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July 2008

RACGP election hots up

The upcoming RACGP federal presidential election race is hotting up. NSW rural GP (and current Vice President) Dr Christopher Mitchell has already put his hand up for the top job, and now incumbent President, WA's Dr Vasantha Preetham, has thrown her hat in the ring. Vasantha is only the second President to seek a second consecutive term, although her job is cut out for her as Dr Mitchell has some factional heavy hitters behind him. Prof Peter Mudge (Chair, Tasmanian RACGP faculty), Dr Di O'Halloran (Chair, NSW & ACT faculty), Dr Jane Smith (Chair, Queensland faculty), and past RACGP president Dr Peter Joseph all support Dr Mitchell's candidacy, as does local GP Dr Olga Ward. While the RACGP has expanded its membership and been running smoothly under Vasantha's presidency, time will tell whether stability is enough to sway members. Postal ballots are open until July 16. Further info (including candidate statements) can be found at www.racgp.org.au 

Contaminated heparin recall

Batches of Sanofi-Aventis' heparin products Lovenox and Clexane (enoxaparin) have been found to contain small amounts of the contaminant over-sulphated chondroitin sulphate. In January, the USA reported 44 deaths and additional affected cases associated with exposure to unfractionated intravenous heparin produced by Baxter. More recently, the media has linked the drugs to 81 US deaths. While the risk of adverse events associated with the contaminated drugs is unknown, less than 5% of Australian Clexane is believed to be contaminated. Not surprisingly, all batches (made in late April) containing the contaminant have been recalled.

WA's air ambulance

A new jet ambulance service was launched in June by Health Minister Jim McGinty...

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