Associate Professor Charlotte Hespe
Chair, RACGP Board
MBBS (Hons), FRACGP, DCH (Lon), GCUT, FAICD
Writing this report has allowed me to reflect on the progress the RACGP is making in supporting and advocating for GPs across Australia – GPs whose knowledge, experience, commitment and sometimes sheer endurance underpin the nation’s health. Australia is extremely fortunate to be served by thousands of impressive and committed GPs. In turn, the RACGP, as our key GP membership organisation, aims to support GPs, representing their interests, advocating for the general practice profession and ensuring its ongoing viability. The RACGP’s work is necessarily wide-ranging. Expert guidance and advice is needed on many fronts, and we are fortunate to be richly served in this respect by the many individuals and expert committees who are part of the governance overseeing the RACGP.
The past year has been productive for the Board, which implements key decisions on behalf of our membership. In December, the directors, senior management team and chairs of the expert committees met to refresh the RACGP’s strategy for the next three years.
Since that time we have overseen multiple policy and advocacy issues for Australian GPs. This has included the 2019 federal election campaign, advocacy on health policy and funding decisions such as the Practice Incentives Program Quality Improvement (PIP QI), general practice education and training, and rural generalism; endorsed statements around voluntary assisted dying; and our Vision for general practice and a sustainable healthcare system. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Dr Tim Koh, outgoing Chair, for the guidance he has provided to the RACGP Board over the last three years; and our outgoing President, Dr Bastian Seidel, for his leadership over the last two years. Both left office in October 2018.
I welcome our current President, Dr Harry Nespolon, who has ‘hit the ground running’ and provided strong leadership on behalf of all members of the RACGP.
I would also like to thank all Board members for their dedication and strong work towards bettering the profession of general practice in Australia.
Finally, I extend my own and the Board’s appreciation towards all of our members, and thank them for their continuing commitment to making Australia a healthier, happier place.