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ePulse Newsletter

Vol 9 # 44
Tuesday 13 November 2007


Professor Martin Roland to visit New Zealand
Huge interest in new GPEP1 roles
Promotion for Gregor Coster
14 November: World COPD Day
Input to Kidshealth website
Child Immunisation Study
Looking for Medical Assessors
Last chance to talk about Condoms
Review of Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act
Speech-language Therapy and Clinical Physiology
New Physiotherapist Role
Vacancies & appointments
Medical Officers
Thames Hospital – Emergency Department
The Charitable Trust Board of the Auckland Faculty of the RNZCGP
Call for papers for special Wonca editition of Lancet
Wonca Daily Alerts
CME & conferences


Professor Martin Roland to visit New Zealand
Professor Martin Roland CBE will conduct a master-class at the two day College Quality Symposium in Auckland on 1-2 February 2008.

Martin Roland, Professor of General Practice at the University and Director of the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre (NPCRDC) is the founding director of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, a collaboration between the five leading departments of primary care in England. He is also Head of the School of Community Based Medicine within the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences in Manchester. The School comprises of three research groups: Primary Care, Psychiatry, and Biostatistics, Informatics and Health Economics.
His previous areas of research include back pain, hospital referrals, out of hours care, and nurse practitioners in general practice. Professor Roland is also founding Director of the new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research, a funded collaboration established in 2006 between the academic departments of primary care at Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Birmingham.
He is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has spent 25 years in general practice working most recently in the University's practice at Rusholme Health Centre in central Manchester.
Research interests
As Director of the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre (NPCRDC) and Professor of General Practice at Manchester University, he has responsibility for the wide range of research projects being carried out at the Centre.
His personal area of research relates to measuring and improving the quality of care in the NHS. He leads the research programme on Quality. He also has responsibility for the wide range of research projects and programmes at NPCRDC which all aim to inform primary care policy in the NHS, since 2006.

Huge interest in new GPEP1 roles
Jacqui Virtue is rapt, and thanks all of you who immediately responded to the call for interest in GPEP1 facilitators positions. The acting clinical director of GPEP1 will be in touch with you all.
The College is increasing the number of centres where GPEP1 is delivered and is looking for Fellows with a passion for education who would like to contribute, whether running regular GPEP1 seminars, supporting teachers and trainees, doing attachment visits, and helping with registrar selection interviews. The seminar programme will be nationally consistent with seminar content provided, so that minimal planning and preparation will be required. Administrative support will be provided by a Regional Coordinator, in order that the facilitators spend their time on education not paperwork.
Interested? Contact Dr Jacqui Virtue or cellphone 021 758 726 for more information.

Promotion for Gregor Coster
College Distinguished Fellow Gregor Coster, Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Auckland, has been named as chair of the Counties-Manukau District Health Board. The former chair of the West Coast DHB, Professor Coster's new role was announced today by Health Minister David Cunliffe.
Congratulations Gregor!

- GPLF CEOs met yesterday for their regular meeting, and took the opportunity to meet as a group with Margie Apa, new Deputy Director General - Sector Capability and Innovation
- After a dash from Denver where she spent a day in meetings with 2007 College Conference keynote speaker Larry Green, Susan Dovey will join CEO Karen Thomas to meet with Jackie Cumming, VUW Health Research Institute about the College research initiatives
- The College Council meets face to face tomorrow for the last time in 2007. Next week's ePulse will report.

14 November: World COPD Day
Tomorrow is World COPD day. About 200,000 New Zealanders are estimated to have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and the predominant diagnoses associated with it are emphysema and chronic bronchitis.  The vast majority of COPD patients are existing or former smokers. The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation recommends spirometry for patients that GPs suspect may have a COPD, especially those aged 30 and over. If lung damage is suspected and the patient is a smoker, smoking cessation is still the most important intervention.
Easy-to-follow COPD diagnosis, management and prevention guide is available at COPD guide.

Input to Kidshealth website
Input from GPs sought: Invitation to join a Paediatric Society Special Interest Group (Parent Information SIG) to support content development for . Send expressions of interest to Katherine Lissienko.  

kidshealth is a child and youth health information website to support parents and health professionals. The site is a joint venture between the Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation. Online for just over two years, visitors to the site have increased seven-fold from 2,248 / month in Sept 05 to 15,884 / month in Sept 07. There have been more than 200,000 visitors to the site since the go-live date.


Jonathan Fox, President, RNZCGP



Child Immunisation Study
How much money - and time - does childhood immunisation cost general practices? Auckland’s Immunisation Advisory Centre is fast-tracking a cost analysis study of the childhood vaccination programme, and are keen to recruit practices that might be involved. The aim is to audit 30 general practices around the country, in the hope of comparing whether costs vary with ethnic and socio-economic differences. Time-wise, the actual study requires the practice manager to complete a questionnaire taking approximately 30 to 45 minutes, while the practice nurse spends roughly 10 minutes on a daily diary, over seven days. If you are keen to be involved or find out more, contact Nikki Turner at 09 373 7599 or

Looking for Medical Assessors
Looking to bone up on your assessment skills? The Medical Council of New Zealand NZis currently recruiting assessors who can visit practices as part of its performance assessment process, and ensure that doctors meet required standards in these fields: medical care, communication, collaboration, management, scholarship, and professionalism. Methods used will include interviews, questionnaires, patient observation, and reviews of records. Training is offered, plus a $790 per diem. Send a CV and the names of two referees to Sarah Campbell by 14 December, at

Deadline: 17 November
Last chance to talk about Condoms
Pharmac are interested in the possibilities of wider, stronger and more flavoursome condoms. The agency is seeking feedback on proposals to list a wider range of latex condoms on the Pharmaceutical Schedule. Pharmac medical director Peter Moodie has been quoted telling Radio New Zealand that the flavoured condoms come as part of a deal, and cost less than the existing varieties offered by Pharmac. The agency also proposes reducing the subsidy on ten existing brands. Feedback is sought by 17 November. Further information is available at

Deadline: early December
Review of Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act
Is compulsory reporting of practitioners who may be unfit working well? Would you say the HPCA Act is achieving its purpose? What changes do you recommend? Are scopes of practice achieving their intent - and if not, how could their development be improved? How well are registration authorities working, and who should be able to elect members? As part of a review of the HPCA Act, the Ministry of Health is asking for submissions. If you have any thoughts on these or related questions, send them to Cathy Webber by early December 2007. For more background see:

Deadline: 3 December
Speech-language Therapy and Clinical Physiology
Should speech-language therapists and clinical physiologists be regulated under the Health Practitioners Competence Act? If you want to make your views heard on whether either profession should be regulated, the background documents can be found at Responses can be made directly to the Ministry of Health until 3 December.

Deadline: 7 December
New Physiotherapist Role
What are your thoughts on the creation of a new Specialist Physiotherapy role, one that concentrates primarily on clinical and/or teaching practice? Responses are sought to a consultation document about the potential need for an advanced practitioner role in Physiotherapy. The document was recently released by the NZ College of Physiotherapy and the NZ Society of Physiotherapists. Closing date for responses is 7 December. Send your thoughts to us at:


Vacancies & appointments

Medical Officers
Thames Hospital – Emergency Department
Part Time / Full Time
Position No.50709-38856

Want to come to the Coromandel? Considering a working holiday? Thames is the place for you. Situated just over an hour from Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga cities, it is the gateway to some of the best beaches, bush and sporting activities in New Zealand. Diving, game fishing, water sports (including some of the best surfing beaches) and tramping are all within an hours drive. Ski fields are approximately 4 hours away. The hospital serves a large, primary rural, geographic area receiving a wide variety of cases/pathologies both surgical/medical.

We are seeking motivated medical officers looking for a supportive working environment to work in our new Emergency Department currently under development. Would suit Medical Officer interested in a career in Rural Medicine. Average presentations 12000 per year, diverse casemix

We have an active CME programme and encourage professional development. You need to be capable of working independently, you will have access to consultants 24 hours per day either at Thames or Waikato hospital the secondary and tertiary referral centre. It is essential that you hold or are eligible to apply for registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand.

For further information contact Dr. Ruth Large, Emergency Physician, Thames Hospital – 021 762923 or Closing date: 31 December 2007. For further information and to apply please visit our website or phone 07 839 8949. Please quote position number when applying.



The Charitable Trust Board of the Auckland Faculty of the RNZCGP
The Board invites applications from General Practitioners in the Auckland Faculty area for research grants.
The purpose of the grant is to promote General Practitioner research or study that will be of benefit to General Practice on the regional or wider level.
Grants are usually in the region of $ 3000 to $5000 Further details and application forms available from:
Dr John Arcus
Trust Board Secretary
Applications Close 27 November 2007

Call for papers for special Wonca editition of Lancet
Professor Michael Kidd, Wonca Executive Member at Large and Chair of the Wonca Working Party on Education, is calling for papers for the special edition of the Lancet for the 30th anniversary of the declaration of Alma Ata next September. The call for papers for the special edition of the Lancet has been released.  See: The call invites the submission of papers documenting original research relevant to primary health care and policy-oriented papers that take the debate forward. The deadline is 1 February, 2008. Also Andy Haines’ editorial is attached for your interest.


Wonca Daily Alerts

Journal Watch

Patients with transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or minor stroke are at high immediate risk of stroke
The benefit of prostate cancer screening decision tools
ProBNP may discriminate between cardiac and pulmonary dysfunction
Familial aggregation of left main coronary artery disease
Unsafe abortion is more common in developing countries
Variation in aspirin effect post MI largely due to gender difference

Clinical Reviews

Bipolar disorder
Superior vena cava syndrome


Coming up

Your opportunities for MOPS & AVE credits


check magazine offers the chance to keep up with developments in the medical arena, and gain extra credits while you are at it. Published by the Royal Australian College of GPs, check provides a self-assessment programme which examines a different topic each month. Each year the December issue includes a 100-question test that can be returned to the New Zealand College for assessment. Satisfactory completion will enable local readers to claim 10 CME hours for GPEP2, or 20 credits on MOPS. New Zealand GPs can subscribe or resubscribe through the College. Contact Annie Fleetwood.

Auckland: Spina Bifida in 2008
A Paediatric Perspective; Current Practice & the Future
When: 22 – 23 February, 2008
Venue: Waipuna Conference Centre, Mt Wellington

Organised By:
Mr Vipul Upadhyay FRCS, FRACS
Paediatric Surgeon & Paediatric Urologist
Starship Children's Hospital

Dr Bobby Tsang
Specialist Paediatrician
North Shore Hospital

Waikato: Balint Weekend Workshop
Hamilton 24-25 November 2007
Refresh your enthusiasm. Revive your empathy. Learn to better understand your patients and your responses to patients. Work more effectively with the doctor-patient relationship.
Leader: Dr John Barton GP/Psychotherapist, Co-Leader, Dr David Dewes GP.
The Balint workshop is CME endorsed.
Saturday 10am – 4 pm
Sunday 9am – 1pm
Cost: $180.00. Location: 150 Te Rapa Road, HAMILTON

Wellington: Healing Heart and Soul
FREE EVENT: 18 November, 4pm-6pm, Duxton Hotel, 170 Wakefield St, Wellington.

Two doctors combine their unique wisdom and experiences to share their insights on healing and the journey of self discovery; Oncologist and palliative care physician Associate Professor Roger Cole, Director of Palliatibve Care for the Illawarra region of New South Wales and Dr Nirmala Kajaria, Director of the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Meditation Centres in the Asia Pacific region discuss their collaborative approach.

Otago/Southland: Reflective Writing Workshop with Gillie Bolton
Dunedin Monday 19 November 2007

This is a unique opportunity to work with Gillie Bolton visiting NZ from the UK. Gillie has extensive experience facilitating reflective writing workshops for GPs. She was previously senior research fellow in Medicine and the Arts at King's College London University before she left to write and enjoy freelance consultancy. Gillie was a founder initiator and member of the Council of the UK Association for Medical Humanities. She is author of Reflective Practice Writing and Professional Development (2nd edition) Sage Publications.
Reflective writing workshops can enable practitioners to understand their disasters and successes and learn from them. More information is available on her website

Australian Certificate of Civil Aviation Medicine
A requirement to register with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Australia and accepted by the CAA in NZ for registration as an aviation medical examiner, the course is held at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne from 26 November 7 December.
The course is approved by RACGP for 60 Category 1. The RNZCGP has a reciprocal arrangement with the RACGP under which RNZCGP members attending continuing medical education courses run by an RACGP accredited provider can claim the CME credits by presenting the Certificate provided on completion of the Short Course.
The course coordinator is Dr David Newman MBBS, DipAvMed, PhD.  David spent over 12 years in the RAAF as a medical officer and aviation medicine specialist. He completed aviation medicine courses in the US and UK, including the Diploma of Aviation Medicine through the Royal College of Physicians, London. David completed a PhD in physiology and is a member of the Aerospace Medical Association. He is also an active pilot and has flown 150 hours in high performance aircraft such as the F/A-18 and Harrier.
More information is available at or contact

Get screened and live forever?
In April next year, the National Screening Unit is holding a symposium looking at the benefits and challenges of health screening. Screening to prevent or identify diseases and conditions is a complex and sometimes controversial area. The symposium will look at current screening trends, and what the future may hold.
Get screened and live forever? A forum to explore the opportunities, challenges, benefits and harms of screening is being held at Wellington’s Te Papa on 14 and 15 April 2008.
This symposium is a ‘must attend’ for anyone who works in screening or in an area affected by screening, or who has an interest in the issue. It will feature the latest on:

emerging screening issues
antenatal and newborn screening
quality, evaluation and monitoring
screening for chronic diseases
breast cancer screening
economic evaluation in screening
screening in primary care
cervical screening
ethics, law and health information
genetic screening
consumers and health promotion
zcolorectal and prostate cancer.
Abstracts for the symposium are being accepted until 14 December 2007. See the website – – to submit an abstract or register for the conference.



NZ Association of Gerontology Conference
University of Waikato, Hamilton, 14-16 November 2007.
This should be of particular interest to GPs and also to Practice Nurses. The theme is 'Ageing: The Everyday Experience'. Keynote Speakers are Prof. Mason Durie, Dr Susan St John and Prof. David Richmond. For full details including online registration, please visit:

7th International Diabetes Federation Western Pacific Region Congress,  Diabetes Asia Pacific: Working for Solutions.
Over 1500 delegates are expected with acceptances received from 40 invited speakers.  Monday 31 March 2008 is designated Primary Health Care day with single day registration available. Invitation for abstracts and posters now open. Early up registration open until 31 October 2007.

WPA & WONCA Thematic Conference “Depression and other Common Mental
Disorders in Primary Care”
18–21 June 2008, Granada, Spain.
Information now also available at the conference website,, also for online submission of proposals and registration.

4th Asian Pacific Congress of Heart Failure
Melbourne, Australia, 31 January-3 February 2008
'3D' – Drugs, Devices and Diagnostics.

New Zealand Bioethics Conference
'Wellbeing and Technology', 1-3 February 2008
Cumberland College. Dunedin
Bioethics Centre University of Otago, In association with the Health Research Council of New Zealand


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