by Robin Osborne, Editor

Hepatitis may not be a matter for celebration but a high note was struck in the Northern Rivers at the start of NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week (21-18 July) with the opening of a new Liver Clinic in Lismore.

 

Read more: New Liver Clinic marks Hepatitis Week

A new study of the demands on older rural GPs signals a coming workforce crisis unless professional and personal pressures can be better managed. 

 

A recently released study of the work pressures and resulting lifestyle challenges faced by rural general practitioners aged 55 years or older has identified a range of strategies that GPs feel are likely to keep them working happily for longer.

 

 

Read more: Putting work life into healthy practice

Some 85 per cent of NSW North Coast residents rate their health as excellent, very good or good, putting them equal top with those living in the catchments of the other Regional 2 peer-grouped Medicare Locals (Country South SA ranked the lowest, at 77 per cent).

 

Read more: Where we live and how we feel

 

Sharing an EMU cake to celebrate the opening of Lismore Base Hospital’s new Emergency Medicine Unit were (l-r) Lynne Weir, Executive Director Richmond Clarence Health Service Group and General Manager LBH, John Coombes, Deputy Engineer Maintenance Department LBH, Michael Smith, Ambulance Service NSW, Andy Chandler RN Emergency Department, Mary-Lou McFadzean NUM Emergency Department , Kevin Carter, Business Manager Richmond Clarence Health Service Group, and Heather Gould LBH Bed Manager.

 

 

Read more: LBH’s new EMU takes flight

The incumbent Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, today (30 August) marked the signing of the lease for the new headspace premises in Carrington Street, Lismore. The facility is due to open for young clients early in 2014.*

 

“The headspace model of supporting the mental and social wellbeing of young people (12 to 25 years) has worked well in other areas, and I had been lobbying the Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler, at every opportunity to get a headspace here,” Ms Saffin said.

 

Read more: Getting into the right headspace

The first sod was turned today (2 Sept) on the site of the $5.5 million community health centre in Yamba named after local health campaigner Jim Agnew OAM.

 

The funding includes $4.3 million from the Commonwealth. The NSW is contributing $1.2 million towards the project on land originally gifted by the former Maclean Shire Council, now the Clarence Valley Council. 

 

Read more: Yamba’s new health centre under way

After nearly three hours of debate, including addresses by the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant, GP Dr Sue Page, paediatrician Dr Chris Ingall, an impassioned plea of support by Mayor Jenny Dowell, and words of caution by a former mayor, Ros Irwin, the fluoridation of Lismore’s water is still uncertain.

 

In the latest round of a saga that dates directly back to 2006, when fluoridation was endorsed, a majority of Councilors rescinded the decision of 13 August 2013 to ask Rous Water, the supply authority, not to proceed with fluoridating.

 

Read more: Lismore’s fluoride future still unsure