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. 

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!