It may be a long way from Vancouver, Canada to Casino, northern NSW but if all goes according to plan the “beef capital of Australia” may be set to rename itself the nation’s cannabis capital.

In a statement on 27 September 2017 the listed Canadian company PUF Ventures Inc announced it would enter into a strategic partnership with Richmond Valley Council to construct a 1 million-square-foot (9.3ha) greenhouse operation that could become the southern hemisphere’s largest cannabis operation.

Along with growing some 100,000 kilograms of high quality cannabis a year - not to be confused with the low-THC hemp for fibre - the operation will include large-scale manufacturing, processing and office facilities for producing “medicinal cannabis and associated products”.

The term ‘associated products’ hints of the company’s ambitions beyond the newly emerging world of medicinal cannabis prescribing.

Winning NSW Trauma App team members - Institute of Trauma and Injury Management (ITIM) Manager, Christine Lassen, Lismore Base Hospital Emergency Physician, Yashvi Wimalasena and ITIM Project Manager, Ben Hall with their trophy at the recent Australian National Innovation Awards.

A Trauma App developed by a team including Lismore Base Hospital Emergency Physician Yashvi Wimalasena has won the Public Sector and Government Market Division at the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) National iAwards in Melbourne.

The app provides trauma clinicians with real time clinical guidance and information such as flight and drive times to NSW hospitals, hospital blood stores, and specialty capabilities of NSW Health facilities.

The Trauma App contains specialised medical calculators, guidelines, and checklists from NSW trauma hospitals and speciality services as well as pre-hospital and retrieval providers.

The pre-hospital component of the app was the brainchild of Dr Wimalasena and two fellow Retrieval Specialists in the Greater Sydney Area Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (GSA HEMS).

My Health Record

As part of October’s Health Literacy Month, Northern NSW Local Health and North Coast Primary Health Network are holding free community workshops to help people take better care of their health.

Each workshop will be held from 10.00-11.00am followed by a light lunch.

Dates and venues:

  • Casino - Tuesday 17 October, Casino RSM
  • Ballina - Thursday 19 October, Ballina District Hospital Education Centre
  • Grafton-  Wednesday 25 October, Grafton District Services Club
  • Kingscliff - Friday 27 October, Kingscliff Beach Bowls Club
  • Lismore - Tuesday 31 October, Lismore Workers Club

Rainbow YES

After previously holding a neutral position on what it calls the “prolonged and unnecessary marriage equality debate” the Council of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has expressed support for a ‘Yes’ vote on the same-sex marriage question posed in the national postal ballot.

Noting it could not speak on behalf of all members on the issue, the RACGP President, Dr Bastian Seidel has issued a lengthy position statement to members, saying, “In conclusion, and to be explicit”, that the College “As part of valuing diversity and inclusion… supports marriage equality.”

Healthcare in Focus 2016

The state’s healthcare system matches or outperforms comparable systems on 80 per cent of measures, however the delivery of services to poorer areas disadvantages residents whose health indicators are already below par.

Further, NSW patients have a higher rate of post-surgical complications, long waiting times for cataract and knee and hip surgery (especially in lower socioeconomic areas). The median wait time for cataract surgery was 222 days, ranking NSW 15th out of 16 countries reviewed, including the US, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Germany. 

In terms of value for money, the worst offender was the knee arthroscopy procedure, deemed clinically ineffective for 70 per cent of recipients.