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Good Practice

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April OFCMilitary service can provide much for a person, often giving serving men and women a strong sense of purpose, meaning, and personal and national identity. But those veterans face experiences most in the general community will never encounter and can lead to a number of personal problems, particularly those related to mental health. The RACGP’s new gplearning activity, Working with veterans with mental health problems, has been developed to help GPs better engage with veterans and provide early and effective mental health interventions.

Work in rural and remote general practice can be extremely demanding and even the hardest-working GPs need time off. But rural communities can be placed in a very difficult situation if their GP needs to be away from the practice. Urban GPs who take up locum work can ease the burden, often providing some much needed assistance to Australia’s busy rural health practitioners.

With the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs a growing concern, Australian prescribers would benefit from having more tools at their disposal to help fight this significant problem. The RACGP has advocated for a real-time drug monitoring service that would allow GPs, pharmacists and healthcare regulators to better communicate prescription information to each other and, in turn, help limit drug-seeking behaviour.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) currently affects more than 75,000 Australians and the number is projected to reach 100,000 by 2020, making general practice a vital first step in treatment. GPs play a key role in diagnosing the disease, as well as educating people about its effects and management.

Sydney GP and academic Dr David Peiris has spent his career working to help disadvantaged patient populations in Australia and overseas. As the Australian recipient of the 2015–16 Harkness Fellowship, Peiris is well placed to learn about other countries’ healthcare systems, and help educate them about what works in Australia.

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