ABOUT AACP

Role

The Australian Association of Consultant Physicians (AACP) is the only organisation that solely represents all Australian consultant physicians and paediatricians in economic and related workforce matters that affect the sustainability of consultant physician and paediatrician practice.

The AACP seeks to enhance the level of Medicare rebates available to your patients for your services and to achieve appropriate ongoing recognition of the advanced training and skills of all consultant physicians and paediatricians.

There is a complementary working relationship between the AACP and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). However the RACP, under its Memorandum and Articles, cannot engage directly in matters such as Medicare fees and the rebates available to your patients. For this reason, the AACP was formed.

The AACP focuses its efforts in the following areas:

  • influencing government policy on a range of issues particularly relevant to consultant physicians and paediatricians.
  • increasing the Medicare benefits available to patients for professional attendance items for consultant physicians and paediatricians, with particular recognition of the increasing complexity of care required by many patients.
  • improving the level of Medicare benefits available to patients of all Fellows of the RACP. (see Achievements).
  • supporting consultant physicians and paediatricians who practice in outer urban, rural and remote areas through representations on issues that affect non-metropolitan practice.
  • encouraging career development across the consultant physician and paediatrician workforce.
  • working with the RACP on issues relevant to the consultant physician and paediatrician workforce where a joint approach is appropriate.

Our Council

The AACP Council has up to ten Directors nominated from membership and subsequently elected by the Members.

The President, Vice-President and Treasurer make up the Executive Committee.

Executive

President: Dr Terry Stubberfield
Dr Terry Stubberfield is a paediatrician in private practice in Wangaratta, and is a visiting medical officer at the Wangaratta Base Hospital since 1996.

Email: president@aacp.org.au

Vice-President: Dr John Swieca
Dr John Swieca has been the medical director of the Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre since returning from a Sleep Disorders Fellowship at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles in 1994.  Dr Swieca chairs the Sleep Physicians Council of the Australasian Sleep Association, and serves on the Executive Committee of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group.

Email: vicepresident@aacp.org.au

Treasurer: Dr Nancy Bilkhu
Dr Nancy Bilkhu is a consultant physician in general medicine based in Wangaratta in rural Victoria having recently completed her advanced training as a consultant physician.  She held training positions at Austin Health and Northern Hospital in Melbourne following her advanced training in Wangaratta and Shepparton.

Councillors

Prof William Heddle AM
Dr William Heddle is a cardiologist/electrophysiologist based in Adelaide. As well as working in private practice, he is a Senior Consultant Cardiologist at Flinders Medical Centre and Senior Lecturer in Medicine at Flinders University of South Australia. Dr Heddle has been on the Executive of the Australian Medical Association (SA) for the past decade, was AMA (SA) President from 2003 to 2005 and from 2004 has been the Physician Craft Group representative on the AMA Federal Council. Since 2003 he has been an elected member of the SA State Committee of the RACP.

Dr Andrew Nunn
Dr Andrew Nunn is a rehabilitation physician working as a Director in the Victorian Spinal Cord Service, private practice and rural clinics. Dr Nunn has a strong interest in the application of technology in ehealth, patient monitoring and assistive and therapeutic devices. He has had administrative roles in Alfred Health Care Group, including Head of Nonacute Business Unit and Chief Clinical Advisor Inner and Eastern Healthcare network. He has also enjoyed a long association with both Monash and Melbourne Universities in engineering and medicine through teaching and research.

Dr Anthony Roberts
Dr Anthony Roberts is currently the Medical Co-ordinator of the RAH Thyroid and Parathyroid Clinic. Dr Roberts is Principal Investigator of SA Endocrine Research Pty Ltd and has conducted over two hundred international clinical trials. He is also very committed to postgraduate teaching and gives numerous lectures each year.

Executive Officer

Ms Janine Sargeant AM

Past Presidents

Presidents are elected for a three to four year term, and the period of Office is November to November.

Year Name
2019 – Dr Terry Stubberfield
2016 – 2019 Associate Professor Peter Ruchin
2013 – 2016 Professor Rick McLean
2009 – 2013 Professor William Heddle AM
2005 – 2009 Associate Professor Les Bolitho AM

Achievements: MBS items 132 and 133

The AACP achieved a significant win for consultant physician and paediatric practice in a very short period of time with the introduction of two major new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items.

The AACP identified the need for Medicare items that appropriately recognised the time and skill of consultant physicians and paediatricians in treating patients with increasingly complex conditions. The MBS was lacking items for patients with multiple morbidities, and the AACP sought to change this by introducing two new attendance items.

As a direct result of the AACP’s September 2006 submission and subsequent extensive representations over many months, the 2007 Federal Budget included $291.3 million specifically for two new attendance items for consultant physicians and paediatricians attending patients with two or more co-morbidities.

These two new items are designed to support you in addressing the needs of the increasing numbers of patients who present with chronic and complex conditions. The new items were introduced on Thursday 1 November 2007.

These were the first new attendance items for consultant physicians in more than 20 years.

Item 132

An initial attendance of at least 45 minutes duration to undertake a comprehensive assessment of a patient with at least two morbidities, and the development of a treatment and management plan.

Item 133

A subsequent attendance of at least 20 minutes duration to review the initial diagnoses, problems and responses to treatment, and to revise the treatment and management plan (if necessary).

Visit Medicare for full item descriptors.


Would you like to see the AACP continue to support your practice and gain improved benefits for your patients?
Join AACP today

The pomegranate originated in Iran and Afghanistan.

In Persian writing, the pomegranate confers invincibility.

In Greek and Roman mythology, pomegranates are linked to Persephone who, each year, returned from the Underworld to mark the start of spring. Spring is associated with regeneration, fertility and abundance.

Hence, the pomegranate decorates the religious artifacts of many of the major religions. The medical profession has embraced the symbolism – that of health and life.