Updates from Dr Roger Halliwell (Chair of GCPHN) and Dr Kat Mclean (Chair of GPGC Board).
The COVID-19 rules of engagement are still in place – patients with respiratory and gastro symptoms should not be entering practices, allied health facilities and retail pharmacy. Medical care is still available for these individuals, the respiratory clinics are still open for business, the fever clinics are still running, and telehealth options for patients seen face to face in general practices within the last 12 months are the recommended delivery process. It is timely to remind our teams of the logistics around this – we are hearing of some push back from patients and front line receptionists are reporting significant anger by a few individuals.
The COVID-19 vaccine roll out continues, albeit at a slower pace than originally planned. 1b under 50 yr old at risk patients will soon be able to access Pfizer vaccine, as always the details are still evolving but respiratory clinics will likely be first cabs off the rank outside the hospital system.
So, look after yourselves, your teams and set boundaries to protect patients and staff from exposure to potential COVID-19 as we anticipate the likelihood of community spread in the next few months. GCPHN will continue to work with partners across the health care sector to support the primary care response.
Dr Roger Halliwell
Find a GP search – a search engine specifically created to help the community connect with a GP. The search can be modified to capture a GP in a particular location, a GP with a specific sub interest, or a GP who may speak a specific language.
This search also assists the community to linking with GPs who visit residential aged care facilities and palliative care services in the community.
Health professional search – designed to link GPs and other health professionals to connect with other local GPs. This advanced search enables local specialists, allied health providers and GPs to be able to quickly identify and refer not only based on the physical location of GPs but also the specific skills of the GP. This search includes the ability to link to GPs with procedural skills such as;
- Iron infusions
- IUD and implanon insertions
- Skin cancer procedures
The website also facilitates local GPs to be able to seek input into patient care by colleagues and includes the ability to identify a colleague who is happy to provide a second opinion on complex medical presentations it also includes the ability to link and collaborate with local GPs with specific skills such as acupuncture and medicinal cannabis prescribing.
Antenatal care – The GPGC website identifies our GPs who provide antenatal shared care and provides an opportunity for enhanced communication with our local women around antenatal care options and pregnancy information. We also extend into the post-natal period by providing the ability to link with GPs who provide lactation support for breastfeeding mothers.
Medicals – This search also covers broader interest groups and enables the community and health professionals to tap into the considerable collective skill set of GPs with topics such as dive and aviation medicals also featuring.
Health promotion –Linking to COVID-19 immunisation eligibility criteria and bookings and identifying GPs who are able to assess and test patients with respiratory symptoms within their practices.
Communicating to the public and colleagues – the GPGC website provides a location to publish blog articles and highlight the considerable writing talent within our GP community. We have a selection of articles written by some of our amazing GPs and are keen to support all GPs who would like to contribute.
Doctors for Doctors – Local GPs with an interest in providing care for fellow doctors and health professionals are able to be identified via a sub search in the health professional component of the website.
Interested in research or connecting with GPs who are? This also features as a search option. As does linking in with GPs who have an interest in teaching medical students and/or registrars.
GP Profiles – finally and most importantly the website will host individual GP profiles of our members. These profiles are created by the GP and enable GPs to identify their skill set and areas of interest. They also provide a location to link to current practice websites and booking engines. Work across more than one clinic? Not a problem both will display on your personal profile. Changing clinics? A quick update of your practice settings and patients will continue to find you.
We have worked closely with our hospital Health Pathways team and our vision is that the website will serve in assisting the community to access the right care and the right time in the right location and facilitate GPs to work both individually and collectively at full scope of practice. We have some incredible skills out there in our GP community and COVID-19 has been a timely reminder that we really can achieve incredible care within the community setting.
We will soon be at the stage we can get you to have a look and give us feedback. We would love to have a broad range of Gold Coast GPs as ‘beta-testers’. This would involve creating a profile and testing out the website. Let us know if you would like to be one of the first GPs with your profile on our website at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a Gold Coast or Tweed based GP and aren’t a GPGC member please contact us and we will link you in, or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/GPGCMembers/
We look forward to providing more information soon!
Dr Kat McLean