Dr Nathan Kesteven

Dear Readers,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019 to all.

This brief report is to inform members about an this issue the the Board has been discussing for some time; the next step for the development of the NRGPN.

On 13th December 2018 at 6.00 pm we are holding a meeting at the Goonellabah Tavern to discuss the proposal to dissolve the Northern Rivers General Practice Network and launch Nordocs in its place.

Nordocs will undertake some of the the tasks formerly performed by the Network but will be open to all medical practitioners across the Northern Rivers, from Grafton to Tweed Heads. Its footprint will mirror that of the Northern NSW Local Health District.

As I discussed in last year’s report the NRGPN became less active six years ago when most of its functions, and all of its income, were handed to the then-North Coast Medical Local and subsequently to the North Coast Primary Health Network. As a result much of our capacity and raison d’être has disappeared.

The desire and hope of having an organisation whose membership is open to all doctors is to allow fresh ideas, drive and enthusiasm to carry on many of the things the Network formerly did and to develop new things.

Many may be aware that earlier in the year the Nordocs Facebook group ran an ‘Unconference’ in Lismore that attracted over 30 local doctors. Participants spoke on a range of topics, from Hepatic Resection to Bibliotherapy. The Unconference was well received by those who attended and future meetings are planned for 2019.

We also have been discussing these issues with our colleagues from the now defunct North Coast GP Training and they are interested in options regarding working, perhaps merging, together with us in the future.

So this is a call to all members to come along and discuss our future. Please note that this is an information and discussion meeting. If there is support for the proposal it will be put to a Special General Meeting of the NRGPN in the New Year.

Finally, on behalf of the Board, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the GPSpeak committee in giving the North Coast community an independent voice on medical issues in our area.

Best wishes to you all for 2019.

Nathan Kesteven