2017 VIC Annual General Meeting & Annual Dinner

DAY:     Sunday, 5th March 2017
TIME:    7.00 pm to 10.00 pm
VENUE:  Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, 489 Glenferrie Road, Kooyong VIC 3144


We will be honoured and proud to welcome our guest speaker, Dr Tony Atkinson.
Tony, a retired anaesthetist, has published a book about his memoirs called A Prescribed Life. While he forged a successful career as an anaesthetist, his greatest gift may be for telling rousing tales. Listen to Tony tell incredible true stories from his life in England and Australia, providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse of England’s royal family.
Please advise of any special dietary requirements along with RSVP to Mary Vassilacos by Sunday, 26th February 2017.

Please download papers for the 2017 AGM:
1.    AGM Notice
2.    AGM Agenda
3.    AGM Minutes 2016
4.    Appointing a Proxy Form
5.    Request for Notice of Motions Form
6.    Office Bearer’s Nomination Form



REAL WORLD ANAESTHESIA COURSE (RWAC)
30 October to 3 November 2017 • Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand

Date: 9 February 2017


This is the 26th Australasian course and the third to be held in New Zealand.

The aim of RWAC is to prepare anaesthetists for work in low and middle income countries (“the real world”) and a variety of humanitarian and civil disaster situations. The course consists of a series of interactive lectures, problem discussions, practical equipment sessions and in-theatre teaching of drawover anaesthesia. A simulation session is also planned.

Topics will include:

• Drawover equipment
• Ketamine
• Oxygen concentrators
• Equipment maintenance
• Obstetric and paediatric challenges
• Teaching – who, how and what
• Psychology of adaptation
• Ethical dilemmas
• Tropical medicine
• Trip preparation

The number of participants is limited to 18 to maximise interaction and hands-on learning. The course has previously been oversubscribed and places are allocated on a “first in, first on” basis.

The course cost is NZ$3500 (including GST) and is payable if your application is successful.

Application forms will be available from early afternoon on Tuesday 28 March on our website. Successful applicants will be notified by mid-April.

For more information, please contact Dr Wayne Morriss, RWAC Convenor.
Click here for the event flyer.


Letter to The Australian's Editor

Date:  25 January 2016

Our President Associate Professor David M Scott wrote a letter to The Australian's Editor in response to the recent article “Specialists’ fees drive up out of pocket costs for patients” (The Australian, published on 23 Jan 2017).
Please click here to read the letter.


Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Junior Research Award

 

Date: 12 January 2017

Applications are invited from ASA, NZSA, or ANZICS members who are in training or within five years of their specialist qualification for the Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Junior Research Award.
To be eligible, applicants must be the first author of a paper published in ‘Anaesthesia and Intensive Care’ in 2016. Ideally the paper would describe work conducted in Australia or New Zealand.
The award will be made on the basis of the scientific merit and originality of the paper. The award will be made separately to the ‘Jeanette Thirlwell Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Best Paper Award’.
The prize consists of AUD $2,000 plus expenses to attend the annual ASA National Scientific Congress to receive the award.
Applications in the form of a letter indicating the name of the paper and the date published should be addressed to the Chief Editor, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care via email aic@asa.org.au by 30 April 2017.


AIC Journal 45.1 now available!

Date: 12 January 2017



The January issue of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care discusses the use of strychnine for the treatment of shock in the cover note, while the editorial Correctly name your poison by L.S. Weber reports on the use of new drug names as decreed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Abstracts of the recent Australian Society of Anaesthetists 75th National Scientific Congress held in Melbourne, are also featured in this issue. For more information please update the AIC App or visit http://aaic.net.au/

 

Call for Nominations for ASA Trainee Members Group  - Committee Chair 2017 - closes 13 February 2017
Date: January 2017

All ASA Trainee Members are eligible to nominate themselves for this position. 
Please contact Maxine Wade, ASA TMG Secretariat on trainees@asa.org.au for information.


ASA Trainee Members – International Scholarship Guidelines 2017
Date: January 2017

The ASA has developed close relationships with other international anaesthetic associations under the banner of the Common Interest Group (CIG). This includes a broad scope to the advancement of anaesthesia, patient safety, workforce issues, training and development.As part of this, the ASA understands the value of trainees attending these conferences - learning and sharing experiences and common issues. The ASA is offering three scholarships each year valued at $4,000 to assist trainees with the travel costs to attend one of these international meetings.

Canadian Anesthesiologists Society Annual Meeting
Ontario, 23-26 June 2017

 Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland Annual Scientific Meeting
Cardiff, 5-7 July 2017

American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting
Boston, 21-25 October 2017

Please click and download Guidelines and Application form.


Relative Value Guide (RVG)
 - History and Advantages
Date: 6 December 2016

In light of the current Medical Benefits Schedule review, I believed it timely to provide a brief history of the origins of the Relative Value Guide and its advantages over the previous system. Please read below:

Dear Colleague,

Some information about the Relative Value Guide (RVG) for anaesthesia.

History and Introduction

  • Introduced into the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) in 2001 after a 30-year campaign by the ASA. It had been first devised in 1951 and then adopted by the American Society of Anesthesiologists in 1961. It has been developed and improved by anaesthetists over 70 years and accurately reflects the relative value of anaesthesia work for every anaesthetic.
  • The previous (bundled) MBS system was tied to the work said to be done by the surgeon. This meant that the anaesthetist could wait weeks or months to obtain the surgeon’s item numbers before an account could be sent. Payment was calculated on a time estimate which was nearly always incorrect, and there were no modifiers for age, physical status nor emergencies.
  • The RVG was introduced in 2001 after a 5-year planning process with the Government, on a cost neutral basis. (Government had agreed in 1996 that it was a vastly superior system for determining fees and rebates however insisted it be introduced at no extra cost)
  • New items such as modifiers and emergency loadings meant the then unit value was reduced to keep cost neutrality, and that it was subsequently frozen for two years to achieve this.


Advantages of the RVG over “bundled billing” (previous MBS system)

  • Fees and rebates are based on the anaesthesia performed, not the surgery. Through its design, the RVG as a limited number of base items which automatically accommodate new surgical techniques, (e.g. “Anaesthesia for cardiac surgery” covers any new heart surgery that the surgeons develop.)
  • The use of real time means every anaesthesia fee and rebate accurately reflect the actual time taken, and as procedures become quicker or slower the fees and rebates change accordingly. 
  • The RVG in that sense is virtually always “up to date” (unlike almost every other part of the MBS)
  • Modifiers for age, physical status and emergencies acknowledge the increase in anaesthesia risk and complexity associated with these patients.
  • Items such as for insertion and monitoring of arterial or central venous catheters and blood transfusions had been in the MBS for all doctors since the MBS was first introduced, acknowledging the risks and skills required for these procedures. When the RVG was introduced  these items were given a unit value and incorporated on a cost neutral basis. These procedures are done by a wide range of doctors other than anaesthetists, particularly 
  • The RVG is regarded as simple to use and understand by insurers as well as anaesthetists and their patients. If an insurer wishes to increase or decrease their total anaesthesia expenditure they simply adjust the unit value up or down. 


In summary


The Relative Value Guide is a simple, elegant system for determining anaesthesia fees and rebates which accurately reflects the relativity of different anaesthesia services and automatically adjusts to changes in medical practice.

A/Professor David M Scott
ASA President