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Issue 3 | March 2014While a life in rural medicine was Dr Gerry Purcell’s dream from a very early age, limiting himself to one specialty was never part of the plan and the more he learned about general practice, the more he found it suited him. And best of all, procedural general practice meant he could still pursue his love of performing surgeries. Now a procedural GP registrar in the Queensland town of Warwick, Purcell spends his days practising a wide range of medicine, from performing haemorrhoidectomies and skin incisions to treating people for coughs and colds.

Since it first started to gain traction in 2011, the field of telehealth has seen a few changes. Now a key area of primary healthcare in Australia, we speak to a number of GPs from around the country about all aspects of telehealth, including changes to government funding models, technological developments and patient feedback.

Treating addiction, and all of its associated problems, in general practice can be a difficult proposition and while addiction specialists love what they do, they believe more help is needed. 

It would be easy for people to assume life in Australia’s prisons is particularly bad and patient healthcare is likely to be worse than in the general community. But, according to people who work in the Australian custodial system, the health of inmates is often significantly better when they are incarcerated, and GPs are at the forefront of providing this quality primary healthcare.

While it can be a sensitive subject for patients and GP alike, discussing obesity in general practice is a vital step in confronting what is a global issue. With the first in a news series of columns, Executive Chair of Obesity Australia, Dr John Funder, examines various aspects of the disease and hopes to help empower GPs in raising the subject of obesity with their patients.