RACGP looks to strengthen international partnerships

Paul Hayes

26/11/2020 1:35:27 PM

Members of the RACGP Board met with international medical colleges at the inaugural Presidential Roundtable at GP20.

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The college wants to advance general practice education and strengthen primary care for patients all over the world.

RACGP representatives have explored the idea of forming an alliance with a number of international medical colleges, examining how they could advance general practice education and strengthen primary care for patients all over the world.
‘This comes as our global community faces some of the greatest health challenges in living memory, and GPs are on the frontline,’ RACGP Acting President Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda said following the inaugural GP20 Presidential Roundtable on Wednesday night.
‘Our common challenges include not just the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, but rising chronic conditions, anxiety and mental health.
‘By working together with our fellow international colleges we can continue to build general practice capability and improve global community health outcomes.’
Participants at GP20 include representatives of the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA), as well as colleges from Canada, Fiji, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK.
Professor Michael Kidd, Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer and past WONCA President, said the difficulties faced in 2020 have ‘highlighted the value of general practice in our communities’.
‘Here in Australia over the past year we’ve faced serious health crises with the deadly summer bushfires, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In both instances, GPs have been on the frontline supporting their patients and their communities, and in the aftermath we know they will continue to be there to help their patients and communities heal,’ he said.
‘That is what makes general practice so valuable to the community in Australia and around the world.
‘Your GP is with you and your family for life, through good times and hardship – we are here to help when you are sick and facing great challenges, and to help you stay well.’
Speaking with newsGP prior to GP20, WONCA President Dr Donald Li said he hoped to renew collaboration ‘between family doctors across the world’.
‘We have all become more innovative about how we continue our research and share knowledge. We can all learn from each other and build collaborations to support and develop general practice across the globe,’ he said. 
‘If there is one good thing to come out of this pandemic, it is the growing realisation in many countries of the need for robust, comprehensive, quality primary care, delivered by qualified personnel.
‘We must continue to work together, across nations and in different financing settings to support establishment and improvement of primary care, as well as systems for emergency response and disaster preparedness.
‘In this era of uncertainty, we need more global collaboration, not less.’
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