Baw Baw Physicians

Dr Brett Forge - General Physician / Cardiologist

MB BS Melbourne University 1973 (Hons) FRACP 1980
Latrobe Valley Hospital – Chairman medical staff group Latrobe Valley Hospital 1990-1991.

Director Intensive Care Unit 1986-1995 Initiated invasive haemodynamic monitoring of intensive care patients in 1980 (one of the first in country Victoria) with Swan-Ganz technology

Initiated policy of aggressive lipid lowering therapy and risk factor modification in all coronary patients in 1986 (probably the first country hospital to do so).

Initiated thrombolytic therapy for AMI the first hospital in regional Victoria.

National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance

As a result of his work on AbsoluteRisk was invited to join the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA) chaired by Professor Stephen Colagiuri and then Professor Andrew Tonkin. 2002-2003.

Attended the meeting in Canberra at request of Pharmaceutical Benefits Committee to discuss guidelines for use of lipid lowering drugs and presented AbsoluteRisk to that committee. Proposed a registry for use of statins for PBS. Pointed out that his research had shown that a registry would save at least $150M.

Victorian Government Health Department: Cardiac Clinical Network (VCCN) Acute coronary syndrome committee. Member 2009-2011

Strongly and repeatedly advocated the establishment of a registry for acute coronary syndrome in regional Victoria, based on my belief that this would be the single most cost effective way of improving outcomes of IHD.

Developed a protocol for management of ACS in regional hospitals. This is available by request.

Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce – on Coronary angiography and Acute Coronary Syndrome 2016

Dept of Health advisory committee reviewing MBS item numbers for cardiology services.


Full member Australian Cardiac Society 1992

Computer development and programming

In 1996 created and wrote a practise appointments computer program used at Tanjil Place Medical Centre – a computerised network covering appointments for 12 Doctors.

Wrote other practise software modules for stress testing, Halter monitoring, Pap smears, gastroscopies, risk factor profile module, and several others. His practice still uses many of these programs to improve patient records and reporting and to streamline rapid reporting to referring doctors. These programs have facilitated auditing and research.


Started development on a CVD risk calculator in 1998. Over about 18 months developed a program to provide decision support for clinicians in patients with hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia. This was copyrighted in 1998 and released for commercial distribution as a CD. Subsequently a second edition was released for download free of charge and is still being downloaded and used by Doctors to help manage patients. Time has not permitted further development at this stage. This program was presented at many meetings.

Download at

Publications and research

Paracetamol self-poisoning: diagnosis, management, and outcome. Med J Aust 1982 Jan 23;1(2):77-9. Breen KJ, Bury RW, Desmond PV, Forge BH, Mashford ML, Whelan G

1989 ISIS II (International study of Infarct Survival) ll study

1991 ISIS IV study. Lancet 18-3-95. A randomised factorial trial assessing early oral captopril, oral mononitrate, and intravenous magnesium sulphate in 50,050 patients with suspected acute mycardial infarction

1991 Gusto study

Cholesterol in perspective: A review of lipid disorders and their management. Forge BH. Med J Aust. 1999 Apr 19;170(8):385-90. Review. PMID: 10327953

Should smoking be an indication for lipid-lowering therapy? Forge B. Med J Aust. 1999 Jul 19;171(2):112.

Lipid lowering and coronary heart disease risk: how appropriate are the national guidelines? Med J Aust. 2001 Nov 5;175(9):471-5. Forge BH, Briganti EM.

Managing residual risk in patients receiving statin therapy. Comment. Forge BH. Med J Aust. 2011 Jan 3;194(1):54.

How should stable coronary artery disease be managed in the modern era? Harper RW, Briganti EM, Forge BH. Med J Aust. 2008 Jan 21;188(2):122-3; author reply 123.

The “Acute coronary syndromes: consensus recommendations for translating knowledge into action” position statement is based on a false premise. Forge BH. Med J Aust. 2010 Jun 21;192(12):696-9. PMID: 20565348

Six-month survival benefits and clinical guideline recommendations in ACS. Forge B. Heart. 2010 Dec;96(23):1948; author reply 1948. Epub 2010 Oct 5. PMID: 20923824

Acute coronary syndromes: consensus recommendations for translating knowledge into action. Forge BH. Med J Aust. 2010 Nov 1;193(9):550-1; author reply 551-2. Posters and significant presentations/Public Debates

A prospective study of helicobacter and peptic ulcer disease in a country endoscopic practice (Presented to the GENSA study group). 1990

AbsoluteRisk: a novel computer program to assist in the management of risk factors. Presented Annual RACGP Computer conference Sydney 3/2000

AbsoluteRisk: A software program developed to apply evidence based decision making algorithms to the management of hyperlipidaemia. Presented RACP Adelaide convention May 2000

Guidelines advocating routine early PCI instead of selective PCI in NSTEACS are based on a biased interpretation of the data (poster) The 9th International Congress on Coronary Artery Disease (ICCAD 2011) Venice, Italy on October 23-26, 2011

Debate: Routine interventional cardiology in ACS is not evidence based. For: Brett Forge. Against Gishel New. 2009 Cardiology conference on ACS Monash Gippsland Churchill

Presentation: How should ACS be managed in the rural setting? An alternative approach. Annual Scientific Meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) 2010:

Debate: Guidelines – is there really a consensus? For: Prof Richard Harper, Against: Dr Brett Forge ACS Forum 2011: Controversies and future directions in ACS (Eli Lilly Sheraton Hotel) Panel discussion: Prof Franz-Joseph Neumann, Dr Paul Antonis, Dr Craig Juergens, Dr Nigel Jepson, Dr Rick Harper and Dr Brett Forge

Debate: The National Heart Foundation guidelines on acute coronary syndrome are not evidence based. For Brett Forge. Against Richard Harper IMSANZ (internal medicine society of Australia and New Zealand) Annual meeting. Lorne 2011.

Current Medical Interests

  • Nutrition, and the relationship between diet and disease.
  • The politics of medicine – the inappropriate distribution of the health dollar.
  • Cardiology, clinical, preventative and therapeutic aspects.
  • Computerised medical records systems.
  • Management of acute coronary syndrome.
  • Familial hypercholesterolaemia.
    Clinical guidelines for ACS. Continues to argue that the Australian guidelines are self serving for the interventional industry and are not evidence based.
  • How to investigate and manage ischaemic heart disease. Reduce the cost and improve outcomes.

Tanjil Place Medical

Started this group practise with colleague and friend Dr Vaughan Speck and built a most successful and thriving group practice.

Baw Baw Physicians

Started this group as a means of getting city based cardiologists to help with the workload in Warragul. Has progressively grown to provide a wide range of consulting services for regional West Gippsland. Supports the GPs in the area and the West Gippsland Hospital.


Time now to reduce consulting and focus on research writing and teaching. There is much wrong with modern medicine. Price gouging and over-servicing are almost institutionalised. In many ways it has become corrupted by powerful special interest groups.