New genetics guide for Australian health professionals

4 October 2007

A new guide on genetic conditions for primary care clinicians in Australia has been launched. Genetics in Family Medicine: The Australian Handbook for General Practitioners was reportedly developed in response to demand for support on genetics from GPs by the Genetics Education in Medicine Consortium; both GPs and geneticists were consulted in order to make the resource as relevant and useful as possible, and production was overseen by a national expert advisory group. The handbook covers family history, testing and pregnancy, genetic services and testing and genetic conditions including familial cancer, fragile X and other causes of developmental delay, cardiovascular conditions and clotting and bleeding conditions.

Australian Minister for Health and Ageing Tony Abbott said: "Genetic medicine is a constantly evolving field and this handbook, produced by Biotechnology Australia, addresses key genetic issues such as cancer in the family, cardiovascular conditions, diabetes and many inherited conditions…[it] will help GPs provide information on genetic conditions to patients and make appropriate referrals" (see press release).

Copies of the handbook, which is intended to act as the ‘gold standard’ for genetics information for GPs and other health professionals, will be released at the 50th annual conference of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in Sydney on 7 October, and made available online at

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