With the evolution of Primary Health Care providers in recent years, through the Medicare Locals to the Primary Health Networks, the NEDGP has maintained an active voice in representing General Practice in the region. Directors from the NEDGP Board and other GP Advisors continue to work with the organisations providing primary health services in our area.
Our current activities include coordinating the New England Health Alliance Meetings, advocating for our members and their patients in this region, facilitating the John Nevin Scholarship to first year UNE Medical students, the Dr Robert French Prize for Surgery and the Dr Phillip Bookallil Prize for Rural General Practice to outstanding UNE graduates.
The New England Division of General Practice (NEDGP) covers the area from Tenterfield in the north to Uralla in the south and west to Inverell and Bundarra. It also includes the towns of Ashford, Emmaville, Glen Innes, Tingha, Guyra and Armidale, and covers an area of 33,284 square kilometres (4.2% of the total NSW land area).
The Division has a population of 66,075 (1% of the total NSW population). With a population density of 2 persons per km2, compared to 8.3 persons per km2 for NSW contributing to the difficulties associated with providing health care across geographical distances.
The NEDGP area comprises of 13 towns. General Practice surgeries are located in 10 of the area’s 13 towns.
The New England Division has 1 Rural Referral Hospital (Armidale), 2 District Hospitals (Inverell & Glen Innes), 1 Community Hospital (Tenterfield) and 3 Multi-purpose Services (Guyra, Tingha & Emmaville). Armidale, Inverell and Glen Innes offer obstetric services, anaesthetic and some surgical services mainly from procedural GPs. Armidale offers specialist surgical and medical services as well as GP procedural services.
78 General Practitioners currently work in the New England Division of General Practice area, of which 63 are members.
The distribution of GPs across the Division is not even with higher numbers practicing in the more populated centres of Armidale, Inverell & Glen Innes. The smaller centres of Tenterfield, Uralla and Guyra are under-represented while Ashford, Tingha & Bundarra have no resident medical officer.