NACCHO health news : 1,000 doctors to talk Aboriginal health,Ehealth and cheeky docs at Darwin health conference

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The Northern Territory is the only place on track to Close the Gap by 2031 and for this to continue we need to continue to grow our General Practice workforce,”

NT Doctor

Approximately 1,000 medical professionals from across Australia will be in Darwin  for  the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Annual Conference  are set to make a difference to health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people , GP13, on 17–19 October.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is a primary focus of the GP13 program with the aim of ensuring all general practitioners and their practice staff provide culturally and clinically appropriate healthcare to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Associate Professor Brad Murphy, Chair of the RACGP’s  National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, said ‘Closing the Gap’ on health outcomes and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the broader Australian community is one of Australia’s highest health priorities.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the same right as non-Indigenous Australians to enjoy a high quality of health, including not just the physical wellbeing of the individual, but also the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of the entire community,” A/Prof Murphy said.

A highlight of the GP13 program is key note speaker, Dr Theresa Maresca (Mohawk Tribe, Kahnawake Band) presenting AKWE:KON (all of us, together): What American Indian communities can teach general practitioners plenary session.

A/Prof Murphy said, “The importance of learning from other cultures success and failures in incorporating Indigenous culture into general practice is critical if Australia is to move closer to removing health disparities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians.”

The RACGP’s National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, working closely with the Larrakia Nation, is hosting this year’s GP13 conference and offers delegates a wide range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health related presentations and workshops*, including:

Wednesday 16 October (College Day)

•   National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health annual meeting and the Standing Strong Together Forum

•   Announcements of the RACGP Standing Strong Together Award, recognising partnerships between GPs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Thursday 17 October

•   Plenary – Health is a state of mind, Dr Jeff McMullen AM

•   Working successfully in an Aboriginal medical service – building an introductory workshop, Dr Tamsin Cockayne and Ms Leeanne Pena

Friday 18 October

•    Plenary – AKWE:KON (all of us, together): What American Indian communities can teach general practitioners, Dr Theresa Maresca

•   The experience of working in Indigenous medicine on the Tiwi Islands, Dr Rodney Omond

•    Addressing awareness and practice gaps of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women – a comprehensive approach to knowledge creation and translation, Mrs Rhonda Garad

•   Quality training in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, Dr Tim Senior

•   Islander medicine, A/Prof Bruce Harris

Saturday 19 October

•   The role and responsibilities of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker, Ms Jenny Poelina and Mr Clarke Scott

•   Increasing the number of Indigenous medical specialists, Dr Tammy Kimpton

The RACGP is pleased to host two Aboriginal medical students at GP13, who have been given the opportunity to attend through student bursaries offered by the RACGP.

A number of traditional Aboriginal artwork will be available for purchase for the duration of the GP13 conference.

The RACGP is proud to support efforts to tackle health disparities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians and acknowledges the daily work of many of its members to improve health outcomes for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Follow GP13 on Twitter @RACGPConference for real-time GP13 conference updates or visit the website for an up-to-date program.

EHEALTH

GP13 – The RACGP Conference for General Practice, set in Darwin on 17–19 October, features a strong e- health program offering the expected 1 000 delegates a wide range of e-health related presentations and workshops.

This year’s theme is ‘Individual. Family. Community.’ and e-health will be a focus across the streams of Dermatology, Clinical skills across general practice, Musculoskeletal medicine, Pain management and chronic conditions, Education and training and Business in practice.

Officially launched at GP13, the revised  Computer and information security standards (CISS) (2nd edition) provides general practices with information and recommendations that will raise awareness of contemporary security issues and help protect against potential loss of sensitive data.

The CISS is being released in an interactive HTML version making compliance to the standards easier for general practices.

Dr Liz Marles, RACGP President, said the conference program has been designed to reflect the current issues and subjects relevant to the general practice environment, none more topical than e-health.

“E-health is the future of healthcare. It has tremendous promise to improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and quality of healthcare delivery,” said Dr Marles.

The RACGP is hosting a high-speed broadband booth to highlight how the National Broadband Network (NBN) can better support both the business of healthcare and the use of technology in clinical care.

Dr Liz Marles said, “The booth offers the opportunity for general practitioners (GPs) to speak with other GPs who have embraced technology in healthcare, and how the national eHealth record system is being implemented into clinical practice.”

GP13 will offer delegates the opportunity to build upon current knowledge and understanding of the benefits of e-health in a series of presentations and workshops*, including:

Thursday 17 October

•   Tweet and blog your way to a medical education – Dr Justin Coleman and Dr Tim Senior

•   Using the eHealth record system to add value to clinical consultations – Dr Rob Hosking

•   Online communication for education – risks, responsibilities and rewards – Prof Hugh Taylor and Mr Mitchell Anjou

•   Mastering e-health in Best Practice Software – Mr William Durnford

Friday 18 October

•   Electronic prescribing to reduce medication error – Dr Trina Gregory

•    The GP guide to social media: an introduction to professional life on the web – Mr David Townsend, Mr Aaron Sparshott and Dr Edwin Kruys

Saturday 19 October

•   Guidelines for quality health records in Australian primary healthcare – Dr Michael Civil

•   When should I share my practice data? – Dr Patricia Williams

•   Test the software: computer clinical support for osteoporosis – Dr Yvonne Selecki

Northern Territory General Practitioners will be promoting the Northern Territory this week to interstate medical professionals by wearing cheekydog shirts designed by local Indigenous artist Dion Beasley.

CHEEKY DOGS AND DOCS

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“The Northern Territory is the only place on track to Close the Gap by 2031 and for this to continue we need to continue to grow our General Practice workforce,” Dr Cockayne who practices part‐time on the Tiwi Islands says.

Interstate doctors will be encouraged to strike up a conversation and share these and photos via social media with any doctors wearing the cheekydog shirts, specifically conversations about the Northern Territory lifestyle.

The initiative has been developed by Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE) together with Dion Beasley to promote working and training as a General Practitioner in the Northern Territory and to create a sense of community for Northern Territory doctors.

“Being a General Practitioner in the Northern Territory is uniquely different to other parts of Australia, this initiative not only promotes working in the Territory but has the added benefit of creating a sense of community for NorthernTerritory GP’s, many of whom work in very remote areas,” Dr Tamsin Cockayne said.

A medical cheekydog band, ten musically talented GP’s who have worked all over the Northern Territory, has also been added to the mix calling themselves ‘Medical cheekydocs’.

The ‘cheekydocs’ will be playing at the Adelaide River Pub Tuesday 15 November and at Crocosaurus Cove Friday 18 November to enable interstate GP’s experience to the territory outside the Conference.

Media opportunities

  • Medical cheekydog band at Adelaide River Pub on Tuesday 15 October
  • Doctors wearing Medical cheekydog shirts – Tuesday 15 October
  • GP13 Conference at Darwin Convention Centre Wednesday 15 – Saturday 19 October
  • Cheekydoc band at Crocosaurus Cove Friday 18 October

Dr Tamsin Cockayne is the Director of Cultural and Medical Education for NTGPE, a part‐time General Practitioner on the Tiwi Islands and a singer of the Medical cheekydog band.

Further information visit the website.

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