Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM

Ice dependency, mental health conditions, suicide prevention and chronic disease are among the targets of $9.1 million federal government funding boost aimed at improving Indigenous health across the NSW North Coast.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, visited Ballina, Lismore and Casino on 6 November to talk with providers of innovative services in these areas, commissioned through the North Coast Primary Health Network (PHN).

“The funding supports community driven projects, including mental health, alcohol and other drug services, where local Aboriginal people previously experienced challenges accessing support,” Minister Wyatt said.

“This includes early intervention trial programs for people with co-existing drug and alcohol issues to encourage them to seek help early and remain connected with support.

The Maze

Almost every day North Coast GPs receive flyers, brochures, letters or faxes advising of a new practitioner in the area, or a new service being opened. The practice address book, even though it is electronic, is overflowing.

The North Coast Primary Health Network's  Health Pathways addresses this problem to some extent. It combines local guidelines with a services directory. However, despite best efforts, recent information is missing and old data is soon out of date.

Government websites like the AHPRA directory state only the suburb and postcode of the practitioner. Commercial entities, such as Health Engine and myDr, have only limited information about practices and their services.

With the Lismore Library as a backdrop, café patrons are seen through Leora Sibony’s work ‘Basic Forms’ (found objects, metal, wood, 2017), part of her exhibition Industrial Relations.

Purpose-built at a cost of $5.8 million the Lismore Regional Gallery and Quadrangle project off Keen Street opened in late October 2017 with a range of exciting, innovative and high-profile works. These included original paintings by Margaret Olley (after whom one of the exhibition galleries is named, others honouring former Mayor Jenny Dowell and patron Vicki Fayle), modern Bundjalung and other Aboriginal works and historical artefacts, and local woodworker Geoff Hannah’s astounding timber and shell inlay cabinet, valued at more than $1.0 million.*

The two-level building replaces the ‘temporary gallery’ in Molesworth Street that was the City’s only public art space from 1954 until this year.

We have four times the space; a climate controlled, flood-free storage area for our permanent collection of more than 1000 pieces; and a friendly and welcoming environment for visitors and locals,” said director Brett Adlington

Following last month’s look at personal security on the net, David Guest, sees what’s on offer for North Coast practices.

 

“The Internet, the last frontier: where men are men

and women are men, and 14 year old schoolgirls are FBI agents.”

 

When the internet was being designed over 30 years ago, it was envisaged that it would be a glorious utopia where one would  be able to communicate with friends and family on the other side of the world in seconds. The vision came true. Text only emails are passé now. Video conferencing with several family members is also old hat. (NBN permitting.) 

 

What was not expected was the number of people trying to use your information for nefarious purposes. The potential to be hacked is a serious risk for everybody on the net and has spawned several billion dollar industries.

 The Federal government’s concerns about the rapidly rising cost of after-hours home visits by medical practitioners has led to using the increasingly popular ‘nudge theory’ in an attempt to change the behaviour of doctors making the highest number of claims.

The issue of rising budgetary costs - highlighted previously in GP Speak - is one of the issues being considered by the government’s clinician-led Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce. The review has recommended that after-hours billing should only be allowed by GPs who normally work during the day and are recalled to work for management of patients needing urgent assessment.

Nudge theory is a concept in behavioural science that employs positive reinforcement and subtle messaging to seek compliance with desirable government policies or social strategies.