MJA journal impact factor tops 5 for first time; 16th in world

THE Medical Journal of Australia has reached its highest ever journal impact factor of 5.332, according to the 2018 Journal Impact Factor, Journal Citation Reports released by the Web of Science Group, its third successive rise. The MJA’s journal impact factor has climbed from 3.369 in 2015, 3.675 in 2016, and 4.227 in 2017, placing it firmly in the top 20 titles in the General and Internal Medicine category at 16th of 160 journals, up from 19th in 2017. Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley, AC, editor-in-chief of the MJA, said the result was just reward for the recommitment of the MJA to publishing high quality content. “The latest impact factor results show by international standards the MJA is one of the world’s best general medical journals, and it’s been going up and up in the rankings since 2016. Publishing in the MJA has real impact. The articles we publish are well cited and very widely read, generating huge mainstream press and social media interest. It’s still free to publish in the MJA; authors pay no fees. And all original research is made freely available for all to read on www.mja.com.au. The MJA is Australia’s highest ranking medical journal and one of the world’s leading journals. We have very ambitious plans to be even better because we believe this is what Australian researchers deserve. We welcome your best original research, reviews, meta-analyses, clinical trials, guidelines and perspectives.”

GPs’ Indigenous health incentive program review

Submissions have closed for the Department of Health’s review of the Practice Incentives Program Indigenous Health Incentive (PIP IHI). A Department spokesperson told InSight+ that as at 3 July 2019, the Department had received over 20 submissions to the consultation process. “To date, the Department has held a number of workshops, focus groups, one-on-one interviews and a webinar with individuals and organisations across the country, including in Adelaide, Dalby, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Alice Springs and Canberra. Some workshops were rescheduled to focus groups or one-on-one discussions to better align to the number of available attendees,” the spokesperson said. To qualify for the PIP IHI program, practices must fulfil three criteria. They must undertake cultural awareness training; register Indigenous patients to the Close the Gap (CTG) program yearly; and provide some continuity of care to the patients, especially those with chronic disease. According to NSW rural GP Dr Aniello Iannuzzi, the PIP IHI had been successful but there was room for improvement. “In my 20+ years in general practice, I cannot think of a bureaucratic initiative that has reaped so much benefit for the target group,” Dr Iannuzzi told InSight+. “While I am very happy with the scheme and enthusiastic about the outcomes it is achieving, I would like to see the following improvements made: make the registration process a one-off rather than yearly; allow all doctors to write CTG prescriptions regardless of whether they are on the PIP IHI program; remove perverse incentives to do care plans for patients who do not really need care plans; and reward continuity of care and complexity of care via improved Medicare Benefits Schedule item numbers rather than being triggered by care plans.” The Department of Health spokesperson said the Department is “working towards providing advice to Government by the end of the year… It is likely outcomes will not be publicly available until 2020”.

New Chair for NPS MedicineWise

Sydney-based GP Dr Andrew Knight has been announced as the new Chair of the Board of NPS MedicineWise. He has served on the Board since 2010. Dr Knight takes over from outgoing chair Mr Peter Turner, who says Dr Knight holds a wealth of understanding about the Australian health sector, exceptional leadership skills and expertise in quality improvement in general practice and medical education. “Andrew Knight has been a non-executive director of NPS MedicineWise for 9 years, is immediate past chair of Wentworth Healthcare (Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network) and also holds academic appointments at the University of NSW, the University of Sydney and Western Sydney University,” said Mr Turner. “He is a passionate advocate for quality use of medicines and other health technologies and is well placed to lead NPS MedicineWise in delivering on the priorities of improving quality use of medicines and outcomes for patients,” he said. Mr Turner steps down after serving as a director from 2012 and Chair since 2015. NPS MedicineWise CEO Adjunct Associate Professor Steve Morris thanked Mr Turner for his leadership during this time. “On behalf of the Board and Executive I’d like to thank Peter Turner for his significant contributions to NPS MedicineWise since 2012, and in particular for his strong leadership as Chair for the past four years. NPS MedicineWise has benefited enormously from Peter’s leadership and expertise in international health care and biopharmaceuticals. His guidance and direction have been very much appreciated.”

What’s new online at the MJA

Research: Potentially suboptimal prescribing of medicines for older Aboriginal Australians in remote areas
Page et al; doi: 10.5694/mja2.50226
Culturally appropriate, targeted strategies are required for improving prescribing for older people in remote Aboriginal communities … OPEN ACCESS permanently

Research: Medical students as interpreters in health care situations: “… it’s a grey area”
Ryan et al; doi: 10.5694/mja2.50235
Tensions between practice and policy, and between student learning and patient safety require careful balance … OPEN ACCESS permanently

Podcast: Professor C Dimity Pond is Professor of General Practice at the University of Newcastle. She talks about improving the delivery of primary care to older people, to accompany her co-authored Perspective … OPEN ACCESS permanently


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