Ahead of the federal election predicted for May 2019 the Shadow Health Minister Catherine King has announced Labor’s new policies on her portfolio area. This comes in the wake of Labor’s “Medi-scare” campaign in the previous election, still drawing criticism, and now, comparison with the Coalition’s scare campaign on boat borne asylum seekers.

Speaking at the National Press Club Ms King outlined her party’s vision for Medicare funding and the future of Australian general practice.

GPs are used to dealing with the politics of health, from the cost shifting which sees patients discharged with scripts they cannot afford to fill through to the regulations around ordering MRIs (to name but two). Clearly, political decisions impact our delivery of primary health care. So it should not be surprising that health practitioners may wish to influence policies on a scale broader than just dealing with health care delivery, widening our perspective to look at the social and environmental determinants of health.

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) arose as a branch of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE), founded in 1990 and now having member organisations in over 30 countries.

The Swiss cheese model of accident causation

Imagine a perfect work day in healthcare. You were part of a motivated and well-functioning team. Patient care had been the best you could all deliver. Conversations with other healthcare workers were respectful and helpful. You had the chance to demonstrate both your leadership and follower skills and were able share your ideas and sense of humour.

Your managers had granted you the autonomy to organize your own practice areas and workflow. You felt supported by your colleagues and enjoyed a sense of job security and mental well-being. You felt empowered to call out bad or concerning behaviours and knew that any serious adverse events would be investigated by a team with expertise in human factors.

The first white settlers came to the North Coast in the 1840s, a time when few of the things we take for granted today even existed. Medical treatment, such as it was, came in the 1860s and 1870s with the arrival of the first doctors.

In this issue we review (page 6) Dr Neil Thompson’s history of the Richmond Valley doctors from 1866 to 1986. Many people, both medical and lay, are fascinated by this history and have wanted to learn more about their predecessors.

Love me, tender, love me true, all my dreams fulfilled.
For my darlin' I love you, and I always will.
Love Me Tender, Cinemascope Films, 1956

Two of the North Coast Primary Health Network’s tenders for the delivery or services to North Coast GPs and their patients have closed in the last month

The first contract is for an organisation, or organisations, to provide educational services to primary care practitioners from the Tweed to Port Macquarie. These services are directed at medical practitioners, nurses, allied health practitioners and pharmacy and focus on the NCPHN’s target areas for the next triennium.