Out and about – May 2024

Living out of a suitcase through May!

May for our CEO started with a pleasant if lengthy drive to the South Australian Riverlands for the National SEM Conference, where she had the opportunity to speak with supervisors and practice owners participating in the SEM developed for the Renmark and Berri communities.

What struck her most was the value of co-design in these place-based solutions. The essential ingredients might be summarised as flexibility, mutual respect, and a willingness to investigate and respond proactively to the needs of all stakeholders – trainees, supervisors, practices, state-run health services and the community members they serve. SEM is definitely not a one-size-fits-all concept, and has limited application based on geographical and demographic context; but for certain rural locations in which GPs juggle their workload across both hospital and practice settings, it offers a means to improve and perpetuate equitable primary health care options for the community.

On her trip home from Berri, Carla was invited to attend a GP Supervisor Networking Dinner in Swan Hill. Hosted by Murray PHN, this fun night at One28 Doors gave an enthusiastic group of supervisors the chance to discuss what they most enjoy about their supervision role, and their concerns about retaining registrars in regional and rural locations.

The next road trip followed shortly after the first, seeing Carla head to another very pretty town that should by rights be teeming with GPs! This year’s Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV) Conference was held in Mildura, where a lot of the discussions were again around retaining junior doctors to the end of and following their vocational training.

The Hon. Anne Webster, Federal Member for Mallee and Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional Health – coincidentally the wife of possibly the best known Mildura GP in living history, recently-retired Dr Phillip Webster – spoke passionately about this issue at the conference dinner where she witnessed the presentation of the RDAV Lifetime Membership Award to Dr Sue Harrison OAM… by none other than Sue’s daughter, Emergency Department Clinical Lead at Swan Hill District Health, Dr Emily Harrison (FACRRM).

Closing out the month, Carla travelled to Cairns for the RACGP Practice Owners Conference with GPSA COO Leonie Chamberlain and Chair Dr Srishti Dutta. In addition to all that Srishti covered in the June Chair Report, GPSA held a lively networking night for practice managers; Leonie visited the Wuchopperen Health Service managed by the lovely Susanne Raistrick; the GPSA booth was never empty; and Srishti, Carla and other sector partners were in constant networking mode. What you can’t tell from the conference photos is just how busy the GPSA team was talking with practice owners and supervisors about the NTCER, and hearing about the many innovations our members have developed to maintain and expand their team’s focus on a high quality learning culture. Truly inspirational.

Date reviewed: 31 May 2024

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