Following the recent severe and devastating flooding event in north Queensland many in the region are facing significant financial hardship and personal loss.
GPs Down Under (GPDU) discussions that occurred during and immediately after the weather event rapidly identified the significant impact on GPs, clinic staff and the community. The GPDU community identified an immediate need to provide support. Individual GPs within GPDU were questioning how they could help those in our GP community who had been impacted.
In response to this identified need, the GPDU administration team, led by Dr Abby Harwood, has launched a fundraising campaign to ensure rapid access to financial support for those in need.
While the initiative comes from motivated individuals, the GPDU community includes individual doctors who also hold leadership positions within our colleges and professional organisations. GPDU provided a unique and nimble platform to quickly unite all of our organisations.
In a short timeframe, formal support for the GPDU Flood Support campaign was committed by RDAQ foundation to provide infrastructure. Support in promoting this campaign has also been offered by our partners AMA Queensland, Rural Doctors Association Queensland, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, General Practice Registrars Australia and General Practice Supervisors Australia.
RDAQ Foundation is a charity created in response to the extreme weather events and flooding in 2011. RDAQ Foundation have also launched a Rural Emergency Practice Payment Access in Recovery (REPAIR) for rural and remote GPs.
While there are two campaigns being promoted, they have complimentary goals. GPDU and the RDAQ Foundation are working closely together to ensure support is delivered directly to GPs affected in North Queensland.
The GPDU Fund has been established to support those GPs who have been impacted by the flooding across Northern Queensland, including their families and employees. What can be funded is flexible, this may be anything from replacing essential equipment/consumables, a contribution to rental costs for interim practice space or housing, or support for babysitting services for GPs or Practice staff unable to access usual childcare services.
The application process is easily accessible for those currently in distress. Forms can be completed online or we can assist over the phone if internet access is unreliable.
We have already received requests for support and are already responding. Essential equipment has been sent to a practice in need and financial support is being given to GPs. We, however, need donations and are seeking your support.
The GPDU team are grateful for the support from RDAQ Foundation and all our partners including AMAQ, ACRRM, RDAQ, RACGP, GPSA and GPRA.
It has been humbling to see the medical community rally around and join forces without hesitation to support those impacted by these floods.
The GPDU- flood relief program application form can be found Here.
A special thanks too to Chantel Preston – @artyOT for assistance with the graphics.