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Sharing is caring: solving skin issues

A record number of Hawke’s Bay GPs and nurses attended the latest skin symposium at Toitoi, Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre in Hastings.

Hosted by Dermatology Hawke’s Bay’s specialist dermatologist and surgeon Dr Juber Hafiji on November 25, more than 70 attended in person, while others from across New Zealand logged in via Zoom.

“It reflects just how many of us suffer from skin problems, and the very real desire by our primary care health teams to help our patients manage them,” said Dr Hafiji.

Since moving to the region in 2020, he had held three free educational sessions for general practice teams. His motivation is to improve outcomes for patients with skin problems. “Our skin is the largest organ in our body and a massive number of us have an issue with our skin; from acne and eczema, to lesions and skin cancer.

“In Hawke’s Bay we have very few specialist dermatologists, so to achieve optimal results for our patients it’s imperative that we assist our primary care partners to manage as much as they can, while knowing when to refer patients to us.”

The feedback from GP teams had been very pleasing. Dr Paul Hendy thanked the Dermatology Hawke’s Bay team for their efforts. “Congratulations on a superb evening, I really enjoyed it, as did others.”

Nurse practitioner Daman Kaur said the symposium had real value. “I am so looking forward to future events like that. My time was so well spent as I have already got to utilise the tips given in my clinic practice today.”

The themes for each symposium have been driven by requests from primary care practitioners. Last week’s topic was rashes. That topic is huge, said Dr Hafiji. “Rashes are incredibly common but there are a vast array of different ones and they can be difficult to differentiate, diagnose and manage. And they can make people’s lives a misery.”

Dr Hafiji intends to continue holding the symposiums, with the next one scheduled for mid-next year.