Comprehensive general practice is exactly that
Family Doctor Week – July 21 to 27
Dr Ines Rio – Victoria
Dr Ines Rio is no stranger to the AMA membership, being highly and enthusiastically involved in numerous Committees and Councils at the State and Federal levels – as well as other medical networks and boards – some as chair.
She is also a well-known and friendly face at North Richmond Community Health and at the Royal Women’s Hospital Victoria.
Dr Rio is a GP at the community health centre and does obstetric work at the women’s hospital.
“I’m a GP two days a week and see outpatients at the hospital half a day a week. Then I run the GP liaison unit at the Royal Women’s Hospital,” Dr Rio says.
She describes the North Richmond Community Health clinic as a fascinating place.
“It is incorporated within a big public housing complex,” she says.
“It is a completely bulk-billed clinic with 11 GPs. It is multi-disciplined, even with a dental service.
“We get a real range of people here. There is massive socio-economic deprivation. There have also been these wonderful waves of refugees, from the East Timorese and Lebanese in the 70s, through to Africans and refugees from the Middle East today. We have on-site interpreters.
“We also cater for the very middle class as Richmond becomes more gentrified. It’s an interesting waiting room, with varied people.
“Comprehensive general practice is exactly that. We can be dealing with trauma, with grief, domestic violence, drug abuse.
“General practice is relationship-based performance. You form these enduring, longitudinal relationships with patients and their families.
“You are more effective over time. You learn more about them and you learn how to negotiate the healthcare system better for each particular patient.
“Over time, they trust you. They disclose information. They realise that it is actually about you being on their side.
“I am locally trained. Went to Monash, then went into hospitals dipping in and out of lots of different specialties. I was interested in them all and didn’t want to give any up. And that’s what general practice gives you.
“When you’re a GP, you build an enormous amount of knowledge and skills, and you learn so much from your patients.
“I have a very strong interest in maternity care, particularly women under 19. Anti-natal care. I run a shared maternity care program.”
Published: 15 Jul 2019