- Written by David Guest
"We were caught In the middle of a railroad track,
I looked round and I knew there was no turning back"
The principal activities of our Network are the publication of GPSpeak magazine, the issuing of its associated electronic newsletters and regular maintenance of the website. The Network's media strategy allows it to fulfil its constitutional objectives of fostering communication between Members and to promulgate the views of North Coast general practitioners to other members of the health profession and to the general public.
The Northern Rivers General Practice Network (NRGPN) made a $20,000 loss this year, mostly from the addition of a hard copy version of GPSpeak, published at the start of each season, to the existing online magazine. The paper magazine is sent to all medical practitioners in the Tweed and Richmond valleys and to specialists on the lower Gold Coast. In the future we will also distribute to allied health practitioners and pharmacists in our area.
- Written by Angela Bettess
Despite a massive suicide bombing in its capital Ankara, an ambiguous role in the war against Daesh (ISIS), and two national elections in five months, Turkey retains its age-old appeal to visitors - justifiably, writes GP Speak team member Angela Bettess.
There are so many good things to see and do in Turkey, and reducing them to a short-list of five highlights has not been easy. Nevertheless, allow me to share my top five experiences from a recent trip to Turkey lasting three weeks…
1) Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia
Waking up before sunrise was well worth the effort as one hundred hot air balloons floated up into the air above Cappadocia --> . Serene, wild and unforgettably beautiful, Turkey’s central desert landscape was forged by three volcanic eruptions resulting in laval formations that have since been shaped by the elements. What remains is a surreal landscape of 'fairy chimneys' – or oddly shaped steeples of rock—that provide an amazing backdrop for the morning flock of multicoloured balloons . Also incredible was the skilful landing of the baskets directly onto the trailers as they came back down to the ground.
- Written by Dr Jane Barker
Jane Barker* reflects on coordinating practicum placements for medical students with local GPs, and the positive feedback they provide.
There are many joys in teaching medical students - their enthusiasm is infectious and is a reminder of all that I love in Medicine. Fortunately for us at UCRH (University Centre for Rural Health, North Coast), more GPs in our area take medical students into their practices than don’t.
Many make very significant commitments to teaching, being involved in the longitudinal placements in general practice or taking the more traditional shorter student placements regularly throughout the year. Others do what they are able to do within their own constraints of time and space. Most find this really rewarding.
- Written by David Guest
The Australian Financial Review (19 November 2015) reported comments made by two former Treasury Secretaries about the state of Australia's public service. Recent redundancies and increased outsourcing have left the Department short of senior management expertise and there has been a general loss of corporate knowledge. Dr Parkinson noted that junior staff are missing out being properly mentored, "Becoming an effective policy advisor requires learning by doing under the guidance of experienced hands - an apprenticeship if you will".
The slash and burn approach of the Abbott years has similarly affected primary health care and training. The philosophy of the Liberal / National coalition is to reduce the Public Service and the direct provision of services by government. Fostering a competitive market is their preferred mechanism for delivering health and social services.
- Written by Staff
With some of the worst mental health statistics in NSW, including a suicide rate heading towards twice the state average, the North Coast has taken delivery of a plan aimed at better supporting the wellbeing of patients, community clients and anyone at risk of experiencing wellbeing issues.
The Northern NSW Mental Health Integration Plan was launched recently by the Federal MP for Page Kevin Hogan who said it grew out of the Health Leadership Forum he established soon after his election in 2013.