Minister for Health, Sussan Ley

Australians will benefit from cheaper medicines, a more competitive pharmacy sector and greater investment in new medicines and patient support services, according to Health Minister Sussan Ley who this week announced a “balanced” package of pharmaceutical reforms on behalf of the Abbott government. 

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Access and Sustainability Package follows extensive consultations and “robust negotiations” across the pharmaceutical supply chain, which includes consumers, pharmacists, medicines manufacturers, wholesalers and doctors. 

The closure of the Labor-initiated After Hours GP Helpline, managed by the government’s HealthDirect scheme, will help fund a new payment model aimed at encouraging GPs to treat patients outside of business hours.

Announced by Health Minister Sussan Ley on 22 May, the new model will encourage practices to apply for a Practice Incentives Programme (PIP) after-hours incentive from the Federal Government.

The new model will “build on existing infrastructure and provide general practices with a nationally consistent, streamlined, less administratively burdensome way to receive funding for delivering after hours services”.

"Life: A sexually acquired condition that has so far proved universally fatal."

 

Every episode of the TV series Six Feet Under begins with a death. Some are tragic, some banal. The series is set in a funeral home in Los Angeles and follows the lives of the Fishers who own and run the family business. We follow each of the protagonists as they negotiate their life's journey, a journey which each episode reminds us will come to an end. 

Statistics show that in 2010 some 70% of Australians died in hospital despite most preferring to die at home surrounded by family and friends. Atul Gawande in his latest book Being Mortal (reviewed page 27) describes the phenomenon, as a country's economic and health systems grow and become more capable, of being increasingly likely to be admitted to hospital for terminal care. However, beyond a certain point it becomes clear that no medical intervention makes a significant difference to the number of months remaining. In our dying days we hope to be pain free but yearn for peace. Dr Gawande was able to achieve this for his father dying from a spinal tumour.

Tim Kent

Tim has been part of the Embrace Exercise Physiology team since 2012 and covers the Gold Coast, Tweed Heads and Pottsville areas.

Tim specialises in the fields of rehabilitative services for musculoskeletal conditions and chronic disease management with an emphasis on developing sustainable behaviour change. He focuses on in-home services for ‘at risk’ individuals, aiming to improve symptoms and quality of life for debilitated and elderly individuals. 

Tim also has a strong interest in working with patients looking to improve their life through sustained weight loss. He believes that good health is earned every single day and that we should not take it  for granted.

When not working, Tim enjoys competing in his weekly basketball competition and exercising at the gym. 

To refer a patient for in home treatment please contact Tim by phone on 0432 401 328 or send a fax to 07 5636 1012. 

 

Patients First

Jayden MacRae is the CEO of Patients First, the New Zealand organisation charged with improving both the quality and ease of transmission of data in the New Zealand health sector. In this article he highlights the importance of face to face conversations with practices in the successful implementation of the NZ's "Shared Care Record".

The need to win the hearts and minds of GPs one-at-a-time and face-to-face was one of the key lessons I learned while leading one of New Zealand’s first regional electronic Shared Care Record (SCR) implementations.

I spent the better part of 18 months having practice meetings in early mornings, lunch-times and after work across close to 100 practices that covered 450,000 patients and a geographical region of 15,500 km2.