Information for General Practitioners

and other healthcare professionals

Australia’s Healthy Weight Week: Information for General Practitioners

GPs have a central role in the delivery of integrated patient care and are often the first point of contact for people seeking to lose weight.

Where the evidence indicates a multi-disciplinary approach to weight management is required, an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is an appropriate referral option and can offer patients tailored nutrition and dietary advice based on the latest science.

Australia’s Healthy Weight Week is an initiative of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA).

In support of Australia’s Healthy Weight Week, Brisbane North PHN has produced a short video to show local GPs how they can refer to an APD using the PHN’s ‘Obesity in Adults’ clinical pathway.

Please note that the information in this video only applies to GPs practising in Brisbane’s northern suburbs and the Moreton Bay region.

Click here to find an APD in your area or read on to learn more about how an APD can help you improve your patients’ health outcomes.

What is an Accredited Practising Dietitian?

Accredited Practising Dietitians have the qualifications and skills to provide expert nutrition and dietary advice to both groups and individuals. They have sound university qualifications, undertake ongoing training and education and comply with DAA’s guidelines for best practice as well as DAA’s Professional Standards.

APDs are trained to assess an individual’s diet to help treat a wide range of conditions including diabetes, heart disease, cancers, gastrointestinal diseases, food allergies, food intolerance’s as well as overweight and obesity.

APDs are able to translate scientific information on nutrition into practical advice about what to eat for better health.

Medicare and Department of Veterans Affairs

APD is the only national credential recognised by the Australian Government, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs and most private health funds as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia. It is a recognised trademark protected by law.

Referring to an APD under Medicare

The Chronic Disease Management (formerly Enhanced Primary Care or EPC) GP services on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) enable GPs to plan and coordinate the health care of patients with chronic or terminal medical conditions, including patients with these conditions who require multidisciplinary, team-based care from a GP and at least two other health or care providers. Referral to a dietitian can be made under the CDM in this way.

A chronic medical condition is one that has been (or is likely to be) present for six months or longer, for example, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and stroke. There is no list of eligible conditions; however, the CDM items are designed for patients who require a structured approach, including those requiring ongoing care from a multidisciplinary team.

For a full list medical conditions that would benefit from dietary input, please see here.