AMA Victoria


AMA Victoria made this resource available to members only.
Get access to all of AMAV's articles, events, and more by joining today.

  •  Access all member-only resources from AMAV
  •  Dig deeper into the subjects that matter to you
  •  Get in depth articles to achieve your professional goal

Join Now

Already a member? Log in

Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria has been working on for GP members in 2024, including:

  • Victorian Council of General Practice
  • AMA Victoria Council Motion- Declining Rates of GP Bulk Billing
  • Payroll tax reform
  • $10m general practice support and recovery funding
  • Single Employer Model trial
  • Ensuring inclusivity and opportunity for trainees: advocacy regarding examination sitting and applications while on parental leave
  • VCAT- Medical Report Template - Guardianship List form
  • Rejection of Unnamed Referrals
  • Addressing the annual supply issues for flu vaccines
  • Priority Primary Care Centres.

Victorian Council of General Practice

AMAV has established a Victorian Council of General Practice. The purpose of the Council is to:

  • Develop policy which focuses on General Practice being properly recognised, remunerated, and integrated into the Australian healthcare system, including the position of General Practices as small businesses.
  • Reflects the views of the AMAV’s General Practice members, including General Practice Registrars.
  • Provides input into AMAV policy through the AMAV Council and AMAV Board as appropriate.

Chaired by Dr Karen Price, the Victorian Council of General Practice’s first meeting is scheduled for 4 July 2024.


AMA Victoria Council Motion- Declining Rates of GP Bulk Billing

The Council requests the AMAV Board, in recognising the rapidly declining rates of GP bulk billing, to call on AMA Federal Council and its AMA Council of General Practice to:

1) Recognise the cornerstone service provided by GP consults to the Australian health care system by immediately doubling the patient Medicare rebates for consultation items 23, 36, 44 and home visits, thereby reducing out of pocket costs.

2) Institute an independent pricing authority to set in place considered annual patient Medicare rebates for future GP MBS item numbers.

3) Work Nationally and with State and Local Governments to partner with and support GP Practitioner led new and innovative models of care.


Payroll tax reform

In May, AMAV advised members that “[a]fter listening to advocacy from the sector, the State Government has announced changes that deliver certainty and clarity to Victorian general practices. While AMA Victoria acknowledges that there will be costs associated with this transition for practices that are not currently paying payroll tax on GP contractor wages, it is positive news for general practices, general practitioners and Victorians.”

The update highlighted our ongoing advocacy efforts on this issue and provided the information available to us at the time regarding both retrospective and prospective payroll exemptions. AMA Victoria continues to work with the Treasurer's Office to facilitate legislation to enable the (prospective) payroll tax exemption on bulk billed services rendered by general practitioners and GP registrars. The SRO has published further guidance on payroll tax at

$10m general practice support and recovery funding

AMAV is engaging with the Department of Health on the program for the $10m in general practice support and recovery funding announced in the 2024/25 State Budget, and have provided the Department with a project proposal that leverages existing transfer of care work being conducted by Safer Care Victoria and the Commonwealth funded Ensuring Data Linkage Strategy. Our proposal seeks to support at risk patients to receive general practice care that will reduce ED presentations and avoidable hospital admissions, and provide clarity on the interaction between general practice care and health service demand.

This follows our 2023 advocacy for a collaborative effort to develop a General Practice Support and Recovery Strategy for Victoria.

MORE: General Practice update


Single Employer Model trial

AMAV is supporting and engaged in Rural GP Single Employer Model trial planning for 2024-25 and continues to provide feedback and advice on preferred directions and considerations. Subject to Commonwealth approval, the aim is for a two-year trial for up to 15 Rural Generalist registrars in up to three trial sites, with an anticipated start date of February 2025.

Ensuring inclusivity and opportunity for trainees: advocacy regarding examination sitting and applications while on parental leave

Beginning in 2023, AMA Victoria has advocated to change the policies of certain colleges excluding trainees who are on parental leave from applying to sit and sitting fellowship examinations. In our view, policy change that allows trainees who are on parental leave to apply to sit and to sit for fellowship examination would promote a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and equal opportunity.

AMAV’s efforts resulted in RANZCO and the AOA, respectively, reversing (RANZCO) and amending (AOA) policies which prevented trainees to apply to sit, and to sit examinations while on parental leave. Most recently, we are delighted to advise that the RACGP has confirmed that they have changed their Fellowship Examination policy so that it is in line with AMA policy on flexible training.

MORE: Communications and Advocacy update: 25 April 2024


Ahpra advocacy

Registration fees for healthcare practitioners on parental leave

AMA Victoria has written to Ahpra regarding registration fees for healthcare practitioners on parental leave. Specifically, the letter addresses Ahpra's refusal to provide any registration category or mechanism to reduce fees to assist practitioners on parental leave, despite requests for change.

MORE: Advocacy to Ahpra: Registration fees for healthcare practitioners on parental leave

Under the leadership of President Dr Jill Tomlinson, AMAV has also launched a public campaign on this issue: Join the call for fair and equitable registration fees!

Additional Ahpra concerns

AMA Victoria concurrently continues its advocacy to Ahpra on the following issues:

  • Concerns regarding notifications process
  • Racism and racial literacy
  • Seeking clarity regarding withdrawn and restricted right to practice.

 MORE: Communications and Advocacy Update: 28 March 2024

VCAT- Medical Report Template - Guardianship List form

AMAV has previously informed members about concerns raised by AMA Victoria regarding what we perceive as a common practice at VCAT. This practice involves ‘requesting’ medical practitioners to complete a form titled "Medical Report Template - Guardianship List" while remaining silent on the payment of fees and unclear on legal protections for practitioners. We noted that this practice is unfair, inappropriate, and, in the absence of explicit legal protection on the form, potentially exposes doctors to unnecessary legal risk.

To address these concerns, we have been working with VCAT to develop a revised form, now updated on VCAT’s website. This initiative is one of several being pursued by AMAV to reduce the administrative burden on GPs and other medical practitioners.

MORE: Communications and Advocacy Update: 21 March 2024

Rejection of Unnamed Referrals

AMA Victoria is supporting GP members with their concerns regarding the rejection of unnamed referrals in public outpatient hospitals. Recognising that these issues often stem from system or process challenges beyond individual practitioners' control, AMAV is committed to addressing these system-level problems.

Addressing the annual supply issues for flu vaccines

AMA Victoria has previously written to members regarding the current availability of flu and COVID vaccines. We relayed that many practices have expressed frustration, stating that they have been unable to place orders for weeks, resulting in numerous instances of turning away patients due to insufficient supplies. We further informed members that we reached out to the Victoria Department of Health to explore ways in which we can collaborate more effectively to achieve the crucial goal of enhancing vaccine access.

The Department has subsequently advised that National Immunisation Program (NIP) influenza vaccine ordering limits have been lifted, marking a significant success for AMA Victoria's advocacy.


Priority Primary Care Centres

AMAV continues to eagerly await the release of the Priority Primary Care Centre (PPCC) review report, noting the March 2024 Public Accounts and Estimates Committee of the Victorian Parliament’s recommendation for release of this document in mid-2024.

Our internal calculations indicate that the cost of care per patient encounter at PPCCs is significantly higher for Victorian taxpayers compared to general practice care. Given these high costs, we have suggested to the government that a value-based healthcare approach may be more beneficial. This approach would consider existing resources and infrastructure within general practice settings and explore how to enhance support for general practices to deliver urgent and after-hours care.