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 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.
- Written by Robin Osborne
Treasurer Joe Hockey and his band of Treasury officials have emerged from their crystal ball gazing to predict the shape of Australia circa 2055. The results, like much futurology, are a mix of data analysis, inspired guesswork and optimism.
Or if you prefer, the bleeding obvious (we will live much longer), the concerning (fewer people of traditional working age), and the how-could-you-possibly-know? (economic predictions tend to assume a consistency that changes in governments or global circumstances cannot guarantee).
One critic of the economic projections said the only sure thing about the economy in 40 years’ time is that there will be an economy.
The 2015 Intergenerational Report (IGR) does, however, contain a caveat – “Long-term economic projections present one possible outcome based on a set of well-informed projections and assumptions about future changes in Australia’s population, workforce participation and productivity.”