The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has awarded General Practice of the Year to the Victor Medical Centre in Victor Harbor.

RACGP Acting President Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda congratulated the award winners.

“This year’s award winners highlight why general practice is so important for communities across South Australia and the Northern Territory,” Associate Professor Shenouda said.

“The Victor Medical Centre features GPs with a broad range of skills including anaesthetics, skin, obstetrics and mental health – something that is so important to a rural community where access to specialists can be limited.”

The RACGP Awards recognise the value of GPs in our community, celebrating the achievements of exceptional individuals, who go above and beyond to care for their patients.

Victor Medical Centre CEO Richard Pierce said the award was “special”.

“This award is special as it is chosen by our peers with General Practice and recognises the hard work of our doctors and staff in making sure the practice provides the best possible service to the residents and visitors to the South Coast,” Mr Pierce said.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is Australia’s largest professional general practice organisation and represents urban and rural general practitioners.

The RACGP’s mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of all people in Australia by supporting GPs, general practice registrars and medical students through its principal activities of education, training and research and by assessing doctors’ skills and knowledge, supplying ongoing professional development activities, developing resources and guidelines, helping GPs with issues that affect their practice, and developing standards that general practices use to ensure high quality healthcare.)

“We are proud to be recognised by our peers and it is great for our patients to know they are supported by a high class medical centre. We are very happy that are efforts and hard work has been recognised and thank all of our patients for their ongoing support,” Mr Pierce said.

“The doctors and staff at Victor Medical Centre are always trying to do their best for the local community and this award recognises that.”

The Victor Medical Centre is in the running for National Practice of the Year which will be announced on November 20.

“We will continue to work on improving our services. We are actively trying to recruit doctors so we can reduce the waiting time for patients to get an appointment with their doctor of choice. This is difficult as there is a nationwide shortage of GPs. We hope this award will highlight the benefits of working in our practice,” Mr Pierce said.

“We are focusing on digital updates to our service. For example, in the next few months we will be able to providing electronic prescriptions if a patient chooses this. They will receive an sms or email with their prescription rather than a paper copy.”

The Victor Medical Centre provides a wide range of services to the South Coast. There are currently 23 GPs and trainee GPs employed at the practice. They have a wide range of skills and interest.

Services include GP Obstetricians who are able to deliver babies locally at the South Coast District Hospital, pre and post-natal care, mental health specialists, skin clinic and lesion removal, GPs with an interest in women’s health and men’s health, immunisations and care for the elderly and those with chronic disease.

They also provide a duty doctor for urgent care in their treatment room, which acts like a mini emergency department. This means patients are able to see a doctor on the same day if they have an urgent problem that cannot wait.

The Centre is open seven days a week to offer a comprehensive health service for patients and visitors to the South Coast.

“We are an accredited training practice for GP registrars and over the years have supported the training of many GPs. We participate in the training of medical students while still at university, with both Flinders University and Adelaide University students attending the clinic,” Mr Pierce said.

“We employ 15 nurses who assist in the treatment room, provide wound dressings and minor procedures in our procedure room. Patients are able to have ECGs and other diagnostic measurements performed on site.

“We offer nurse clinics for patients with chronic diseases like Asthma and Diabetes. There is also a clinic for post-natal services like assistance with breast feeding and a clinic for stoma patients. Nurses provide home health assessments for elderly patients who are still living at home, helping them stay in their own homes safely and for longer.”

It is a fully computerised clinic. Patients have the ability to book appointments online and have a reminder system for upcoming appointments. The Centre is constantly updating its systems to ensure they stay at the forefront of digital technology.

“We employ 15 reception and administration staff who work to make the patients dealings with the practice as smooth as possible,” he said.

“Not just on the front desk checking in patients, but answering the many phone calls each day and assisting patients with further bookings and arranging further treatment and support for our patients.

“We have many specialist who consult for our rooms, providing an important service for our patients who would have to travel to the city otherwise. There is onsite pathology for those patients who may require blood tests.”

(Courtesy of The Times, Victor Harbor)