Dr John Vaughan receiving the Supervisor of the Year Award (North Coast) in 2017

Farewell to Hastings Macleay General Practice Network 

At the Annual General Meeting of the Hastings Macleay General Practice Network (HMGPN) on 19 March 2019 it was announced  that the organisation would be wound up. 

HMGPN started in 1994 as part of the Labor government’s initiative to build a framework for supporting general practice at the local level. It was one of four Divisions of General Practice, as they were then known, covering the North Coast footprint from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie. 

The Divisions and later Networks ceased further direct Federal government funding after the establishment of Medicare Locals in 2013, putting great financial pressure on these organisations and causing many of them to cease operation. 

The demise of the HMGPN joins the Tweed Heads GPN which wound up several years ago, reducing the number of GP Network members of the North Coast PHN from four to two. 

The NCPHN Board has taken “the opportunity to acknowledge the work done by the Hastings Macleay GPN, and their commitment to the community.”

The last Chairman of the HMGPN, Dr John Vaughan, pays tribute to those that have led and worked with the organisation over the last 25 years.

It is with sadness that we announce the folding of the Hastings Macleay General Practice Network. 

HMGPN started in the 1990s and owes its inception to the enthusiasm and energy of people like David Gregory and his initial Board who gave the organisation a wonderful lift off. The concept of a local organisation to represent local GPs was inspired. It allowed small disparate general practices to have a voice in the local health system and it raised the profile of GPs who are essential to delivering better care. 

GP Networks provided the framework for us to interact with other parts of the health system in order to pursue our goal of improved patient care.

Unfortunately, no funding meant we could not continue and the decision was made to fold the organisation. With the advent of Primary Health Networks, representation for all primary care practitioners on the North Coast has passed, in the local case, to the NCPHN. 

I would like to pay tribute to all those GPs who contributed to the HMGPN over the nearly two decades of its existence. There were many who were involved and gave of their time and energy. I would like to acknowledge two in particular - Sharon Sykes who was instrumental in organising the educational events for GPs for many years and has been a Board stalwart, and Libby Scalloway who has provided fantastic administration support for almost the whole existence of the organisation as well providing emotional support for the Board through some tough times.

We trust that GPs will continue to have a voice through the NCPHN.