Vale Dr Harry Nespolon

Pharmacy leaders pay respects to leading GP who passed away this week

Australian pharmacy leaders have paid their respects to Dr Harry Nespolon, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

Dr Nespolon passed away this week, following a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

He had served as RACGP president since April 2018. 

PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman said while PSA hasn’t always seen eye to eye with the RACGP during Dr Nespolon’s tenure, both organisations maintained great respect for one another.

“Harry was a pragmatic man, focused on patient care and he will be sorely missed by his patients, colleagues and healthcare in general,” he said.

“I admired Harry’s honesty, deep dedication to his profession, and his remarkable quick wit.”

“Harry was a strong advocate for GPs and their profession and despite battling deteriorating health in recent months he was still able to provide strong leadership and achieve a great deal during the COVID-19 pandemic and will no doubt leave an enduring legacy.

“On behalf of PSA I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to his family, friends and many colleagues.”

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, George Tambassis, expressed his sorrow at the death of Dr Nespolon, saying he was a “strong and committed advocate for general practice and for the health of all patients.”

“He was unflinching in his determination to get the best outcomes for members of his organisation, and through them the best possible results for patients across Australia,” Mr Tambassis said.

“He would not take a backward step when prosecuting a position that he felt was in the best interests of all Australians and the general practitioners he represented, but he did so with courtesy and respect.

“He made a huge contribution to the medical and healthcare sector in this country and he will be sadly missed.

“My thoughts and those of members of the Pharmacy Guild are with his family.”

Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) President Peter Fowler expressed deep condolences, saying Dr Nespolon will be remembered as a passionate and dedicated leader.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Dr Nespolon,” he said.

“He was a giant of General Practice, a strong advocate for the profession – and for patients – and will leave a lasting legacy on the organisation he has shaped in recent years.

“With the needs of patients front and centre, SHPA and RACGP share similar worldviews and it has been my personal pleasure to see our professions collaborating on areas of mutual interest.

“I believe this spirit of partnership, for the health of the Australian community, will endure.”

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