Dr John Vaughan receiving the Supervisor of the Year Award (North Coast) in 2017

Farewell to Hastings Macleay General Practice Network 

At the Annual General Meeting of the Hastings Macleay General Practice Network (HMGPN) on 19 March 2019 it was announced  that the organisation would be wound up. 

HMGPN started in 1994 as part of the Labor government’s initiative to build a framework for supporting general practice at the local level. It was one of four Divisions of General Practice, as they were then known, covering the North Coast footprint from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie. 

The Divisions and later Networks ceased further direct Federal government funding after the establishment of Medicare Locals in 2013, putting great financial pressure on these organisations and causing many of them to cease operation. 

John Langill, heading off to new lands

John Langill, CEO, North Coast GP Training (2006 – 2019), looks back on his time skippering the iconic regional organisation.

As I sat down to write about my time with North Coast GP Training, I couldn’t decide whether to take you on a nostalgic journey back to when the company was just starting out, or  concentrate on the wonderful GPs-in-training with whom we worked over the years or perhaps focus on new beginnings, fresh starts and a continuation of the story. 

Let’s go with the last, the future is always more interesting, and if things change then I can’t be held to account!

 Dr Andrea Zarkovic shares valuable tips on maintaining vision in AMD patients in the primary care setting.

Patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and those at high risk of developing the disease make up a large proportion of patients attending general practice.GPs can play an important role in the diagnosis and management of patients with macular degeneration.

 

Who should be checked for wet AMD?

Prevalence of AMD-related blindness in Australia has declined in recent years. While this is largely due to successful treatment, the key to success has been early diagnosis prompted by awareness of AMD in the general population and medical community.

Despite taking seven weeks to reply to the Commissioner’s request for a six-month extended deadline for the NSW Government’s inquiry into the drug ‘Ice’ Premier Gladys Berejiklian has agreed to only half that time.

This is despite a two-page written request by Commissioner Dan Howard SC arguing that the original deadline of 28 October 2019 “allows insufficient time for the Commission to adequately address the many important matters raised by the terms of reference.”

RedUSE

Residential aged care facilities in Australia have long faced criticism – inadequate medical supervision, insufficient numbers of nursing and care staff, poorly trained and lowly paid workers… no one talks of an easy fix, but few argue that changes aren’t needed.  

Although the number of elderly residents exceeds 200,000 (in 2672 ‘nursing homes’, as they were once called) the volume of concerns made public seemed relatively low… until recently when mounting complaints and media coverage prompted the Federal Government to call a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Hearings are well under way, as most Australians would know, and often harrowing evidence is being tendered. The Royal Commissioners are required to provide an interim report by 31 October this year, and a final report by 30 April 2020.