"We're working to improve health care in our community through strong general practice"

May 2016

Hopefully you will have seen the GPpartners brochure kindly delivered by QML to your surgery. There has been a significant rise in new membership applications. As we grow in numbers GPpartners can work toward providing more assistance to GPs.

As you will see from my article on Hep C treatment, we are working with the public and private system to assist GPs and patients with access to the new PBS treatments for Hep C.

Dr Paul Cleary presented to a group of GPs at North Lakes on the practical aspects of back pain with hands on examination of a physio student and practice nurse.

The GPs gained knowledge on how much you can learn about a patient’s back pain from gentle palpation of the skin and muscles as well as isolating the tender spots which can improve the diagnosis of the cause of the pain.

Paul’s presentations are available on the website www.gppartners.com.au  under 'Education - Previous Presentations and Notes'.

He also went through the non surgical interventions such as facet joint blocks and caudal epidurals.  It is an area of medicine that is a bit of a mystery to some of us GPs and unfortunately this uncertainty can be passed on to patients and the chronic pain cycle is established. Look out for future education events on back pain, certainly worth going to.

In the last GPpartners newsletter in the summary of the “Snorers and Snorters” there was a query about the use of nasal steroids in allergic rhinitis.  Nasal steroids are efficacious in allergic rhinitis but not vasomotor rhinitis.

If you haven’t RSVPed to our upcoming education events please do. MSD are sponsoring a session on diabetes and we have asked to have the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease especially in pregnancy be added.

North Lakes Day Hospital are hosting a discussion on abnormal LFTs what they mean including diagnosis and management of Hep C and when is elevated ferritin a concern.

GPpartners' Board have been watching the response to the budget decision for the Medicare Rebate freeze.  The AMA and RACGP seem to have mounted a coordinated response to the announcement and have some literature and patient information to be distributed to protest against the move. Unfortunately, despite the rhetoric that General Practice is the cornerstone of the Primary Health Care System, the politicians don’t seem to want to invest adequately in General Practice. Many studies have shown if you spend money in primary care it saves money in the secondary and tertiary levels. As an organisation, GPpartners intends to prove in the local arena that General Practice can in practical ways ease the burden of some patients such as patient with Hep C on the healthcare  system.

Jayne Ingham
Chair, GPpartners