Professor Bruce Robinson

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half”. This aphorism is attributed to the founder of the first major American department store, John Wanamaker. It might be argued that the same can be said of medical care.

The Medical Benefits Review Taskforce (the Robinson Review) is drawing to a close. Set up in 2015 by then Health Minister, Sussan Ley, at the suggestion of the Dean of The University of Sydney Medical School, Professor Bruce Robinson, the review has aimed to modernise and rationalise the 5700 odd items on the Australian Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS).

Many of the item numbers had not been reviewed in over 30 years, were outdated or redundant, or just sufficiently vague as to being open to “innovative” interpretation.

Dr Richard Freihaut

We all know the Achilles tendon. Most of us will also know the tendon is named after the ancient Greek mythological figure Achilles because it lies at the only part of his body that was still vulnerable after his mother had dipped him (holding him by the heel) into the River Styx.

Even for mere mortals the tendon remains a vulnerable part of our body, especially as we get older, and its chronic conditions can be difficult to treat. Understanding each particular condition can make our job easier and allow us to give informed advice to our patients, ensuring they recover faster and avoid unnecessary treatment and expense.

This small  but painful wound has been present for two years. Wounds like this can often be healed in weeks with appropriate care.

We tend to have mixed feelings towards recent converts, admiring, say,  the newly reformed smoker for their hard work but being irritated by their lecturing of those recalcitrants still puffing away. Our vegan teenage niece is close to being shoved out the door but what would we do without the passion of youth? Our colleague returns from a weekend workshop and is suddenly giving us lectures on the value of manual handling and OH&S.

I must now confess to finding myself a convert – to the wonderful world of chronic wound care. After 23 years in the one practice in Nimbin I was somewhat adrift when I left it almost two years ago. I landed on the shores of a multi-disciplinary wound clinic in Brisbane (Wound Innovations) and it has become my new medical home.

Janis Balodis

by Janis Balodis, director and playwright

The writer’s tool is language. We are all born into language, but what if the one we are born into is not the one we end up speaking? What are the forces in our lives that determine our use of language, that prompt or stifle our need to speak? And how does the writer find his or her authentic voice?

artist Katka Adams

I been to cities that never close down
From New York to Rio and Old London Town
But no matter how far or how wide I roam
I still call… Lismore… home

(With apologies to Peter Allen)

It is widely believed, to quote a government report on culturally and linguistically diverse communities, CALD in the jargon, that Australia is “a successful and vibrant multicultural nation, with nearly half its population either born overseas or having at least one parent born overseas”.