The Murray Mallee General Practice Network is based in the major population centre of the region - the Rural City of Murray Bridge. It includes an area of 23,000 square kilometres from the eastern Adelaide Hills through to the Victorian border. The Sturt Highway and rail route from Adelaide to Melbourne pass through the region. The River Murray, Coorong and Murray Mallee areas are significant environmental features.
The general practitioner workforce in the region operates from practices in seven towns, with outreach Clinics to some smaller communities. In addition, there are regular placements of students, registrars, trainees and interns within our practices. The Network relates to the “Sturt Fleurieu” and “Adelaide to Outback” GPET programs and the Flinders University General Practice Parallel Rural Community Curriculum.
The Network has a positive relationship with Country Health SA health units based in the Mallee- Coorong area. There is also significant interaction between the MMGPN and the community health services, particularly within the chronic disease arena where a number of integrated programs have been developed and sustained over a period of years.
Significant demographic changes in the past decade include: 25% of general practitioners in the Network are now overseas trained (from none in 1995); the ratio of female GPs has increased from 10% to 30%; and the average age of the GP population has increased, with 15% of GPs reaching retiring age in the next five years.
The estimated population of the region based on ABS figures in 2013 was 37401. Over half of this number live in or around the Rural City of Murray Bridge with the remainder living in small townships or on rural properties.
There are five Local Governments within the area: Murray Bridge (RC), The Coorong (DC), Southern Mallee (DC), Karoonda East Murray (DC) and part of the Mid Murray (DC).
About 4.2% of the population identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The ATSI population is based in the Murray Bridge and the Coorong LGAs, the traditional lands of the Narrindjeri people. Other culturally diverse groups include refugees who have been resettled in the area and migrant families who have been recruited to address workforce shortages.