- Written by Paul Corben, North Coast Public Health Director
In consultation with a gastroenterologist, hepatologist or infectious diseases specialist experienced in the treatment of hepatitis C, GPs can now prescribe the new interferon-free treatments for the disease.
North Coast Public Health Director Paul Corben said, “The three main public treatment services in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Lismore (and their respective outreach clinics) will be using a faxback service, although it is still early days and not all clinics have access to the full range of specialists yet.”
Faxback forms and details of referral requirements are available from the clinics in the first instance.
“The clinics are in the process of updating the Health Pathways website and the LHD websites and information on management will be posted there soon.” Mr Corben added.
- Written by David Guest
Preoperative iron deficiency and anaemia increase the risk of both intra and post-operative morbidity. The condition is common, particularly in planned gynaecological and gastrointestinal disease surgery and in major joint replacement. Emergent treatment with blood products exposes the patient to infection and cross match risks and may delay surgery.
General practitioners are ideally placed to recognise the problem, since they are frequently involved in the diagnosis and early management of all these conditions. Detection of iron deficiency, with or without anaemia, is often the starting point for diagnosing the underlying pathology.
- Written by Robin Osborne
“Council is disappointed and frustrated that the [Lismore Base] hospital administration has not responded to the genuine concerns of their staff…” - Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell
Lismore City Council (LCC) has weighed in to the stoush over the lack of adequate and affordable car parking for Lismore Base Hospital (LBH) staff.
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell and LCC’s Manager of Development & Compliance, Peter Jeuken, issued a strong statement expressing concern about “the failure of Lismore Base Hospital to provide support for its employees and ensure adequate parking is available for staff.”
They criticised both hospital management and the NSW Government for failing to make suitable parking arrangements in the busy hospital precinct.
Their comments followed criticism of LBH management by the Health Services Union, angered by plans for LBH to charge fees of $7 per day for staff parking at the car park in Uralba Street, due to open in late April. According to the union, 700 staff members have applied for 300 spaces in the new car park building.
- Written by Andrew Binns
On Saturday 27 February 2016, the NCPHN held a workshop in Byron Bay on acute and chronic pain management. This large topic was dealt with over four hours and this article will review the highlights and take-home messages of an event that was well attended by GPs and allied health professionals.
The event was well run and chaired by experienced and well-known GP educator Hilton Koppe. The program gave practical advice for managing challenging patients with significant chronic pain.
The keynote speaker was Professor Michael Nicholas, Pain Management Research Institute, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital. He pointed out that whilst acute pain is a useful warning signal, chronic pain causes major disability and suffering.
Once pain following an injury persists beyond the normal healing time of up to three months the only realistic option is to reduce its impact. The focus needs to be on self management and daily functioning rather than trying to ‘fix up’ the pain. For a GP this revelation can be a relief from relying exclusively on the procedural or medication approach, which rarely seems to totally succeed for chronic pain sufferers, and may even make matters worse.
- Written by Robin Osborne
More than 100 local jobs will be created as a result of the funding boost to aged care confirmed by the Federal MP for Page, Kevin Hogan today (30 March).
As reported in GP Speak last week, aged care services in the Northern Rivers are set to receive an extra $3.6 million in ongoing funding. The figure increases to more than $5.5 million with the inclusion of places in Maclean.
Not only are residents and patients the beneficiaries, as more than 100 new jobs are likely to be created.
Mr Hogan made the announcement at Crowley Care Services in Ballina, which will receive about $500,000 for 15 new Home Care places. This will create up to 15 new jobs, the MP said.
“These new Home Care places will help older members of our community to remain living in their own home for as long as possible - which is where they want to be,” Mr Hogan said.