A note from the gcma president
Dear Colleagues, the new series of GCMA third Thursday of the month regular evening clinical meetings have been a great success!
On Thursday evening on 18 July at the Southport Golf Club, Slatyer Avenue, Southport we had the evening dinner meeting on the topic of 'Male Fertility Control’.
On Thursday 15 August we were informed about the new digital PET scanner at John Flynn Hospital that offers improved diagnostic accuracy and monitoring of cancer conditions.
In September we will be covering the welfare of younger doctors working in intern and resident positions. Our guest speaker is Dr Sam Hazeldine from New Zealand. He is an expert on optimizing and maintaining the mental and physical health of doctors, especially our younger colleagues. This meeting is a combined evening with General Practice Gold Coast. We anticipate many intern, resident and registrar doctors from our public hospitals will join us.
On 17 October we will have Icon Cancer Centre speaking to us on new developments in radiotherapy and chemo- and immune- therapy.
I look forward to meeting you at each of these important events.
In the Gold Coast Bulletin recently I noticed a story on the increasing attendances to the emergency department at our Gold Coast University Hospital. Apparently this emergency department is now the busiest in Australia!
We are so lucky to have such a good team working in this department with the professional commitment of so many excellent doctors and nurses. But this story highlights the growing health needs of our Gold Coast region. The explosion of housing developments and population increases at the northern end of the Gold Coast will soon necessitate the development of a new hospital and emergency department in that area.
Depending on the calculations used, the Gold Coast region has about 500 public inpatient beds less that what it should have based on conventional standards of bed numbers per thousand people.
The Labor state government has responded by funding an additional 40 general medical beds and 20 new mental health treatment spaces. While welcome, this is a very limited response given the large number of beds needed.
Until additional public emergency department resources are provided attention must be applied to support our public emergency departments. For those members of the public with private health insurance there are very good emergency departments at our private hospitals open to offer assistance.
However, a new model of corporation between general practices and emergency departments is under trial in Perth. The ‘Urgent Care Clinical Network’ has been designed to ease pressure on emergency departments by providing care at general practices for urgent but non-life-threatening conditions. The program is a partnership between the state health department and the WA Primary Health Alliance and the state AMA and RACGP. Patients with suitable urgent conditions are fast-tracked on the same day to GP office appointments between the hours of 8am to 11pm.
The Gold Coast University Hospital, General Practice Gold Coast and our local Primary Health Network (PHN) might consider running a similar project here on the Gold Coast. The GCMA would be willing to facilitate the process.
Your GCMA executive committee is now considering the form of a social function for members and their partners in November. If you have suggestions about this function please contact me on 0422545753, or our GCMA administrative officer, Serena Mills on 0415271474, or email us at email@example.com.