- Written by David Guest
The North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) is streamlining their requests for tenders (RFTs) process for primary health care services on the North Coast by using Tenderlink's web portal.
Tenderlink is an Australian online procurement market place linking public sector and private organisations with businesses for the supply of goods and services. Established in 1994 it been used by the NCPHN since September 2016.
Tenders to date have focused on the transfer of Headspace facilities in Tweed Heads and Lismore to external parties and the running of various suicide prevention and drug and alcohol programs.
Addressing concerns about possible unauthorised access to the My Health Record system, the North Coast Primary Health Network is reassuring the public that code setting restricts access to those healthcare professionals who receive patients’ consent to put their details online.
The PHN is also stressing the benefits of providers having fast digital access to information such as allergies, current conditions, medicine details and pathology and lab reports in the event of accident or medical emergency.
This is particularly valuable if people are away on holidays or business and might need emergency care.
Addressing the security issue, the PHN points out that healthcare professionals can only access My Health Record if they have been given permission to do so. In addition, the system has a history capability whereby patients can monitor who has looked at their health details.
- Written by Robin Osborne
There is a serious disconnect between the reading ability of many Australians and the complexity of the health care information they need to understand, according to the chief executive of Northern NSW Local Health District, Wayne Jones.
Consequences include up to 40 per cent of booked surgeries being postponed because written instructions such as fasting are not followed, and 20 per cent of discharged patients not understanding their medications.
On the North Coast, Mr Jones revealed, up to one-in-four patients do not comprehend what doctors and nurses tell them, adding that while the average reading age sits at around school years 6 to 8, much of the material people receive is pitched at levels 11 to 12 years.
Such figures explain surveys showing up to 60 per cent of Australians have low health literacy, a term defined as “how well people can obtain, communicate, process and understand health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.”
- Written by Robin Osborne
At a fascinating and emotional artist’s talk on 15 December, accomplished ‘matchstick painter’ Adrian Cameron told the gathering how the only escape from prison was to withdraw into the world of his artwork, sometimes painting day and night to relieve the boredom and oppression of jail.
It is no secret that Adrian has experienced a tough life, becoming a ward of the state from the time he was born in Lismore Base Hospital.
Frequently institutionalized as a boy, he found himself imprisoned in adulthood, turning for solace to painting, his only real interest since primary school years.
Even then his main themes were the traditional imagery of the Widjabul clan of the Bundjalung Nation, including local animals like goannas and snakes, water life, sacred places and dreaming stories such as the Rainbow Serpent.
The North Coast’s University Centre for Rural Health is set to further expand its role in developing regional health care capacity, according to Director Professor Ross Bailie, who said, “The year ahead will see us drawing further on the expertise of our highly regarded research team and coordinating the practical training of more university students from medical, nursing and allied health programs.”
Prof Bailie said UCRH has already developed strong links with the region’s key health bodies, Northern NSW Local Health District and the North Coast Primary Heath Network, and is looking to collaborate closely with other relevant groups in the coming year.