Dr Roger Halliwell
Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) Board Chair
As we all settle into a less stressful working (and personal) environment, it is a great time to revisit the suite of services for our community of patients.
Reports of delayed investigation and management of chronic disease have been a challenging feature of our telehealth medical and allied health services systems. While many in the health sector are embracing the change, it cannot fully substitute for face to face connections.
GCPHN is still part of the support system for health care providers, and importantly has dedicated funding streams to assist patients who are not well served by the traditional models of care. In particular, there are a number of initiatives around mental health, and the uptake of these services is increasing to reflect the anticipated need for support.
Each year the GCPHN Board and Executive Management team go through a process of strategic planning. After a very focused digital health planning activity in February, we are revisiting our strategic plan in November. The experience of pivoting the whole health care system will inform our future direction, and we anticipate increased collaboration with others in the health space – most importantly the Gold Coast Health and Hospital Service. Meetings have been frequent during COVID-19 and we have all learned about the challenges each part of the system faces. Many solutions have been implemented to improve the patient journey, and leverage off these will be an ongoing process.
Dr Roger Halliwell
General Practice Gold Coast (GPGC) Acting Board Chair
I would like to take the opportunity this month to formally thank all of the Gold Coast and Tweed GPs for all you have done over the last few months. 2020 was not the year any of us had planned, and the changes that have occurred within practices to support your teams and communities have been nothing short of incredible.
Unrestrained by the processes and policies seen in large organisations, GPs have mobilised and responded. With such a deep awareness of the context of the local community you have all communicated and collaborated in delivering care in a safe and innovative way. Please take a moment to pause and reflect on just how much has actually occurred. So many of you have contributed in so many ways. Thank you for all you have done, and all you continue to do.
I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge my fellow GPGC board members for their steadfast support and wisdom in assisting to guide GPGC. The year started out well with the AGM and dinner meeting, “The future of general practice”. This event brought together all key Gold Coast health organisations to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the future. The GPGC board had worked on a strategic vision that we were proud of and a series of events had been planned to complement this. What played out however was not quite what any of us expected. Whilst there has been disappointment in having to scale back some of our planned face to face events, we have embraced the opportunities in the digital space and look forward to being able to roll out some of the projects we have been working on to members in early 2021.
In the midst of the pandemic there has been some very exciting news from the board. A huge congratulations go to both Dr Laura Baxter and Dr Jessica Stewart who have both welcomed baby daughters into their families. Little Emily and Isla are now clocking up board experience and provide us all with a very pleasant distraction during our regular zoom meetings. .
In regards to GPGC plans going forward, we are working on organising a covid safe face to face dinner event. An informal event, free from sponsors, with the intent of simply bringing together GPs to connect and debrief. We’re aiming to run this event in November, so please look out for further details.
We also continue to work towards a family friendly event, likely to occur early in 2021. The GPGC board are all hopeful that 2021 will allow a transition back to some of the face to face events we had planned for 2020. Whilst we have all embraced the transition to online meetings and webinars, we really have missed the face to face networking and education opportunities.
We are looking forward to what 2021 may bring with a sense of optimism, and a great deal of gratitude.
The Gold Coast Health (GCH) COVID Virtual Ward has closed. Patients should be managed in general practice where possible. Acutely unwell patients should be referred to the Emergency Department. Refer stable patients who are eligible for injectable COVID therapies to GCH using the template here. We w...
Update from Dr Roger Halliwell – Chair of Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) Board I attended the GP Crisis Summit in Canberra on 5 October, hosted by RACGP, with participation from many organisations involved in the primary care sector. With only 13.8% of medical graduates considering ...
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