Third year group of UOW students

University Centre for Rural Health Lismore welcomes UOW Students


In July this year, 21 University of Wollongong (UOW) third year students began their longitudinal 12 month placement in our region. They will be living, studying and learning across the North Coast University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) footprint of Murwillumbah, Lismore and Grafton.

Dr Ric Milner

Studies are increasingly showing that appropriate exercise is a valuable aid in helping reduce the risk of acquiring cancer, and improving outcomes during and after treatment, writes Dr Ric Milner*. Following diagnosis with metastatic prostate cancer, Dr Milner began “to explore the benefits of exercise and the appropriate application of exercise with cancer”.
Ric Milner’s personal story can be read here.

Although it is relatively early days in assessing the value of exercise as a therapy for cancer and treatment related conditions, there are significant signs that the body can, and generally does, react positively to appropriate physical activity.
Moreover, planned exercise and increased leisure time activity have also been shown to reduce the incidence of cancer.
Among the many benefits identified by researchers are an increased tolerance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
From a meta-analysis of new evidence in relation to exercise, diet and cancer (1), 2·5 hrs per week of moderate-to-vigorous activity showed 13% reduction in cancer mortality in the general population ‘before diagnosis’. In the same population, 15 metabolic equivalents of task (MET) hrs per week of physical activity showed 27% lower risk of mortality from cancer. (By definition, one MET is the energy required to sit still. Moderate activity is classified three to six METs. Vigorous activity is over six METs).

In 2004 and 2009 a large exhibition of the work of Aboriginal artists was held at Lismore City Hall. Inspired by local doctors working in Aboriginal Medical Services, the initiative was highly successful on many fronts. There were sales of more than $50,000 for each of these exhibitions, which provided income for the participating artists as well as some profit that could be directed to further develop the local Aboriginal art industry and acquire some for equipment for the Casino AMS.

The years have passed, and the need to do more in the field of Indigenous art in this area remains pressing. In response a number of partners have come together to support an Art on Bundjalung Country event, including the NC Primary Health Network, Arts Northern Rivers, Lismore Regional Art Gallery, Bulgarr Ngaru and the University Centre for Rural Health North Coast.

The idea is for established Aboriginal artists to conduct a number of workshops for emerging artists living on Bundjalung Country from which work will be selected for an exhibition at the new Lismore Regional Gallery in December. The work will be for sale. Workshops will be held in Lismore, Brunswick Heads, Maclean, Casino, Nimbin and Tweed Heads. The art forms will include painting, basket weaving, installations, and ceramics.

Jan Steen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The rising demand for costly after-hours home visits by medical practitioners is impacting negatively on the federal health budget and attracting criticism from various quarters, including the Australian Medical Association.

The increase in Medicare payments for the two main categories of after-hours home visits are now the subject of close examination by the government’s clinician-led Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce, which in its recent interim report made several key recommendations, including:

  • Restricting the use of the high value urgent after-hours items so that medical deputising service doctors and practitioners working predominantly in the after-hours period are excluded from billing these items
  • Providing a clearer definition of what is considered to be urgent for the purposes of the MBS urgent after-hours items, including changing the requirement to ‘urgent assessment’ as opposed to ‘urgent treatment’ 
  • Removing the current right of patients to make an urgent after-hours appointment two hours before the commencement of the after-hours period.

Figures show the amount paid on after-hours items grew by 170 per cent between 2010-11 and 2015-16, from $90.8 million to $245.9 million. 

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