Launch of PCDSA in Australian Doctor online – 14 December 2015

Australian Doctor 14 December 2015, by Michael Woodhead

Professional society set up for primary care diabetes

A new group has been set up to provide a professional voice for primary care practitioners working in diabetes care.

The Primary Care Diabetes Society of Australia (PCDSA) is described by its founders as a not-for-profit group that will promote education and standards for health professionals working in diabetes management in primary care.

Co-founder Associate Professor Mark Kennedy, a GP in Geelong and clinical associate professor in the department of general practice, University of Melbourne, says the one million Australians with diabetes currently receive most of their care in primary care, yet there is no primary care-based multidisciplinary society to support these practitioners.

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Improving Type 2 Diabetes Management in General Practice
Managing type 2 diabetes in general practice

“Australia has a number of organisations that represent parts of the diabetes therapeutic community. All of these are vitally important in their own right but don’t represent the multidisciplinary nature of diabetes in primary care,” he says.

Professor Kennedy says education will be a key role of the society, which will provide online CPD and a quarterly online journal.

The society will hold its first annual conference in Melbourne on 30 April next year.

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The society aims to share best practice in delivering quality diabetes care, promote and participate in high quality research in diabetes and disseminate up-to-date, evidence-based information to primary care practitioners.

Membership of the PCDSA is free for Australian primary healthcare professionals who manage diabetes.

Professor Kernnedy told Austrailan Doctor that the society was aimed at all primary care practitioners, not just those with a special interest in diabetes.

“It’s such a high proportion of our patients that you can’t be in general practice without being involved in diabetes,” he said.

The PCDSA was modelled on a similar society set up in the UK a decade ago which had created a much better dialogue and helped break down barriers between primary care craft groups to work together in multidisciplinary teams for diabetes patients.

The society would also give primary care a voice in ongoing development of national diabetes policies and funding, he added.

“Primary care is where most people with diabetes are managed but traditionally we haven’t had a co-ordinated voice on things like funding for chronic disease management items.”

“With this society people working in primary care can provide input [to government] on what’s working well and what could be done better for our diabetes patients,” said Professor Kennedy.