David Guest, Chairman NRGPN

Modern general practice is not confined to the consultation room. As practitioners we are constantly striving to improve our medical knowledge and keep abreast of new facilities and techniques available in the local area. When new approaches are enabled by funding changes from Medicare and the Department of Veterans Affairs, we adapt our practices to address the health issues of our patients.

The year to 30 June 2013 was one of significant change for the Northern Rivers General Practice Network (NRGPN). No longer a government funded organisation, we were obliged to pare back our expenses and look for new sources of income, while staying true to our original aims. After 12-plus months of hard work we are, at the time of writing, well on the road to realising the future vision for the NRGPN. 

In April 2012, under a front-page banner proclaiming it to be the “Last edition of GPSpeak”, editor Janet Grist paid homage to those who had preceded her. In singling out Katherine Breen Kuruczev, the longest occupant of the editor’s chair, she said, “Her talent, drive and sheer hard work created a vibrant and relevant magazine for general practice.”

 Welcome to the September 2013 edition of GPSpeak, our first in 18 months and the first ever in an exclusively online format.

Our inaugural edition appeared in November 1993, in the early days of the Northern Rivers Division of General Practice, as the Northern Rivers General Practice Network (NRGPN) was known at the time, and there was much excitement in the projects we were undertaking. There were high hopes for making a real difference in primary care, and many of these have been realised.

 Living everyday with heart failure
 The painting on the front cover of 'Heart Information - Living every day with my heart failure' is by Tina Weston (Barkindji). It represents different clans/tribes all travelling on the connecting pathways to having healthy hearts and lifestyles.

 Indigenous heart disease patients in the Northern Rivers and around Australia are the real winners of an award given to a local team that developed a pioneering self-management guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a history of heart problems.