A “fierce lawyer” appointed president-elect of the RACGP

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Dr Nicole Higgins, practice owner and supervisor of the North Queensland-based GP, will take over as college president in November.

Dr. Nicole Higgins will assume the role of RACGP President following the 2022 AGM.


For Dr Nicole Higgins, the phone call confirming that she had won the election and would be the next president of the RACGP was a “surreal” moment.


The owner of the Mackay-based firm said newsGP she is ‘humbled’ to have been chosen from among the seven nominees, when she has also pledged to carry on the legacy of the current Deputy President, Professor Karen Price, as well as those who have served before.


“For too long the role of general practice has been undervalued, oversimplified and unfunded. There is no substitute for general medical care and taking this route leads to second level care and puts patients at risk,” she said.


“I am honored to take on the role of RACGP Chair and look forward to working with members, other GPs and healthcare stakeholders, including government, in the months and years to come. come.


“I would also like to thank Professor Price, who has worked tirelessly during his tenure to support members and patients in the most difficult of circumstances.


“There is a growing appetite for change. I will ensure that the College continues to push to represent the interests of its members and be a strong advocate for our profession.


As well as being a practice owner and member of the RACGP Queensland Faculty Council, Dr Higgins is the current chair of GP Supervisors Australia and said she is looking forward to the transition over the next year. towards profession-led training.


However, she also wants to spearhead other changes to Australia’s healthcare system.


“I am proud to be a female clinician with a practice that lives outside the capitals. I straddle the breadth and depth of mainstream practice – urban, regional and rural – and will inform policy from a different perspective,” Dr Higgins said.


“My own experiences reflect the lived experience of issues faced by RACGP members, such as Medicare underfunding, payroll taxes, practice sustainability, workforce, GP training and burnout, and the impact of climate change on our profession.


“Australian leaders must recognize that health is a worthwhile investment and that general practice saves lives and money. And I intend to fight for the future of world-class care in our country – care that is accessible to everyone, regardless of zip code or income.


In addition to her current role as President of the GPSA, Dr Higgins is a former Director of the North Queensland Primary Health Network and recipient of the Supervisor of the Year Award, Tropical Medical Education 2014.


She has also received the support of Professor Price, who has ‘full confidence’ in Dr Higgins’ ability to stand up strongly for members and to continue the ‘critical work’ already undertaken by the college.


“We’ve come a long way in a short time, but there’s still a long way to go,” Professor Price said.


“The pandemic is not over, and at the same time, years of underfunding and neglect have put general practice in crisis.


“I am confident that Dr Higgins will rise to the challenges and pursue the many opportunities to champion GPs and the future of high quality GP care in our country.”


Dr Higgins will officially assume office following the 2022 RACGP Annual General Meeting on Thursday 24 November, when Prof Price’s two-year term comes to an end.


She said her initial priorities will be to build relationships and lines of communication with college members, staff and leadership team and the federal government, in particular the Minister of Health and Aged Care. Mark Butler.


“I’m proud to be a GP,” said Dr Higgins.


“I ask the members of the RACGP to stand by my side and fight for our profession. We have the ability to be the change.


“I look forward to serving the members with humility, strength and responsibility.”



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Nicole Higgins Presidential election President of the RACGP


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