They tried to make me go to rehab
I said, no, no, no…
- Amy Winehouse, Rehab


From just one page of today’s paper I learn that two young Queenslanders were busted carrying 18 MDMA tablets to the ‘Rabbits Eat Lettuce’ bush-doof near Casino, while police were investigating the discovery of a 20kg package of cocaine found floating off the coast near South West Rocks.
And that’s just locally.

For such an important body system and one that, in evolutionary terms, has been around for so long, why is it that we know so little about the endocannabinoid system (ECS)? And, why do we so rarely utilise the potential benefits of agonists and antagonists of the ECS? The answers are complex but interference by (misinformed) politicians and the influence of societal cultural beliefs are likely culprits rather than lack of inquisitiveness/failure of scientists and medical researchers.

This article will provide an introduction to cannabinoids in general and to ECS specifically and will touch on our current understanding of cannabinoids in neurological disease. There will be no attempt to discuss the importance of ECS in other fields (e.g. metabolic medicine, psychiatry or oncology) nor to discuss medicolegal issues such as medical prescribing in Australia or cannabinoids and driving. Recreational use of cannabinoids is also outside scope of article.

Dr Nathan Kesteven

Dear Readers,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019 to all.

This brief report is to inform members about an this issue the the Board has been discussing for some time; the next step for the development of the NRGPN.

On 13th December 2018 at 6.00 pm we are holding a meeting at the Goonellabah Tavern to discuss the proposal to dissolve the Northern Rivers General Practice Network and launch Nordocs in its place.

Active users get a gold star

Secure medical communication started in Australia in the mid-nineties with simple home spun solutions. Since then a number of companies have developed secure communication as a service to medical practitioners. Over the ensuing years some of the early providers have disappeared and there has been consolidation in the market.

The current providers’ systems are incompatible with each other, making it frustrating for end users who complain it is like being on Optus but not being able to call Telstra phones. While it is feasible to bridge data from one provider to another, it is never in an individual company’s interest to enable this.

The fear is losing customers to a rival or worse incurring the technology costs while the rival reaps the income. Discussions aimed at progressing a solution have been ongoing for years but the business problem has yet to be solved.

China is the powerhouse of world economic growth and Australia's largest trading partner. Clinical Editor David Guest shares his impressions of a massive nation on the move.

“China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese. ”
Charles de Gaulle

Chinese civilisation dates back several millennia. Its history is one of successive dynasties rising and falling as a result of war and conquest. Unlike Western societies its culture has been one of almost continuous development and many of the West’s societal, agricultural and industrial processes started there.

On every level, China’s development is continuing at a frenetic rate.