Book Review by Robin Osborne
This 78-page essay by hospital staff physician Karen Hitchcock is a timely contribution to the end-of-life discussion that is attracting ever more attention from the medical and nursing professions, patients, families and advocates.
Still largely missing from this debate are the voices of our politicians – many of whom would have elderly and/or ailing family members – whose leadership is vital to the better planning, and funding, of how society supports the waning days of our lives.
The reverse applies at present, as Dr Hitchcock notes: “There are many ways to show that we devalue our elderly, are repulsed by them, terrified of becoming them, ”she writes early in her powerful and pointed analysis.
- Written by Andrew Binns
As we digest the 2015 Intergenerational Report, which was tipped to surprise, or even shock us, care should be taken about how the trends identified may impact on our older population.
The language is often around the ‘burden of chronic disease’, and whether the nation can afford to provide high quality service for an ageing population in the longer term.
The impact of this can result in older people with advanced disease thinking they are a burden on their families and on the health system. The latest Quarterly Essay (issue 57), by Dr Karen Hitchcock, a staff physician in general medicine at a large city public hospital, suggests the medical profession may declare a situation hopeless and further treatment futile, despite encountering a number of older people when such a view could be questioned. She cites a number of compelling and emotional stories to illustrate her views, based largely on her own family and experience with older patients as a treating general physician.
- Written by Dr Edwin Kruys
The numbers are telling: About 1,500 UK doctors move to Australia and New Zealand each year. This exodus is causing havoc in England. A GP-shortage creates high workloads and overstretched doctors, and a survey showed that over half of UK GPs plan to retire before the age of sixty. This stressful situation has prompted a coming home campaign to entice doctors to go back to the United Kingdom.
Why are doctors leaving, and, will they move back to save the NHS?
Dr Nathalie Departe is a UK-trained GP working in Fremantle, Western Australia. “I moved to Australia in 2009 for a change of scenery. I had visited Australia before and loved it, so when my husband found himself in a career hiatus, we thought we would enjoy the sunshine for a few years.”
- Written by Staff
The Australian government has announced the extension of funding for the Specialist Training Programme and the Emergency Medicine Programme through 2016.
The federal MP for Page, Kevin Hogan, said more than $150 million would be contributed to programmes that have proven records in the successful training of the next generation of medical professionals.
“Many local Page community members will benefit from the two programmes which are essential in Australians continuing to have access to a world-class health care system,” he said.
“The Government is committed to continuing to support the development of a specialist workforce to meet Australia’s future health needs.”
The number of Specialist Training Programme posts increased from 360 in 2010 to 900 in 2014.
The programme enables trainees to rotate through a number of settings, including rural, remote and private facilities, to diversify experiences and maximise professional development.
- Written by David Guest
The lab is open three days per week and offers complex lung function testing, simple pre and post bronchodilator spirometry, bronchial provocation tests (usually mannitol), a formal 6 minute walk test (with or without oxygen) and high altitude stimulation testing.