- Category: NRGPN News
- 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.