The Hawkes Bay Faculty held its annual meeting and dinner at Black Barn vineyard on Wednesday 21 October 2020. More than 50 registrars, members and Fellows gathered overlooking the vines for the event. The Faculty was unable to hold its “world famous in New Zealand” Primary Care Symposium and Primary Care Health Awards in 2020, so it chose instead to provide an opportunity for GPs to relax together socially after an unprecedented year.
The meeting began with a moment of remembrance for three senior GPs who passed away during 2020. In her report, Faculty Chair Kerryn Lum acknowledged the incredible resilience of general practice. “When all around us, people were renovating their homes and gardens, baking bread, learning a new language and winging about staying home, general practice teams masked up, gowned up, and stepped up to keep doing what we do,” she said.
“We listened, we diagnosed, we treated, we immunised, we swabbed, we CBAC’d, and we listened some more. We paid our staff. We wore unflattering scrubs. And while the hospitals got all the media attention for being at the front line, they were actually the back line. We were the front line.”
In keeping with the Faculty’s intent to get things done by building relationships, secondary care colleagues and other doctors working in general practice were invited to join the Faculty for the post-AGM dinner. Ten new Fellows were announced and congratulated, showcasing the viability of specialist general practice training in the area.
The newly appointed CEO of Hawkes Bay DHB, Keriana Brooking, was the after dinner guest speaker, with the Faculty creating an opportunity for her to meet a cluster (is that the collective noun for GPs?) of GPs early in her tenure, in their territory, to set the general practice scene for her. Keriana has a strong background in primary care and there is cautious optimism that the general practice arm of the DHB will have a positive and mutually respectful relationship with the Board and CEO.