Julie Sturgess, CEO

It’s only day 12 in the CEO chair at one of Australia's most important health coordinating bodies and Julie Sturgess is understandably cautious to predict how the North Coast Primary Health Network will evolve under her stewardship.

This is not to say she is unfamiliar with what the Commonwealth-funded PHNs, totalling 31 in Australia, are intended to achieve. In short, to quote the department, the PHNs are aimed at “increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes, and improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.”

Whatever our ability, it pays to keep moving, as Mark Liberatore explains.

People living with disabilities like cerebral palsy are often encouraged to participate in weekly therapy interventions from a very young age. The goal of such interventions include reaching milestones, improving gross and fine motor skills, mobility, communication and  daily living activities. When combined, these therapies help to increase the social and community participation of the individual, which can have profound benefits on emotional and psychological well-being.

UOW Lismore Hub  students visiting Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service on their first Regional Academic Day

The Lismore, Grafton and Murwillumbah hubs of UCRH have welcomed 18 University of Wollongong (UOW) Phase 3 medical students for their 12-month rural clinical placement. The longitudinal placement offered by UOW enables senior medical students to develop extended clinical competence and achieve a range of professional development objectives, including greater understanding of and appreciation for the complex personal and professional demands of rural clinical practice.

Students will participate in multifaceted interactions with patients and their families, clinical teachers and other health care professionals through their placements in our local hospitals, community centres, Aboriginal medical services and general practice clinics. These rural based learning opportunities provide rich experiences into their medical journey and evolving notions of professional identity as rural practitioners.

Health minister Greg Hunt

Amidst the recent political disruptions, Health Minister Greg Hunt weighed in behind prime ministerial challenger Peter Dutton, whom a doctors’ poll once described as the worst health minister in 35 years, yet retained his portfolio in the new Coalition cabinet.

Mr Hunt’s reappointment was announced by incoming PM Scott Morrison on 26 August, following the Liberal Party’s overthrow of leader Malcolm Turnbull. Aboriginal man Ken Wyatt AM continues as Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care.

Medicare co-payments were the controversial topic in the portfolio until the emergence of the MyHealth Record, which attracted widespread criticism on the basis that patient records might be accessed by unapproved parties, including police.

North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN), is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from eligible general practitioners (GPs) or organisations to provide clinical advice to NCPHN on Workforce (one of NCPHN's priority areas) in Northern NSW. The contract term is up until 30 June 2019.

The successful provider will be responsible for delivering high quality clinical advice and service support to NCPHN across a range of Northern NSW Workforce initiatives, including:

  • providing advice on initiatives to support the continued development of an accessible high quality primary health care workforce, including continuing professional development and inter and intra-professional networking opportunities
  • supporting the establishment and maintenance of local clinical societies, including providing mentorship and support to clinical society steering committees
  • identifying local workforce needs and advising on addressing skill gaps
  • planning and designing locally relevant educational events in consultation with key stakeholders, including clinical society steering committees.