Lead clinicians from across Queensland discussed a range of issues impacting the ACCHO sector at QAIHC’s Clinical Leaders Forum (CLF) face-to-face meeting in December.

The CLF is a network of staff with a clinical interest from QAIHC and Member services, with the goal of informing and influencing QAIHC, NACCHO and government policy.

Chaired by QAIHC Public Health Registrar, Dr Shamila Ginige, the Forum addressed seven key sector challenges including workforce recruitment and MyMedicare.

Other topics discussed were:

  • Medication shortages
  • Point-of-Care testing for Group A Strep
  • Cancer screening programs
  • Utilisation of Aboriginal Health Workers/Practitioners
  • Burnout and isolation.

Dr. Ginige emphasised the importance of the CLF in addressing the challenges, highlighting how the Forum’s discussions directly contributed to QAIHC’s mission to represent Member interests and address remote community needs.

The Forum honed in on the MyMedicare program’s administrative challenges and restrictive patient registration policies, seeking solutions to these pressing issues.

The 2023 QAIHC Members’ Conference similarly spotlighted the MyMedicare program’s administrative hurdles, underscoring the need for streamlined patient registration processes.

Using Practice Incentive Program (PIP) sign-ups as a registration for the program was touted as a possible solution.

Clinical leaders agreed upon the following action item: QAIHC to draft letter to request MyMedicare registration
paperwork be linked with the: Indigenous PIP registration paperwork to minimise the administrative burden.

The other major topic of discussion was the current Bicillin LA shortage. Bicillin LA is an antibiotic which is important in the prevention and treatment of syphilis, acute rheumatic fever (ARF), and rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

NACCHO clinical pharmacist Alice Nugent, in her discussion of the Bicillin LA shortage, outlined the systemic issues around getting medicines into Australia and increased global demand for the product.

A continued shortage would negatively affect the lives of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.