Although the national bulk-billing rate for GP attendances now stands at 84.6%, around 5 per cent of Australians say that financial pressures meant postponing or delaying seeking care. Moreover, 7.6 per cent of respondents delayed or did not purchase prescribed medicines due to cost.

Around 64 per cent of those who did visit one of the nation’s 33,275 GPs reported waiting less than four hours for urgent care, while 11.1 per cent waited up to 24 hours, and 25 per cent waited longer.

Overall, 20.8 per cent of people who saw a GP for any reason waited longer than they felt was acceptable to get an appointment.

The government has updated the My Health Record FAQs for individuals, healthcare providers and contracted service providers. The information is more detailed than the versions released under the PCEHR, as it was previously known. 

Registration with the My Health Record system is straightforward using GP medical software and the upload process has been streamlined. 

These improvements coincide with the government's push to increase uploads to the PCEHR by tying eHealth Practice Incentive Payments to a minimum number of uploads. Many in the profession have had reservations about the effectiveness and utility of these incentives


Jodie McRae, Lismore’s Australia Day Citizen

The founder of local charity Jodie’s Inspiration, which has raised $105,000 for medical equipment at Lismore’s oncology units in six months, has been named Lismore’s 2016 Australian Day Citizen of the Year.

Jodie McRae was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer in 2013 but after being given the all-clear was diagnosed with secondary cancer the following year.

Local artist, Penny Evans

Penny Evans produces her beautiful ceramics on a kiln in the backyard of her home in suburban Lismore, on the traditional land of the Widjabul people.

As she explains, “My practice includes producing ceramics and collaged, mixed media work on paper. Each work created is unique and an evolution in my artistic practice.”

Her techniques are varied, ranging across pieces thrown, pinched and coil built using raku, terracotta and white earthenware clay bodies. The technique of sgraffito (from the Italian “to scratch”), is a major focus. This is a pottery decorating technique produced by applying layers of colour/s to leather-hard pottery and then scratching off the parts of the layers to create contrasting images, patterns and texture, revealing the clay colour beneath.

As medical knowledge expands exponentially it becomes increasingly apparent how little we actually know about the miracle that is the human body. In medical school we are taught by a formula - Diagnosis + evidence based management= patient cured.

Just as simple and straight-forward as that!

Alas, this formula is inherently flawed as we very rarely cure disease, more often only managing to halt progression through continuing treatment.

How different if were car mechanics working on ‘patients’ that do not need to have mechanical literacy for a cure to work, nor are they influenced by belief systems and past experience. Yet while cars are exceedingly simple compared to the human body, the major factor affecting their “wellness” is the same one that makes the simplistic medical formula flawed - the human factor, a term popularised decades ago by the title of one of Graham Greene’s best known novels, yet too often ignored..