The defining moments of general practice in 2017: Part 2

Bastian Seidel

21/12/2017 3:07:55 PM

In light of reflection and the festive spirit, the RACGP is taking 25 days of December to re-live a selection of the most defining moments of general practice in 2017.

The full #GPin2017 list can be followed via the @RACGP twitter account.
The full #GPin2017 list can be followed via the @RACGP twitter account.

Following the first part of the list published earlier this month, I invite you to join the countdown of some of the moments that have shaped our profession throughout the past year by following the @RACGP twitter account and the hashtag #GPin2017.
The remainder of the list:
15. Sir Harry Burns captivates GP17
Former Scottish chief medical officer, Sir Henry ‘Harry’ Burns, presented a research keynote address at GP17, elaborating on his belief that, ‘the challenge for us interested in wellbeing is to teach people to navigate the river [of the public health service], to understand when they are getting into danger and show them the way back in’.
16. RACGP launches fifth edition of Standards for general practices
The fifth edition of the RACGP’s Standards for general practices (the Standards) is one of the pillars of safety and quality in the Australian healthcare system, used by more than 80% of Australian general practices for accreditation. The aim of the Standards is to protect patients from harm by supporting general practices to identify and address gaps in their systems and processes.

17. New opioid guidelines support responsible prescribing in general practice 
Appropriate use of opioid was a popular topic of discussion during October’s GP17, where the RACGP call for system-wide reform for pain management in Australia in order to ensure a responsible balance between providing good management and minimising harms from medication.
The latest part of RACGP’s Prescribing drugs of dependence in general practice consists of two components – ‘Part C1: Opioids’ and ‘Part C2: The role of opioids in pain management’ – and is designed to provide a responsible balance between providing good management and minimising harm from medication.
18. Five steps towards excellent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare
This year’s saw the development of the RACGP’s Five steps towards excellent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare, which provides a clear and concise summary of  programs and funding options available to support better care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. The five steps were outlined to help give busy GPs and practice teams practical advice that builds on a foundation of cultural awareness.
19. Guidelines for preventative activities in general practice
The ninth edition of RACGP’s Guidelines for preventative activities in general practice (the Red Book) provides a single entry point to common conditions seen in Australian general practice, offering practical advice on screening and services that should be provided to the general population.
20. The RACGP co-develops the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
A joint initiative between the RACGP and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was updated for its third edition.
21. newsGP launches
The RACGP launched newsGP in October, a new website developed to help RACGP members stay informed of news relevant to Australian general practice. newsGP combines clinical articles directly relating to the treatment of patients with professional articles on policy, procedures or managing a practice, as well as RACGP news explaining position statements and advocacy efforts.
22. Australia's health ministers agree to review mandatory reporting laws
At the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council meeting in August, Australia's health ministers unanimously agreed to review mandatory reporting laws aimed at removing barriers for doctors who seek the healthcare they need.
The RACGP expressed relief at the decision, highlighting that while patient safety is paramount medical practitioners should be able to seek healthcare without fear of being reported.
Doctors are not seeking the healthcare they need for fear of being reported. This is driving issues underground and reducing, rather than increasing, patient safety.

– Dr Bastian Seidel

23. RACGP Foundation 2017 grant recipients
The RACGP Foundation awarded 14 grants and awards throughout 2017, investing in the culture of research in general practice and supporting opportunities for GPs to participate in research.
General practice research ensures the best possible health outcomes for all Australians and means investing in research where the majority of people seek support and treatment.
24. Medical Board of Australia’s new revalidation framework for GPs
The Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Revalidation of the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) released its final report in late November, heeding the RACGP’s grave concerns regarding revalidation. The MBA has subsequently ruled out a UK-style revalidation and formal examination process in its entirety.
The RACGP has pointed out many times that it would only ever support an evidence-based process as a response to revalidation. When it comes to continuous professional development, an enhanced, comprehensive, reflective and contextual profession-led program is what makes a difference to practitioners and patients.
25. ‘We need to stay united. We need to stay authentic and credible
We opened day one of GP17 with a passionate speech on the RACGP’s evidence-based advocacy as an academic medical college.
We set the standards for the medical specialty of general practice. We write the curriculum, provide education and hold postgraduate exams, ultimately leading to the Fellowship of the college. But the RACGP is doing so much more than setting standards and offering education.
When it comes to health policy, our focus is to offer genuine solutions that improve funding and the integrity of general practice. As an academic medical college, we explain facts and don’t agitate with poorly founded predictions.
If we really want to have impact, we need to advocate stronger for our patients and communities.

– Dr Bastian Seidel

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