Media releases

September 29, 2001

GP of the Year

After 25 years' service to the families of inner-Sydney, this GP still 'rocks'.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners President, Dr Paul Hemming announced tonight the winner of GP of the Year Award is Dr Sybille Fischer, an inner-Sydney general practitioner.

The Award winner, Dr Sybille (known as 'Billy') Fischer said, "I am very flattered at being chosen for this prestigious award, because all I have aimed for during my career is to provide quality care, support and good medical practice to my patients."

The President of RACGP, Dr Hemming said, "Australian GPs are known throughout the world for their excellent professional level of training and patient care."

"Over recent years GPs have had to fight to maintain high quality care because of the ever-increasing intrusion of bureaucracy which has demanded them to be more flexible in their practice arrangements to ensure excellent health outcomes," said Dr Hemming.

"It is obvious that GPs have responded to the additional external pressures: our Australian GP standards are still high," said Dr Hemming.

After 25 years of dedication to family medicine, inner-Sydney GP Dr 'Billy' Fischer can look back with great satisfaction on a career closely involved in the lives of generations of Tempe residents.

Taking up general practice is not something she would change and the first person she thanks for the opportunity is her partner, a civil engineer who has always supported her in establishing and running the solo practice, to the point of undertaking a Practice Manager course.

The responses from her patients who nominated her for GP of the Year consistently carry the words, "caring", "...always listens", ..."friendliest manner" "always explains" "treats me like a person", as well as "seeing her for nearly 30 years and bring my child to her".

They also speak of "very thorough examinations", "never leaves a stone unturned when diagnosing a problem" and, perhaps highest praise of all, "always knows what is wrong."

"I think it is unfortunate that many young patients today have no idea what the term family doctor means and don't know what to look for. They are being weaned on to medical centres which I think can sometimes be a very poor substitute," Dr Fischer said.

Regardless of her concerns for the future, this year's GP of the Year can take heart from her patients' views, not least the one who said, "The amount of people that come to see her shows she must be a good doctor... and she rocks".

The RACGP greatly acknowledges the support of major sponsor, Australia's largest private health insurance fund, Medibank Private, which has donated a year's premium health cover to the person sending in the winning entry.

Members of the public were asked to nominate their favourite GP with entry forms being available at all Medibank Private retail centres nationwide. Members of the public were also given the option of voting on the Medibank website.

The GP of the Year award was based on the number and quality of votes received.

Medibank Private managing director, Mark Burrowes, says he welcomes being a key sponsor of the award in that it provides the health fund with the opportunity of encouraging and engaging doctors in actively promoting the concept of wellness.

"As the 'gate-keepers' to the medical system, GPs have a crucial role in educating the general public about prevention in addition to their traditional role of diagnosing and treatment. We anticipate that prevention will become increasingly important in future for them as well as for us," he says.

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