The NZRGPN National Rural Health Conference 2017 Wellington has been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and has been approved for up to 17.25 credits CME for the General Practice Educational Programme (GPEP) and Maintenance of Professional Standards (MOPS) purposes.

Preconference day

8.00am - 5.30pm Conference registration desk open
7.00pm  Doctors' and nurses' dinner


8.30am - 1.30pm Rural hospital medicines update
Room 4
Click here to view the programme
Click here to view the AGM agenda
4.00pm Kaumaatua Hui
5.30pm NZRGPN board meeting
Room 3


10.00am - 4.00pm Royal NZ College of GPs Rural Chapter research day
Cost: $20 for students and registrars, $80 for everyone else, includes catering
Intercontinental Hotel

To download a full programme of the day please click here.
To view abstract for the day please click here.

9.30am - 12.00pm Corticosteroid injections workshop
Ruth Highet
Cost:$50 includes morning tea
APW room

There are many musculoskeletal conditions whose management can be accelerated with  well-directed injections. Its important though in most circumstances, that the patient understands, the injection if recommended is to allow full rehab to occur and is not the magic bullet to get rid of their musculoskeletal problem on its own. Used on its own, in most circumstances will lead to very shortlived improvement and possibly result in more significant injury once the CSI has worn off.  A diagnostic local anaesthetic injection can be used in the consultation room to confirm your clinical suspicions and in appropriate conditions, a corticosteroid injection may be added with the intention of  alleviating pain, improving ROM and allowing more comprehensive rehab afterwards.

For many conditions, they do not require radiological guidance.  

During the workshop, we will outline injection techniques and modalities for common sites such as the subacromial bursa, glenohumeral joint, common extensor origin, elbow joint, wrist joint, knee joint, ITB insertion, ankle joint, sinus tarsi, etc. Managing a patient with for example,  an appropriately diagnosed frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis), early, and in your rooms with a capsular corticosteroid injection will have a very happy patient, able to sleep again, able to do up their bra, carry out normal ADL again, and happy to take on your recommendations re ongoing management required.

1.00pm - 5.00pm  Suicide Risk Assessment and Suicide Prevention- safeTALK workshop
Dr Annette Beautrais 
Intercontinental Hotel

The workshop will focus on suicide risk assessment and suicide prevention strategies for rural communities. 
In this workshop, participants will be presented information about the incidence and risks of suicide in rural New Zealand
They will develop skills to help them:
  • Recognize a person who might be having thoughts of suicide.
  • Engage people with thoughts of suicide in direct and open talk about suicide.
  • Listen to the person's feelings about suicide and show that they are taken seriously.
  • Move quickly to connect them with appropriate help.
  • Demonstrate that they can participate in a didactic role play between a suicide-alert helper and person with thoughts of suicide using the TALK steps. 
  • Self- evaluate their own ability to be willing, ready, and able to be a suicide alert helper.
At the end of the workshop they will have an opportunity to evaluate the programme to provide important quality assurance information for RHAANZ.

2.00pm - 5.00pm Tinnitus management from an Audiologist's perspective
Jason King MNZAS Senior Audiologist Christchurch
Bay Audiology

(CME accredited)
Cost: $50 includes afternoon tea
APW room

Often sounding like ringing, buzzing or pulsing in ears, tinnitus is a group of symptoms with a myriad of causes that creates the perception of a noise in the ears or heard in the absence of an external sound source. While most people may experience momentary tinnitus at some point in their lives,  10–15% of the general population are affected by chronic bothersome tinnitus, with 1% of the population experiencing extreme levels of distress. Research suggests that 70–85% of people with a hearing loss will experience some level of tinnitus. While no coverall 'cure' for tinnitus exists, the annoyance and negative effects on a person's life can be successfully managed. 

This tinnitus management workshop will cover:
- what is known about the potential causes of tinnitus
- how a health professional can participate in the assessment and management of tinnitus
- considerations for triaging and referrals
- the assistance that an audiologist can provide

Time will also be spent discussing the counselling and management plans that can be offered to patients who are significantly affected by decreased sound tolerance for loud or even soft sounds, often referred to as hyperacusis or misophonia.

2.00pm - 5.00pm Free yourself from paperwork 
Celia Tymons, GP Docs
Cost: $50 including afternoon tea
VGM room

Don't we all just love writing documentation for general practice policies and procedures? With Cornerstone and Foundation standards now driving us to ensure we have accurate, adequate, and articulate policies and procedures, we all know that it's impossible to run or hide from them. How can you fit this extra work into your already stretched work schedule? How can you ask your work colleagues to take on some of this workload when they are just as busy as you are? How do you know that what you're writing is going to meet the required standards? How do you manage the process long-term? Where do you start?

All is not lost. It is possible to learn effective and efficient ways to document your policies and procedures. This session will help you understand how secure, collaborative, quality assured, and best practice online documentation is the solution.

Streamliners are subject experts in producing the highest level of industry-specific documentation in NZ, Australia, and the UK. Streamliners is the company that has brought you HealthPathways, HealthInfo, SchoolDocs, and GPDocs ( Let us help you understand how to take the pain and the unknown out of writing your policies and procedures, and how to make them useful and usable to improve your business. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Cornerstone becomes a lot easier to tackle if you get your documents working well. How can you afford not to find out more?!

Policies and procedures – After this session you'll understand the need to:
  • Change your thinking about them
  • Streamline them
  • Standardise them
  • Keep them current
  • Make them accessible
  • Make them more cost effective
  • Apply them in a way to improve many aspects of your business
  • Collaborate to improve quality
  • Use best practice methods
  • Reduce risk
  • Be prepared for your Cornerstone/Foundation assessment
2.00pm - 5.00pm Nurses forum
Room 4

How can rural nurses network, communicate and plan action in a collegial way?
Lorraine Ritchie and Julia Anderson, NZNO

It is well recognised that nurses working in rural and remote areas of New Zealand face specific challenges. These challenges include: isolation and reduced opportunities for education, professional development and supervision. Attempts have been made over the years to address these issues and to bring rural nurses together formally into an organised, connected group which would provide a forum for identifying, documenting and acting on their concerns.

Such a group does not exist currently, but the desire to discuss and problem-solve collective issues, gain professional and clinical guidance and to support each other appears to be strong among rural nurses. How can rural nurses network, communicate and plan action in a collegial way, which also ensures substance, relevancy and longevity?

This presentation to rural nurses will pose this question and others, with the goal of defining what rural nurses express are their needs and wants. The presentation is intended to pick up on discussions which have occurred at other rural nurse forums and encourage the continuation of dialogue with a plan for action as an outcome.

The presenters/facilitators will begin by introducing the NZNO context and professional nursing framework as an example of formalised collegiality.  

Attendees at this workshop should come prepared to participate by sharing stories and ideas.

The educational experience of student nurses' ability to improve rural community health care and reduce health disparities
Jean Ross and Laurie Mahoney, School of Nursing, Otago Polytechnic

Rural communities in New Zealand are not immune to experiencing health disparities, which are also felt internationally.  Health disparities can be experienced in rural areas related to limited access and the availability of a varied supply and provision of care by an array of health professionals.  This presentation focuses on the health disparities aligned with the rural Otago region in which the authors are connected with the education and clinical supervision of student nurses' in the primary health care component of the Bachelor of Nursing programme.  The educational component aligns with the School of Nursing at Otago Polytechnic's philosophy that the principles underpinning primary health care are the fundamental bases of nursing practice. Therefore, practice that promotes these principles recognised as community partnership, community participation and health promotion are captured as a component of the third year student nurses' clinical practice experience which is aligned with their primary health care placement.  During 2016 student groups completed four individual rural community clinical projects, aligned with four separate rural geographical locations situated within the region.  Each student group identified three health needs, totalling 12 health issues and when compared across the four groups and regions, similarities were noted with reference to inadequate health care services for the rural youth, the older adult and access to mental health care services. This presentation discusses these health needs, their similarities and the unique health promotion resources that were developed which had a positive impact of improving the populations' health needs.   


Day one

7.30am - 6.00pm Conference registration desk open
8.30am - 9.15am Mihi whakatau and official conference opening
9.15am - 9.30am Opening address
Sharon Hansen
9.30am - 10.15am Keynote address
Chair: Dalton Kelly
Is General Practice funding sustainable and equitable?  Are Health Care Homes our salvation?
Peter Moodie
10.15am - 10.45am Morning tea
Kindly sponsored by RHAANZ
10.45am - 11.25am Concurrent session 1
   1A  1B  1C  1D  1E  1F
  Accessing fertility treatment  
Dr Simon McDowell 

Travel Medicine: Current Concerns & Updates
Jenny Visser
Sport and exercise  medicine for GPs
Ruth Highet and Simon Kim
 Advanced care planning
Geoff Annals

Twin careers: medicine and farming
Dr William Rolleston,  Dr Tanya Quin and Dr Tim Malloy
Effective financial planning – pulling the pieces together
Sue Stewart and Hamish McPhail
11.30am - 12.10pm Concurrent session 2
   2A  2B 2C 2D 2E 2F
  The human gut microbiome and human health – the role of probiotics
Anders Henriksson
Wilderness medicine - here and afar
Tristan Sames
Biologics and Biosimilars: Why should GP's should  to be interested
Bryan Betty, PHARMAC  

The Cook Islands: developing capacity and a training programme - linking to rural remote practice in NZ and beyond
Kati Blattner, Dr Nini Wynn, Cook Islands MOH, Dr Joel Pirini , Rural Registrar, Kaitaia

Understanding the biomechanics and physical demands of one of the toughest rural industries - shearing
Laura Hancock

Climate change and the effect on the rural sector and on health
James Renwick

12.10pm - 1.15pm Lunch
1.15pm - 1.55pm  Concurrent session 3
  3A 3B 3C 3D 3E 3F
  Oh no not another new one?……. negotiating the multitude of new inhalers for COPD
Andy Davies
Implementing Virtual Consults in Rural General Practice
Community placements for interns (PGY1s and PGY2s)  
Andrew Connolly, Medical Council of NZ and Helen Morgan-Banda, Royal New Zealand College of General Practice
Point-of-care testing to improve access and improve outcomes in rural and general practice 
Catherine Beazley, Kati Blattner and Geoff Herd

Framework to improve rural mental health and addictions outcomes for rural New Zealanders
Michelle Thompson
The Hidden Talent Quest. There may be more opportunities for your beneficiary patients than you realise
David Bratt, Ministry of Social Development
2.00pm - 2.40pm Concurrent session 4
  4A 4B 4C 4D 4E 4F
  So you drive a petrol tanker? That's just great! Managing sleepy drivers.
Andy Davies

Cxbladder: Empowering GPs for evaluation of haematuria
David Darling

Establishing a network for rural hospital nurses
Panel- Mark Emmerson, Rhonda Johnson, Debi Lawry
Farm Related Suicides in New Zealand, 2007 – 2015: A review of coroners' records
Annette Beautrais

The Orkneys and recruiting rural GPs 
Pat Farry Trust Education Scholarship report
Anna Charles-Jones and Jono Paulin
2.45pm - 3.15pm Afternoon tea
3.15pm - 4.00pm Keynote address
Chair: Jeremy Webber
Health policy and visions of the good life
Eric Crampton
4.00pm - 4.45pm Keynote address
PRIME review - panel discussion chaired by Dalton Kelly, CEO, Rural General Practice Network
Panel: Kate Stark (NP, MN Clinical, PRIME), Jared Stevenson (Portfolio Manager NASO), Tony Smith (Medical Director, St John), Dr Tim Malloy (President Royal New Zealand College of GPs and rural GP).
4.45pm - 5.30pm  Awards ceremony
Peter Snow Memorial Award
Rural General Practice Team of the Year Award
5.30pm - 7.00pm Welcome reception among the exhibition area
Kindly sponsored by Pacific Edge
7.00pm onwards Student dinner

Day two

8.00am - 5.30pm Conference registration desk open
7.30am - 8.45am Breakfast sessions
ManageMyHealth breakfast session (Medtech)
Digital tools for delivery of healthcare services in Rural Health settings

AbbVie breakfast session
New horizons for your hepatitis C patients: offering treatment in the community
9.00am - 9.45am Keynote address
Chair: Jeremy Webber
Rural mental health and wellbeing
Matt Shirtcliffe
9.45am - 10.30am Keynote address
Chair: Jeremy Webber
Bullying and family violence in New Zealand
Norm Hewitt
10.30am - 11.00am Morning tea
Kindly sponsored by RHN
11.00am - 11.40am Concurrent session 5
   5A 5B 5C 5D 5E 5F
  Caring for older people in rural aged residential care homes
Maree Todd, BUPA
Dental emergencies
Akash Kota, Masterton Dental Clinic

Connecting New Zealand's telehealth services with rural communities
Andrew Slater, Homecare Medical
Keeping Kaipara Families Safe: the Violence Intervention Programme in a Rural Hospital Setting 
Paula Anderson and Jen Thomas
What excites us about rural: showcasing the best of rural health
Sanofi workshop 
Managing travel and sick days for diabetics
John Wilson
11.45am - 12.25pm Concurrent session 6
  6A 6B 6C 6D 6E 6F
  Resisting Resistance and the Antimicrobial Apocalypse (or Tales of Antimicrobial Stewardship)
Jared Green
Medtech User Group – Tour of Medtech Evolution
Rural Medical Immersion Programme (RMIP) ten years - are we making a difference?
Branko Sijnja and Melody Curle
Unknown Unknowns in New Zealand Rural Health 
Garry Nixon
Career pathways in rural health
Student panel
Sanofi workshop 
Approaches to insulin intensification
John Wilson
12.30pm - 1.10pm  Concurrent session 7
  7A 7B
7C   7D
  Multidisciplinary training
Sue Pullon
Telehealth - From Here to There and Back Again     
John Garrett
Exploitation for the greater good- making sure everyone gets the most out of student placements
Buzz Burrell, John Burton, Katelyn Thorn and Blair Mason
Rehabilitation - rural hospital outcomes leading NZ
Rhonda Johnson
Capacity assessments for legal purposes
Dr Zarko Kamenica, MPS 
Cardiology Update for GP's from the Heart Foundation
Fraser Hamilton, Heart Foundation
1.10pm - 2.10pm Lunch
2.15pm - 3.00pm  Keynote address
Does NZ need a rural school of medicine?
Garry Nixon and Ross Lawrenson
3.00pm - 3.45pm Keynote address
Chair: Jeremy Webber 
Water quality in New Zealand
Marnie Prickett
3.45pm - 4.15pm Afternoon tea
4.15pm - 5.00pm Keynote address
Chair: Jeremy Webber 
Fat Science: Why diets and exercise don't work and what does
Robyn Toomath
5.00pm  Conference close
5.15pm - 6.00pm NZRGPN AGM
Room 1 & 2
7.00pm onwards Medtech informal dinner and dance 

Day three - Breakfast forums at the Intercontinental

9.00am - 12.00pm Network members breakfast forum
10.00am - 12.00pm Student breakfast forum
with presentation from Victoria Catherwood 


 We would like to thank our sponsors for all of their support

Gold partner
Breakfast session, conference dinner, Medtech Solution lounge 

 Satchel and workshop sponsor

Breakfast session  

Registration package sponsor


Catering sponsor 
 Catering sponsor
The Network's health promotion partner