April 2019

Chair report

Message from the Chair – Dr Jennifer Presser

Sometimes politics can feel far removed from the day-to-day coalface of general practice.
One of the things that we do well at RACGP Tasmania is bring some of our experiences at the coalface to our local politicians so that they can understand the realities of general practice in Tasmania and help us to make much needed change.
In early March, RACGP President, Dr Harry Nespolon, put out a call to all GPs to help raise awareness with local Members of Parliament (MPs) and election candidates about the sustainability and quality of general practice care.

The key elements of the RACGP 2019 Federal election statement are about improving patient access to general practice care:

  • by introducing Medicare rebates for non face-to-face care (eg video consultations, telephone and email),
  • reducing patient out-of-pocket costs by restoring Medicare rebates to their real value
  • supporting new Medicare items for longer complex care consultations including mental health.

A helpful aspect of life in our lovely island is that we usually have no more than three degrees of separation. RACGP Tasmania has built successful long-term relationships with politicians of all colours and flavours, with the aim to promote understanding of general practice and its value to our communities. 

Recently your fellow RACGP Tasmania Council members and I have met with:

  • Justine Keay MP – Labor Member for Braddon
  • Ross Hart MP – Labor Member for Bass
  • Brian Mitchell MP – Labor Member for Lyons
  • Michael Ferguson MP – Minister for Health (Bass)
  • Andrew Wilkie MP – Independent Federal Member (Denison)
  • Julie Collins MP – Labor Member for Franklin
  • Sue Hickey MP – Speaker, Tasmanian House of Assembly (Denison)         

I sincerely thank my colleagues for making time to talk with policy-makers to help lead the profession of general practice in Tasmania. 

Talking point kits and assistance are available for any GP involved in general practice advocacy or who wish to give their perspective to local politicians (and not just at election times). 

Please email RACGP Tasmania or call 03 6212 5888 for more information.

Jenny Presser
Chair, RACGP Tasmania

RACGP Tasmania news

Tasmania in Action

From Matt's desk

I am privileged to live and work in Tasmania. We have some of the finest natural attractions, the cleanest environs, exceptional food and wine, and the best and brightest GPs in the country. This is not just my opinion as the evidence speaks for itself.
In the past 10 years, we have had two RACGP Chairs, one President, three Orders of Australia, two Rose-Hunt awards and multiple national winners of the GP of the Year, Practice of the Year, Supervisor of the Year and Registrar of the Year awards. Tasmanian GPs ‘punch well above their collective weight’.
Its time again to identify and recognise that level of excellence that is so much an integral part of Tasmanian general practice. Is it your practice this year? Is your registrar or supervisor a standout?
Nominations are now open for the RACGP state and national awards for 2019.
For more information or assistance, please email RACGP Tasmania or call 03 6212 5888.

Women in general practice series

Saturday and Sunday 1–2 June 2019

RACGP Tasmania is pleased to announce that the 2019 weekend retreat will be held at Eastcoaster Resort, Orford.

This 'Women in general practice' workshop offers a unique style of delivery that welcomes an open exchange of ideas and information. Additionally, the workshop provides a valuable opportunity for participants to share experiences, tips and tools with their colleagues.

This year’s workshop explores the landscape of palliative care and considers:

  • pain and symptom management
  • cancer and non-cancer patients
  • recognition of the dying patient and navigating referrals
  • your legal position
  • advanced communication skills   
  • investing in your own self-care and building resilience.

Join us for excellent education and great conversation in a beautiful rural Tasmanian location. This workshop is accredited for 40 QI&CPD Category 1 points.

Registration is now open.

For more information, email Julia Ray or call 03 6212 5888.


Be exam ready in 2019

Take this opportunity to maximise the quality of your RACGP Fellowship (FRACGP) exam preparations by attending an RACGP Tasmania pre-exam course. Learn examination techniques and refresh your knowledge across the various domains of general practice to enhance your chances of success.

Currently, two workshops are available.

Applied Knowledge Test and 
Key Feature Problem components 

Saturday 15 June 2019

Objective Structured Clinical Examination

Saturday 28 September 2019

Register now.

For enquiries, email Melita Medisauskas, Examination Officer, or call 03 6212 5888.

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound ALM

Saturday 30 June 2019

This workshop will help to improvea rural GP's understanding of point-of-care ultrasound applications in the diagnostic process.

This full-day, interactive workshop will provide registrars, and rural and remote GPs the opportunity to identify practical applications of ultrasound technology in rural general practice settings. You will also learn how to use point-of-care ultrasound devices under the guidance of experts.

This workshop is accredited for 40 Category 1 QI&CPD points and is also approved for the Rural Procedural Grants Program.

For more information, please email RACGP Rural or call 1800 636 764.

Can you help supervise medical students at Agfest?

Thursday to Saturday 2–4 May 2019

HealthStop is an opportunistic, preventative health initiative that provides a fantastic opportunity for medical students to offer blood pressure testing and health advice to a diverse range of Agfest patrons.

Students applaud the value of a face-to-face experience with ‘real patients’ and thoroughly enjoy the interactions. One student commented, ‘My morning at Agfest was fantastic! It was super busy with people lining up out the door to get their blood pressure taken and talk about their health. I think it’s great for students to have an opportunity to be involved in this’. Another said, ‘I was nervous at first, but everyone is so upbeat and encouraging. The patrons have great stories and offer real insight into the variety of medicine in general practice’.

HealthStop is supervised by University of Tasmania clinical lecturers and RACGP GPs who generously volunteer their time to support our enthusiastic, upcoming doctors.

If you can assist for an hour or two at HealthStop, we warmly welcome you. Please contact Julia Ray with your availability and preference for day and time. A complimentary entry ticket is provided to supervisors.

Developed by RACGP Tasmania in partnership with the University of Tasmania, College of Health and Medicine and the Pharmaceutical Society.

National news

2019 RACGP Awards nominations now open

Recognising excellence in general practice

Nominate your peers for an RACGP award for their exceptional work in general practice. The RACGP Awards celebrate the important contribution GPs make to the health of patients and communities across Australia.

Nominations are now open for all state based and honorary awards.

To help you engage with your community, the RACGP has developed support materials, including social media images, an email signature banner and a poster to promote nominations for your GPs and practice.
To access the materials and for further information, visit the RACGP Awards webpage.

2019 RACGP Foundation grants and awards closing soon

This year, RACGP Foundation is proud to offer 16 research grants and awards to GPs and registrars. With the support of our funding partners, RACGP Foundation is able to provide these vital research grants each year. The research conducted by the recipients of RACGP Foundation grants contribute to advancing medical achievements within the general practice community.

You could play a vital role in shaping the health of Australia.

Online applications are now open and will close on Monday 6 May 2019.

RACGP Foundation is where general practice research begins.

Quality improvement in your practice – Meeting the QI requirement

Every day, you and your practice team seek methods to improve the quality of healthcare you provide to your patients.

If you can capture that improvement by describing, documenting and evaluating your practises, then you can use your experience to complete the quality improvement (QI) requirement for the QI&CPD 2017–19 triennium.

The following activity options capture QI:

  • Small group learning (SGL)
  • Clinical audit
  • General practice research
  • Evidence-based medicine journal club (EBMJC)
  • Supervised clinical attachment (SCA)
  • Plan, do, study, act (PDSA)
  • Planning learning and need (PLAN)
  • QI reflection form.

The RACGP can support you with meeting your QI&CPD requirements. If you require assistance, please contact us.

External news

Shoulder pain workshop – Rotator cuff syndrome

Wednesday 8 May 2019

This free, practical workshop and panel discussion is designed to assist GPs with improving the management of shoulder problems.

The workshop will focus on the clinical challenges that rotator cuff syndrome and sub-acromial impingement present, including:

  • who to refer to and when to refer?
  • when to image and when to inject?
  • what physiotherapy can do and when?

Specialists from three fields – radiology, orthopedics and musculoskeletal physiotherapy – will facilitate this workshop.


  • Mr Paul Einoder – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Dr Vinnie Berera – Radiologist
  • Mr Peter Eckhardt – Physiotherapist
  • Mr Hamish Anderson – Physiotherapist
  • Mr Evan Clayton – Physiotherapist
  • Mr Kyle Saunders – Physiotherapist
Time: 5.45 pm: Light refreshments
6.00–9.00 pm Workshop
Venue:  Berera Radiology, 3 Burnett Street, North Hobart    

Join us from 5.45 pm at Berera Radiology, 3 Burnett Street, North Hobart, for light refreshments. The workshop will start promptly at 6.00 pm.
For more information or to register, please email Back in Motion or call 03 6231 3939.

Register now.

The National Stroke Foundation: Tasmanian Stroke Outreach Program

New funding in Tasmania has allowed the trialling of a new approach in supporting stroke patients: The National Stroke Foundation (NSF) Clinical Stoke Outreach Program (STOP). STOP has a specific focus on improving secondary prevention planning, education and consumer outcomes. If successful, it will be implemented in other states and territories. 

The NFS Clinical Guidelines state that stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA) patients should be assessed and informed of their risk factors for recurrent stroke and strategies to reduce their risk. Despite this, the 2017 Acute Stroke Audit reported only 70% of Australian stroke patients received risk factor modification advice (Stroke Foundation 2017). In Tasmania, the rate is much lower than the national average, with only 56% of patients receiving this advice.

The STOP approach

STOP will deliver planned, individualised and coordinated education at a key point in people’s stroke journey, when they are highly motivated to take action, but lacking in the knowledge and skills needed to effectively reduce their risk of subsequent stroke. It will promote attendance at outpatient appointments and connections with primary care to ensure ongoing medical management.

STOP will improve the quality of discharge planning by providing real-time feedback to hospital clinicians on any issues that arise for people after discharge. Telephone contact is made with the stroke survivor from an NSF health professional within 21 days of discharge. 
During this contact, health professionals will:

  • provide education on stroke to reduce the risk of subsequent stroke
  • deliver resources and strategies to reduce the person’s risk of subsequent stroke.
    • These will focus on medical risk factors, including blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes and lifestyle factors, such as smoking, obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise and excess alcohol.
  • promote connection with a GP and attending outpatient appointments
  • check that appointments and services arranged as part of the discharge plan are in place
  • screen for risk and vulnerability with a focus on depression and anxiety.

Care coordination, along with referral to services and support and further telephone support, is delivered as required. After contact, the patient’s GP is provided with a letter outlining the intervention and current situation.
For more information, email Stephen Rue, Hospital Engagement Coordinator, or call 0419 013 840.

Visit recruitGP – the RACGP’s trusted, single source for general practice employment opportunities across urban, remote and rural Australia.

It’s free for RACGP members.

The RACGP does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may result from reliance on, or the use of, any information contained in this newsletter.