Record numbers at GP17

Paul Hayes

31/10/2017 12:00:00 AM

Last week’s GP17 was the RACGP’s largest ever annual conference, with a record 2278 delegates making their way to Sydney.
‘The RACGP’s annual conference is the highlight event of the year for GPs, offering a platform to discuss and debate the serious issues facing general practice and the health of all Australian patients,’ RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said.

GP17 drew more than 2000 delegates
GP17 drew more than 2000 delegates

GP17 included a number of major general practice milestones, including the launch of the fifth edition of the RACGP’s Standards for general practices, as well as the latest part of Prescribing drugs of dependence in general practice – Part C1: Opioids and Part C2: The role of opioids in pain management.
The conference also attracted some of the country’s top political decision-makers, with Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt, Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King, and Greens’ leader Dr Richard Di Natale all making presentations.
Greg Hunt used GP17 to make the major announcement that the RACGP, along with Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), would resume delivery of general practice training in Australia.
‘General practice training is back with the RACGP, where it should always have been,’ he said during his keynote address.
Other presentation highlights included US physician Dr Jay Parkinson, who used his opening keynote address to challenge GPs’ traditional views of patient interaction, resisting the notion of the consultation room as the most likely place of healthcare results.
‘GPs must challenge themselves. If not, they risk losing public trust,’ he said.
Former Scottish chief medical officer Sir Henry ‘Harry’ Burns’ rousing presentation during the research plenary – in which he discussed how factors such as socioeconomic and psychosocial contribute to wellbeing – was among the most well-received of the conference.
‘What causes poor health? Too much illness and not enough wellness,’ he said. ‘Wellness is not just the absence of illness.’
As always, GP17 was home to a number of lively and eye-opening abstract presentations, hands-on workshops, learning modules, and discussion forums. GPs from all areas of the profession discussed vital and topical issues such as codeine up-scheduling, medicinal cannabis, family violence, pain management, after-hours care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, and much more.
‘The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we are happy to have been able to offer our members so many wonderful opportunities to reflect on and learn about their profession,’ Dr Seidel said.
‘We are truly humbled by the way in which GPs from across Australia continue to embrace the RACGP and, in turn, we will continue to strive for excellence in representing them as an academic, evidence-based college.’
Outgoing RACGP Vice-President Dr Edwin Kruys also took the opportunity to officially announce next year’s conference, GP18, which will be held on the Gold Coast from 11–13 October. The overarching theme of next year’s conference will be, ‘General practice: The centre of health in Australia’. GPs can register their interest now.

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