The GPSpeak team is (l-r) editor Robin Osborne, clinical editor Dr Andrew Binns, designer Dr Angela Bettess, and NRGPN chair, Dr David Guest.

On 18 September 2014 the Northern Rivers Network of General Practice launched the first hard-copy edition of GPSpeak, following a successful year of producing an active news website, PDF journal and a weekly newsletter for members and subscribers.

The launch was held at the University Centre for Rural Health in Lismore. Attendees heard that the magazine will be published quarterly and feature a variety of health-related stories of interest to GP members and medical practices, the broader health care community, and the general reader.

“GPSpeak has a long and proud tradition, having been published first in 1993, and developing from a mono newsletter to a full colour magazine, before being absorbed into the magazine HealthSpeak, when the North Coast NSW Medicare Local was formed,” NRGPN Chair Dr David Guest said.

“We’re offering a voice for local GPs and a range of articles of specialised medical interest, as well as non-technical, well informed writing about diverse health issues, and how they affect local residents.”

The cover story of the first issue focuses on the pros and cons of cycling in the Northern Rivers – the launch coincided with NSW Bike Week – with stories on safety issues, the perils of the increasingly popular carbon-fibre bike frames, and a personal account of a serious cycling accident by the director of Lismore Base Hospital’s emergency department.

Other stories include palliative care, hepatitis C, the new concept of shared, or group, medical appointments, and strategies for reducing the risks of heart disease.

GPSpeak is being made available free of charge to medical practices, health care providers and other interested stakeholders.

“While an online presence is essential in this day and age, hard copy is still the easiest way to digest written material. We believe the hard copy version will extend our reach to all NRGPN members and to their practices and increase member engagement,: Dr Guest added.

“There are over 10,000 medical journals published each year around the world. There are an increasing number of media outlets covering general news on the North Coast. GPSpeak's value lies at the intersection of these two areas.

 “If it's medical and happening on, or affecting, the North Coast we want to cover it.”

GPSpeak online can be seen at www.gpspeak.org.au