Keeping a person healthy is no small charge. Keeping a nation healthy is a near Herculean task. Yet that is exactly what general practitioners (GPs) do.”

So begins the introduction by RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon to General Practice: Health of the Nation, the latest annual report on the state of general practice in Australia. 

The College, which represents 90 per cent of the general practice profession, commissioned research involving more than 1100 RACGP Fellows (of 37,000 in 6500 accredited practices in Australia) as well as drawing on information in the MABEL (Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life) Survey and a range of government publications.

Each year the release of the report generates media interest but this year’s has been something of a blockbuster, attracting widespread coverage for the statistic that 65% of patients raise psychological issues with their GP.

The North Coast Primary Health Network is currently transitioning to a cloud computing environment, as David Guest explains.

These days, wherever you go, those not looking at a smartphone are the ones who stand out.

It’s almost 13 years since Steve Jobs popularised the internet communicator. It’s a phone, an internet browser and an iPod but these days it’s all this and so much more. These devices, along with tablets and laptops, have changed the way we live and work. Keeping in touch with family and friends, shopping, education and entertainment have changed immeasurably in just over a decade.

Some even rely on their phone for medical care.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an increasingly common phenomenon amongst elderly patients, particularly those with diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. It increases the risk of stroke and other embolic phenomenon significantly but with modern anticoagulants its management has become much easier.

Intermittent AF is also common when infection or other illness strikes the patient. It can also occur randomly in many people. Such paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) is less likely to cause embolic disease but remains a significant risk for some patients.

Tremendous advances in medical technology are occurring on many fronts. For consumers smart devices are increasingly common and best represented by the newest generation of the Apple watch which can monitor pulse rate and rhythm with high degree of accuracy.

(l-r) Prof Ross Bailie, Susan Parker-Pavlovic, Emma Walke, Dr Veronica Matthews, A/Prof Megan Passey, Kerryn Harkin, David Edwards

The Northern Rivers based University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) will share in federal government funding totalling $2.5 million as part of the latest funding round of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The funding, announced in early September, was awarded to The Centre of Research Excellence in Strengthening Systems for Indigenous Health Care Equity (CRE-STRIDE), a new phase of ongoing collaborative work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care that goes back to the early 2000s. 

Sharyn White, CEO NCGPT

The North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) has recently commissioned North Coast GP Training to deliver a range of professional development and networking events across the North Coast over the next 12 months. 

Sharyn White, the new CEO of NCGPT, outlines their plans.

NCGPT is excited at the prospect of being able to facilitate educational events for the NCPHN. We have made a commitment to deliver educational opportunities that are high quality, locally clinically relevant and that will build strong local clinical neighbourhoods.

Under the contract NCGPT will deliver a range of CPD events and support local clinical societies and nurse networks across the region.

Clinical education groups (referred to as “Clinical Societies”) that are supported by NCGPT can expect administrative support and assistance with obtaining professional development points for the meetings. This will be welcomed by local educational groups which have struggled with this administrative burden in the past.