Communications and Advocacy update: 15 September

15 September 2022

Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria is working on for members, including:

Surgery Recovery and Reform Engagement

*Update, Friday 16 September: Based on current health system pressures, and competing priorities, the Department of Health has decided to postpone its broader engagement on Surgery Recovery and Reform to a more suitable period of time when participation can be maximised. As such, the Engage Victoria link has been removed and the webinar cancelled. The Department is intending to recommence both forms of engagement in late 2022.

As members may know, in April this year, the Victorian Government announced a $1.5 billion Planned Surgery Recovery and Reform Program (aka the COVID Catch-Up Plan).

As part of this program, the Victorian Department of Health is endeavouring to develop a reform blueprint - outlining sustainable and foundational reforms to the planned surgery system over the short, medium, and long term.

In the Department’s telling, key to the success and practicality of this reform agenda is engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure it is informed by the experience and expertise of those who are most affected by planned surgery, including consumers, carers, the workforce, health services and peak bodies.

Accordingly, the Department is launching an intensive engagement phase to reach as many stakeholders as possible, with engagement including a:

The discussion paper/survey includes questions such as:

This is an opportunity to generate and contribute to reform that is enduring and improves patient outcomes and experiences across the planned surgery system.

If you would like to contribute towards AMA Victoria’s response to the survey, please contact Senior Policy Adviser, Lewis Horton, at

Follow up: Proposed amendments to Secretary Approvals for immunisers - monkeypox vaccine

Last week we canvassed the views of members regarding whether amendments should be made to Secretary Approvals for immunisers to authorise nurse immunisers and pharmacist immunisers to administer the monkeypox vaccine to people recommended for vaccination: Communications and advocacy update: 8 September (

In response to the feedback we received, we have conveyed to the Victorian Department of Health our view that the significant learnings from the immunisation process around COVID-19 need to be brought into play again in this context.

General Practice remains the optimal site for providing vaccinations to patients:

In short, GPs and their nursing staff are best positioned to provide their patients with vaccinations.

GPs have the experience, facilities, and knowledge to provide both incident specific care in as well as more complex care. Moreover, people identified as recommended for vaccination are more than a profiled statistical group - they deserve to be treated holistically in the context of their other needs.

A sincere thank you to members who took the time to provide feedback.

Victorian Department of Health updates for General Practitioners

Please find the below updates from the Victorian Department of Health:

  1. Letter from the Victorian Department of Health’s Acting Chief Health Officer to General Practitioners and Primary Care providers providing clarifying advice regarding RAT verification requirements for prescription of antiviral medications.
  2. Develop a COVID-19 treatment plan for your patients

Continuing to actively engage with high-risk patients and develop a COVID-19 treatment plan enables eligible patients to quickly access the best available treatment should they get COVID-19. Examples of COVID treatment plan are now available for downloading on the department’s website

  1. Links to two recent RACGP webinars on Victoria’s Priority Primary Care Centres - an overview for GPs and Monkeypox Virus. Both webinars are now available for viewing on the RACGP Victoria Faculty’s ‘on demand’ webpage:
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