13 September 2019

2019 Convocation voting now open

Voting for Convocation opened Monday 9 September and closes 4.00 pm Wednesday 2 October (AEST) on shareGP.

RACGP members are encouraged to vote on and discuss Convocation items during this period. All votes received will be collated and carried across to the Convocation meeting on Thursday 24 October at GP19, Adelaide.

Log into shareGP to access the 2019 Convocation space to vote or learn more about how to vote on a Convocation item.

Suicide prevention in general practice

This week marks World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK? Day.  Both campaigns focus on raising awareness for mental health issues, in particular reducing suicide rates internationally and in Australia. It is important that GPs have the knowledge and skills to recognise when a patient might be experiencing mental health issues and to investigate whether they might be at risk of suicide.

GPs can undertake regular mental health training and education in suicide assessment and prevention by visiting the GPMHSC website.

Additionally, GPs are also encouraged to read the Suicide prevention and first aid: A resource for GPs.

New guidelines for managing self-harm and suicidal thoughts by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in hospital settings

The Menzies School of Health Research, commissioned by the Centre for Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention, has developed the Guidelines for best practice psychosocial assessment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people presenting to hospital with self-harm and suicidal thoughts, to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people presenting with suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

The guidelines contain 227 evidence-based recommendations for appropriately and effectively interacting with and engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in ways that are empowering and de-stigmatising.

They have been endorsed by an expert panel of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous professionals and those with lived experience.

A message for RACGP Rural members following this week's ABC 4 Corners report

RACGP Rural recognises that rural doctors and health teams provide high-quality care in regional, rural and remote Australia and continue to do so in a safe and reliable manner across both hospital and community-based primary care daily.

Monday night’s, ABC 4 Corners report highlighted tragic examples of patient suffering due to treatment received in regional and rural areas. RACGP Rural believes that a thorough investigation is required into all aspects of the patient care that may have contributed to these outcomes.

Due to resource and staffing constraints, there is a considerable health disparity between urban and more remote communities that must be addressed by both State and Federal Governments.

Visit the RACGP website to read the Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda's call for adequate resourcing of health services, staff and appropriate training to address this disparity.

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP should contact: