Depression by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

‘Culture’ and ‘compassion’ were the key themes raised in the final report of the National Forum on Reducing Risk of Suicide in the Medical Profession, released at the end of December 2017

The forum was convened in September by the AMA and Doctors’ Health Services Pty Ltd (DrHS), a subsidiary of the AMA that is funded by the Medical Board of Australia.

The report records the considerations and recommendations of the 82 doctors nominated by key medical stakeholder organisations who attended the forum.

Under the microscope were the individual, organisational, and environmental issues seen to impact negatively on the emotional health and wellbeing of doctors.

Social Futures are seeking GPs for their family planning service in Lismore and Kyogle. The service offers women’s health and reproductive consultations, pregnancy and contraception advice (including an IUCD service), and STI checks.

Choices (formerly called the Family Planning Service) focuses on the needs of low-income families and bulk bills all consultations. The service was formed more than 30 years ago and many local female GPs have staffed the centre over the years.

On Thursday, 14 December 2017 the Northern Rivers General Practice Network is holding an evening meeting to discuss opportunities and potential new services for North Coast doctors. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. immediately following the NRGPN Annual General Meeting and will last for one hour.

Our presenters will each have 10 minutes to briefly outline their projects and there will be time at the end of the meeting for follow up questions and general discussion.

John Langill and Dr Chris Jambor from the North Coast GP Training kick off the evening with a talk about educational opportunities for North Coast doctors. It is envisaged that by leveraging NRGPN resources we will be able to get local talks and presentations to a wider audience than currently occurs.

Final year medical students at the University of Wollongong have presented a painting by well-known Bundjalung artist Noel ‘Charlie’ Caldwell to their alma mater as a token of their appreciation.

Farewelling the university by presenting a gift has become a UOW tradition. Having thought long and hard about the most appropriate item, the students, many of whom had undertaken practicum training in the Northern Rivers, settled on an original creation from Bundjalung Country.

‘Goanna’ will be hung in a prominent place at the University to ensure maximum viewing of this wonderful work. 

Charlie Caldwell, who comes from Casino, has been painting since he was 15 and draws his inspiration from his Aboriginal heritage. He has also been a mural artist for local schools. In his artist profile at Jambama Arts Centre in Casino he is quoted as saying “painting is a big part of my life and I’ll never stop painting till I die”.

Nathan Kesteven became Chair of the Northern RIvers General Practice Network in 2017. This Chairman’s report outlines the current focus of the Network and his vision for the organisation in the coming year.

The Board meets every couple of months to further the aims of the Northern RIvers General Practice Network (NRGPN) and comprises myself, David Guest, Chris Mitchell, Lynn Davies and Katie Evans.  We  have been working and thinking about ways to improve our reach and offer something to the wider medical community, especially in this leaner world of primary health networks.

We see our primary aims as:

  1. facilitating communication within the GP community, as well as with the hospital, our specialist colleagues, allied health and our local communities,
  2. facilitating education and
  3. advocating for our members and general practice.