Communications and advocacy update: 27 July

27 July 2023

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


GP/hospital communication- Parkville Precinct change in information sent to General Practices - update

AMA Victoria has previously brought to members’ attention concerns around Royal Melbourne Hospital’s recent change in communication to GPs.

Please find below response from RMH:

The Royal Melbourne Hospital is committed to improving the ways we communicate with our community partners.

A recent newsletter to our North Western Melbourne Primary Health Care partners prompted some concerns about how we would communicate admission, discharge and death notifications from the hospital to our GP’s when we retire a legacy secondary faxing service.

The RMH is moving towards more contemporary forms of communication, and we encourage our community partners to sign up to Parkville Connect, where they can view the full hospital record of their registered patients. Parkville Connect participants can opt to receive email messages prompting them to log in when a significant hospital interaction has taken place with one of their patients. These alerts are individually customisable and available to clinicians and appropriate practice staff. There is no requirement to “log in” every day. Parkville connect provides the most comprehensive view of a patient’s hospital course.

Recent concerns raised indicated that Parkville connect notifications may not meet the communication needs of all practices at all times.

In response to this feedback , the RMH is working to provide admission, discharge and death notifications in the same way that we currently provide clinical information such as discharge summaries and clinic notes - via Argus, or fax if Argus is not used and via post if neither are available, directly from the EMR. This service will be available prior to switching off the current (secondary) faxing service.

We encourage members experiencing similar issues with their local hospital to share their accounts with Lewis Horton, Senior Policy Adviser, via email at


Strategy towards elimination of seclusion and restraint Discussion Paper - AMA Victoria response

AMA Victoria recently provided a response to the Victorian Department of Health's Strategy towards elimination of seclusion and restraint Discussion Paper.

In our response, we conveyed to the Department that the frequent use of seclusion and restraint is a symptom of an inadequately resourced mental health system. We stressed the urgent need for major investments in mental health beds, the establishment of mental health and substance abuse hubs in Emergency Departments (EDs), and the upgrading of physical facilities within psychiatric inpatient units.

Moreover, we emphasized that while we support the reduction of restrictive practices, it is essential to balance patient autonomy with the need for health and safety, especially for those lacking insight into their illness.

We also underscored the importance of Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) considerations and urged the Department to ensure the safety and well-being of healthcare workers when striving to minimise restrictive practices.

Our submission concluded by noting that it is our firm conviction that achieving the goal of reducing seclusion and restraint while ensuring safe care provision requires a comprehensive and holistic approach to mental health reform in Victoria. We believe that Victoria will be best placed to minimise the use of seclusion and restraint by addressing the root causes, enhancing workforce resourcing, and maintaining a laser focus on patient and healthcare worker safety.


National Health and Climate Strategy - AMA Victoria submission

AMA Victoria recently provided a submission to the National Health and Climate Strategy.

In our submission, we highlighted various aspects that require attention and proposed potential actions to achieve a more sustainable and climate-resilient healthcare sector in Australia. These actions included phasing out certain anaesthetic gases, improving access to public transportation for healthcare facilities, and promoting the use of reusable medical equipment.

Furthermore, our submission emphasised the importance of explicitly stating the fundamental causes of climate change, namely excessive consumption and population growth, to better support the vision of the Strategy. We stressed that focusing on preventing further growth of these drivers is crucial in maintaining a healthy population and aligning with the concept of "health in all policies.

Our primary emphasis was on promoting a low carbon, high-value healthcare system in Australia, which requires both mitigating climate change and adapting the healthcare sector to its impacts. We underlined the significance of collaboration among stakeholders, comprehensive data collection, and setting science-based targets to achieve these objectives effectively.

In conclusion, our submission advocated for a proactive and well-coordinated approach to address climate change's impact on the healthcare sector in Australia. By adopting sustainable practices, acknowledging the root causes of climate change, and setting clear objectives, we asserted that we could create a climate-resilient and environmentally conscious healthcare system that benefits both current and future generations.

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