutions royal commission

The ABC has again reported on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. They recently published revelations by psychologist Terence Kirkpatrick that he was sexually abused by a psychologist at the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in 1967 when he had been referred to the clinic to be treated for what was [Read More…]

Advertising health services is about so much more than the AHPRA guidelines

advertising laws for health professionals

Health practitioners need to be aware that their advertising must comply not just with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) guidelines where appropriate, but also with national law. Consumer Law The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the authority who enforces the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The Act covers areas including false [Read More…]

The health industry’s reaction to the 2015 Federal Budget

health industry federal budget

As usual, the federal government’s health budget has been a mixed bag for the industry. Professional bodies representing practitioners including podiatrists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, medical practitioners, optometrists, dentists, nurses and medical students have all had something to say about the budget. Here’s a summary……   Building a Healthier Medicare The Government has announced that they [Read More…]

My rant following the most recent round of careers expos….

The dark side of career expos

I have just returned from a series of 4 careers expos in the New South Wales towns of Young, Forbes, Dubbo and Bathurst. Although this website was started especially for high school students considering a career in health and has lots of resources such as videos from real health practitioners and pathways information, there are [Read More…]

Podiatrists dragging their feet on the uptake of therapeutic endorsement

Podiatry endorsement for therapeutics

In a period of over two and a half years, just 18 more podiatrists have been endorsed to prescribe scheduled medicines. According to the latest figures (December 2014) from the Podiatry Board of Australia, there are 65 podiatrists in the country who are endorsed to prescribe scheduled medications. As there are 4,220 podiatrists with general [Read More…]

Would you spend 30 hours a month with older folk to get free accommodation during uni?

Live in aged care facility during uni

According to a report in The Journal in Ireland, a nursing home in Deventer in the Netherlands is opening its doors for uni students to live with the elderly as housemates. Why would any young free uni students wish to live with the pensioners instead of partying with fellow college roommates? The rent is free. [Read More…]

Multidisciplinary care of chronic diseases for cost effectiveness and surgery prevention

multidisciplinary care of chronic disease

Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) have released a report revealing that surgery could be avoided if patients with diabetes, stroke, and osteoarthritis were seen by multidisciplinary teams of health professionals. Allied health professionals can provide effective treatment that improves outcomes and reduces costs for patients with diabetes, stroke, and osteoarthritis, thus [Read More…]

AHPRA to introduce further drug screening procedures for practitioners with substance related impairment

AHPRA drug testing for health practitioners

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will be introducing mandatory hair testing for all practitioners with a substance related impairment. Under the screening protocol, all health practitioners who have restrictions on their registration linked to previous substance abuse will have routine hair testing in addition to the urine drug screening as per the interim [Read More…]

Upskilling online made possible by Monash University

Monash Online courses for health professionals

The health industry is incredibly rewarding yet can be a mentally draining area to work in. Take it from Natasha Jennings of the Alfred Hospital’s Emergency and Trauma Centre, who shared her typical day online at Health Victoria. Her exhausting day begins at 5am and she is seeing patients as soon as she steps into [Read More…]

Are your clients gluten free for the right reasons? by Sally Marchini APD

Sally Marchini dietitian

Accredited Practising Dietitian Sally Marchini was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost 40 years ago and then coeliac disease 13 years ago. It was that second chronic disease diagnosis that inspired her to go to university to become a dietitian, both to benefit her own health and lead by example to help others to enjoy [Read More…]

New podiatric surgeon registration standard to take effect from 24th February 2015

podiatric surgeon registration Australia

The Podiatry Board of Australia has announced that the new Registration standard for specialist registration for the podiatry specialty of podiatric surgery will take effect from 24th February 2015. While practitioners may hold both general registration as a podiatrist and specialist registration as a podiatric surgeon, or hold just a specialist registration, the new standards [Read More…]

What do patients think about digital health? By Cathie Reid – Digital Health Summit post 4

technology in health

This is the fourth and final post in my series from the Digital Health Summit at CES 2015, following on from posts on wearables, disrupting the doctor visit, and how pharmacy can avoid its own Kodak moment. It was fantastic to see the program include a session on the patient perspective, as all too often [Read More…]

Podiatry Western Australia splits from the Australasian Podiatry Council following recent subscription controversy

Podiatry WA splits from APodC

Following on from the recent dramas Podiatry Western Australia (Podiatry WA) and the Australasian Podiatry Council (APodC) have had over the offering of a subscription option that was similar to full membership, Podiatry WA has resigned its membership of the Australasian Podiatry Council. The split, which came into effect on November 7, 2014 means that [Read More…]

Subscribers booted out of Podiatry WA

Podiatry WA subscription

In June 2014 Podiatry WA – the Western Australian branch of the Australian Podiatry Association added the option of being a subscriber to its membership options. The subscription flyer outlined that the 12 month subscription fee of $500 + GST would keep subscribers up to date on professional and industry issues. Other benefits included discounts [Read More…]

Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge 2014….. and the winners are….

Team UQ

A couple of months ago I was asked to be the Master of Ceremonies at the Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge. Being offered such a great opportunity is a bit of a privilege, and although I was keen to take part in the day, I was also a bit daunted as it is such a full [Read More…]

Reminder about Therapy Choices for the NDIS

Therapy Choices

In 2013 Occupational Therapy Australia entered into a partnership with the Australian Government to produce Therapy Choices, a website which aims to help people with a disability to better understand the roles of the allied health professionals who are able to provide them support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The website lists the roles [Read More…]

How AGED FOOT CARE continues to shine – By Damien James

Damien James Aged Foot Care

Following is a guest blog by Damien James, founder and CEO of Aged Foot Care, Australia’s largest and most awarded podiatry provider. Established in 1997, the company caters exclusively to residents in Aged Care Facilities throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Here Damien gives us an insight into some of the factors that have [Read More…]

Patients with chronic diseases – which health practitioners are they being referred to?

Chronic disease referrals

The percentile statistics for the use of the allied health item numbers for patients with a chronic condition who are being managed by their GP under an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan have been released on the Medicare website. Under this plan, Medicare rebates are available for a maximum of 5 allied health services per [Read More…]

Allied health practice owners conference – Maida Learning

Cropped DL Flyer FRONT

Allied health professionals and practice owners now have access to education and professional development specifically for their unique business requirements with the establishment of Maida Learning and its inaugural Healthy Practice Conference being held at Canberra’s Hotel Realm on 16 and 17 May. Director of Maida Learning, Amy Geach launched the conference and her third [Read More…]

Health Fusion Team Challenge registration open to uni students

Health industry report

University students studying a health degree in an Australian university are now able to register a team for the 2014 HealthFusion Team Challenge (HFTC). The HFTC is an award winning program aimed at educating students from different disciplines in the area of collaborative patient care. There are 4 basic steps to being involved in the [Read More…]

Podiatry workforce data released

podiatry workforce

Health Workforce Australia has released Podiatrists in Focus – its latest data on the podiatry workforce in Australia. Podiatry is a relatively small profession, with 3,491 employed podiatrists in the labour force as at 2012. Health Workforce Australia has identified the remote and very remote areas in Australia as having significant shortages in the podiatry [Read More…]

Advertising guidelines for health professionals changed… just waiting on official AHPRA documentation

AHPRA Action

AHPRA Action, a campaign led by Melbourne surgeon Dr Jill Tomlinson, to have the Guidelines for Advertising Regulated Health Services changed, has had some success, but is still looking for the guidelines document to be changed. The part of the guidelines in question is in section 6.2.3, where it states that: A practitioner must take [Read More…]

Podiatrists use of Medicare item number 10962 for chronic conditions

Podiatry 10962

Under the Chronic Disease Management program, general practitioners are able to refer patients with chronic diseases to allied health practitioners for consultations which attract Medicare benefits. The Medicare item number podiatrists use for these consultations is 10962. The Department of Human Services has posted its provider percentile chart for the use of item number 10962 [Read More…]

Want to fly to the Northern Territory to inspire the next generation of health practitioners?

NT Rural High School Visits

The Northern Territory Medicare Local is now taking applications for university health students to fly to the Northern Territory to connect with high school students to promote health careers. Participating uni students will have the opportunity to present workshops to high school students to demonstrate the challenges and rewards of health careers, and also share [Read More…]

Non-medical prescribing: the dispute continues

medicine prescribing rights

In Australia, medications are traditionally prescribed by medical practitioners such as general practitioners, dermatologists and paediatricians, as well as dentists. More recently, suitably qualified health professionals including nurse practitioners, optometrists and podiatrists have taken on the role of prescribing medications. In the past it has been up to the professional bodies to lobby for prescribing [Read More…]

Why do kids see a podiatrist? The common and the rare, life-threatening reasons….

Reasons for children to see a podiatrist

Not so long, I interviewed Shay McClurg, a Queensland based podiatrist who runs 4 podiatry clinics. She talked about some of the most common reasons for parents to bring their child in to see a podiatrist. Here’s the video: In the video, Shay points out that for: 1.    Infants – often they are brought in [Read More…]

Podiatry – understanding and working with dance injuries

Pointe shoes

Because dance requires such precision and balance along with strength and athleticism, injuries to the foot and ankle are quite common; in fact, over half of all dance injuries occur in the foot or ankle. As a podiatrist, there are many things to consider when evaluating a dancer: 1.    The Shoes – Different shoes can [Read More…]

Getting to know the podiatry scope of practice

podiatry-scope-of-practice2

Podiatry deals with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders that affect the foot, ankle, and lower extremity. While most people are aware that podiatrists work with the feet, it is also worth pointing out that they also work with the entire lower limb. Recently we interviewed podiatrist Wayne Pugh, who gave an overview about [Read More…]

Tips for podiatry graduates

Podiatry - new grad

Private practice podiatrist Rachael Bradhurst recently wrote an article in the Australian Podiatry Council’s Podiatry Bulletin, giving tips for new graduates. These included: 1.    It’s rare to know which area of podiatry you will like best until you’ve tried them (e.g. sports/paediatrics/procedures). 2.    The first job you have might not be the ‘perfect job’, but [Read More…]

Orthopaedic Podiatry Triage Clinic

OPodTC

The Orthopaedic Podiatry Triage Clinic (OPodTC) is a collaborative model of screening and triage by the podiatrist in an attempt to address the problem of long waiting times for orthopaedic surgery on conditions of the foot and ankle. Some orthopaedic surgery referrals to public hospitals can be identified and treated by podiatrists, averting the need [Read More…]

The changing scope of podiatry practice

Podiatry scope of practice

Leading podiatrist Ainslie Davies recently completed a survey on the scope of podiatry practice for the Australasian Podiatry Council. Approximately 200 podiatrists responded to the survey. In a recent article in the Podiatry Bulletin, she discussed the findings. The main two ways in which the scope of practice is expanding are: National registration/recognition of podiatric [Read More…]

Heel pain in athletes

Podiatry - heel pain

For the non-podiatrist, it might be easy to assume that heel pain in athletes is due to…. well….. being on their feet a lot and the general wear and tear that comes along with being an athlete!! A recent Podiatry Today article called “Keys to addressing heel pain in the athlete” gave an overview of [Read More…]

The road to becoming a podiatric surgeon

Podiatry - surgery

Did you know that there are podiatric surgeons out there who perform surgeries of the foot and ankle? They might provide treatment for conditions including structural deformities, bone spurs, skin and nail conditions, and injuries. To become a podiatric surgeon involves having clinical experience in podiatry, completing a Masters, and completing a podiatric surgery Fellowship [Read More…]

Where are the Podiatry Courses in Australian Universities?

Podiatry university

According to the Podiatry Bulletin April/May 2012 the following universities offer a podiatry course…. Universities currently offering degrees in podiatry are Western Australia, South Australia, La Trobe, Charles Sturt, Newcastle, Western Sydney, Queensland University of Technology and Central Queensland. Two universities are planning on introducing courses in the next few years, these being at Southern [Read More…]