[ASC-media] Murdoch Children's Research Institute: Getting genetics into gene ral practice

Young, Janine Janine.Young at biotechnology.gov.au
Mon Jul 7 11:00:06 EST 2003

MEDIA RELEASE:      Monday 7 July 2003

Getting genetics into general practice 

Victorian general practitioners (GPs) have acknowledged they do not have
adequate information to counsel, test and refer patients with genetic
conditions like familial cancer, and those considering testing during

To address this, a unique publication has been developed by Murdoch
Children's Research Institute, Genetic Health Services Victoria and the
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

The Genetics File will be launched this week during the International
Genetics Congress in Melbourne (July 6-11). 

The Genetics File is a practical resource to help GPs incorporate genetic
medicine into general practice. Biotechnology Australia and the Department
of Human Services sponsored the educational resource.

It will help GPs diagnose and counsel patients with familial cancers as well
as conditions such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, thalassaemia and
fragile X syndrome.

According to Dr Sylvia Metcalfe, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, it
was developed in response to an identified need amongst health professionals
and genetic support groups. 

'GPs reported they had little experience of managing genetic conditions,
counselling patients, and ordering genetic tests', she says.

With the explosion of information from the Human Genome Project, it is not
surprising GPs find it difficult to keep up with genetic testing and

'But genetics is no longer just about rare conditions' says Dr Clara Gaff,
genetic counsellor. 'As genetics increasingly impacts on the community, GPs
must be aware of the clinical genetics and support services available.'

The Genetics File will be available to all Victorian GPs, and a series of
training workshops will be run in conjunction with its release.

Media contact
Kate Longton - (03) 8341 6220 or 0402 099 020 		      end page 1/1


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