- Published on Thursday, 17 January 2013 07:25
- Written by David Guest
- Hits: 1655
"On 1 July 2013, Medicare Locals will administer additional after hours funding to further improve access to after hours care, ensuring that communities across their region have suitable after hours services in place." Thus DoHA handed Medicare Locals the poisoned chalice.
You have to feel sorry for MeL. She's on a hiding to nothing.
The Feds have reduced the available funds. (They use the word "additional" in a new and innovative way.) The PIP money remains the same but the After Hours Grants have been withdrawn. For practices providing face to face after hours consultations this is a material loss. However, there's not much PIP money to start with. Even when you provide all after hours care yourself the funding only equates to about a $100 per day for a typical practice. You'd be better off staying half a hour later and seeing one or two more patients.
- Published on Thursday, 03 January 2013 10:54
- Written by David Guest
- Hits: 927
The Northern Rivers Division of General Practice was formed 20 years ago this year. Back in the day there was quite some debate about whether it should be a Union of General Practices or a Division of General Practices. A union seemed more inclusive than a division. The debate revolved around whether one was uniting a bunch of similar things or dividing up one homogeneous whole into manageable units. Divisions won.
... for a while. In 2007 the NRDGP became the Northern Rivers General Practice Network. Times and technology had changed. The new name reflected the diversity of general practice and that the NRGPN was more nuanced, tailoring its services to individual practices, each with their own unique problems, while still providing GP representation at local and national levels.
The current Board comprises David Guest (Goonellabah), Chris Mitchell (Lennox Head), Gillian Smith (Lismore), David Stirling (Lismore), Brian WItt (Lismore) and Nathan Kesteven (Dunoon). It is thus similar to previous Boards where members either worked or lived in or near Lismore, which made getting to Board meetings feasible. While being Lismore based made attendance at meetings practical, Board membership did not reflect the geographic distribution of the Network.
More recent Board meetings have been a mixture of teleconferencing and face to face meetings. Web or video conferencing is a new option that is increasingly practical.. While nothing will ever replace face to face meetings, or even sitting around a table having a meal, there are a number of advantages to tele and video conferencing. By nullifying the tyranny of distance through the use of modern technologies, it is hoped in the future we will achieve broader involvement by all NRGPN members.
The North Coast (NSW) Medicare Local (what's in a name?), has recently asked the NRGPN for representatives on its new North Coast General Practice Council. The Council will provide the NCML the GP practice perspective on issues as they arise. Initially it will focus on the NCML's current projects of General Practice Support, Partners in Recovery, After Hours Care, North Coast Clinical Pathways and the Medical Home.
The initial members of the GP Council are myself, David Guest, a GP from Lismore working in a large group practice; Lynne Davies, former NRGPN Board member and a Tintenbar GP, from a smaller rural community practice, Veronica Rogers a Byron Bay GP, a recent Fellow of the College and a new member of Network; Chiron Weber, Practice Manager at Mullumbimby, who has been active in NRGPN activities over the years and Cathy Amey, also a former member of the NRGPN Board, working in a two person practice in the rural town of Casino.
The Board believes this mixture of old and new NRGPN members, from larger and smaller towns, from right across the NRGPN geographic foot print, including both GPs and practice staff will go some way to represent the diversity of general practice on the Far North Coast. We acknowledge there is no representation from practice nurses or from the more southern parts of the area. This will be corrected in the future. At least we have both sexes.
What's in a name? For the NRGPN it's networked representation.
- Published on Sunday, 30 December 2012 10:33
- Written by Andrew Binns
- Hits: 918
Is the NRGPN sustainable following the formation of the NCML and loss of core funding? The obvious answer to this question is 'yes' if we decide to sustain it and 'no' if we don't. And we do have a choice in this matter as there were some funds left with the NRGPN after the transfer of projects across to the North Coast Medicare Local (NCML) in April 2012.
Following the recent NRGPN AGM there was a clear view expressed by members to maintain a commitment to the current aims and objectives of the organisation. David Guest as Chair is keen to lead the way for establishing and maintaining ongoing NRGPN communication systems.
- Published on Sunday, 30 December 2012 22:48
- Written by Super User
- Hits: 2659
At the NRGPN AGM on 27 November 2012 Tony Lembke, Rita Vinten and Adam Wilson stepped down from the Board and David Stirling joined. With the earlier departure of the two appointed members, Vahid Saberi and Lesley Barclay, the Board has been reduced in number from ten to six.