One step at a time

In our previous newsletter, CEO Anne Wilson announced Emerge Australia’s participation at the General Practice Conference & Exhibition (GPCE) conference series in 2022. This article explains more about our participation at these national events, and our broader strategy to improve GP education about ME/CFS. Our enduring goal is for all people with ME/CFS to receive best practice care from all healthcare providers. 

GPCE is the leading professional development conference for GPs in Australia. Emerge Australia will be delivering professional development at the four conferences in 2022. This will start with Sydney: 26 – 29 May, Perth: 23 – 24 July, Brisbane: 10 – 11 September, and finishes with Melbourne: 11 – 13 November.  

These conferences are targeted to GPs but practice nurses, practice staff, GP registrars, allied health professionals and medical students also attend. Each session that participants attend contributes towards their annual CPD point requirements. With up to 1000 healthcare professionals attending the plenary sessions alone, GPCE is one of the few opportunities to reach such a large cohort of healthcare professionals.  

Those of us in the ME/CFS community know about the urgent need to engage with, and educate, GPs to diagnose and safely manage people with ME/CFS. We highlighted this need in our recently released report State of the Nation: Because people with ME/CFS matter and in the awareness week petition, which is still available to sign here 

Long COVID has, once again, helped us to secure this opportunity to shine a light on ME/CFS. Our keynote presentation will educate GPs about diagnosis, treatment and management options for people with ME/CFS and Long COVID. The keynote speaker is our Medical Director, Dr Richard Schloeffel OAM.   

In addition to the keynote addresses, we will promote our existing ThinkGP CPD accredited education modules, which provide in-depth training about diagnosis and management of ME/CFS. Our presence at GPCE will give us the opportunity to engage with conference participants one-on-one and learn more about their ME/CFS education and support requirements.  

2022 is an important year for Emerge Australia to establish a solid and enduring relationship with GPs across Australia. GP education is the cornerstone of our five-year plan which will see us rolling out our newly completed HealthPathway across two key PHNs in Victoria while our Nurse Educator Kate Herbert continues to deliver training to allied health staff across Australia.  

Importantly we are also seeking much needed funds for the updating of Australia’s outdated Clinical Guidelines which will ultimately compliment our GP Education, diagnosis and management of ME/CFS.   

All of these tasks take time, money, and human resources - all of which are limited. We will continue to update you on progress and evolution of our GP Education strategy, as well as work on our other four priority areas as stated in our State of the Nation report as these occur.  Together and with your support, we will deliver much needed results for our community.