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The Northernmost Pharmacist in Australia

Carli Berrill is a Co-Owner and Pharmacist of two pharmacies in Far North Queensland, including one on Thursday Island in Torres Strait, which is the most northern pharmacy in Australia.

Her role with the Thursday Island Pharmacy is to provide essential health and pharmacy services to 15 communities, including remote islands south of Papua New Guinea. The role for the community is the important ‘constant’ in being a trusted and familiar healthcare professional.

Entering The New Health Frontier

A new parliamentary report ‘The New Frontier: Delivering better health for all Australians’ is recommending significant reforms to the health care system to ensure Australians have better and faster access to the wave of new medicines and technologies.

The bipartisan report makes 31 recommendations to reform Australia’s system for the regulation and reimbursement with the hope that patients will receive faster access to the latest medicines and technologies.

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite on patient safety and health systems improvement

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite is Founding Director of the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Director of the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science and Professor of Health Systems Research at Macquarie University.

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite is a leading health services and systems researcher with an international reputation for his work investigating and contributing to systems improvement.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) recently announced it will award the 2021 Sidney Sax medal for outstanding contributions to the development and improvement of Australia’s healthcare system to Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite.

Calls for National Social Prescribing Scheme

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) and Mental Health Australia are urging the government to implement a national social prescribing scheme to tackle Australia’s mental health and wellbeing crisis.

Mental ill health is a growing problem in Australia and has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2017, GPs across Australia have rated mental health as the most common presentation they see as part of the RACGP’s annual Health of the Nation survey. Approximately 20% of patients consult their GP for what are primarily social problems.

GP Health of The Nation

As Australia’s largest professional general practice organisation, the RACGP represents more than 43,000 members, including more than 24,000 Fellows who have completed specialist training (or its equivalent). These are the frontline GPs who treat almost 22 million patients across the country every year.

Each year the runs a survey across Australian Doctors. This year’s report reflects the experience of more than 1300 RACGP Fellows from across Australia. Despite this and other achievements, the share of total government healthcare spend for primary care is in decline.

Health equity

For 30 years the Humpty Dumpty Foundation has worked to help bridge the gap that often exists between available resources and actual needs through the donation of paediatric medical equipment. Humpty, like many other charitable initiatives, began with a humble goal. Its Founder and Executive Chairman, Paul Francis OAM, together with Patron Ray Martin AM, set out to raise some money to paint the walls of the Children’s Ward at Royal North Shore Hospital.

To date more than 440 hospitals and health services have shared in over $85 million of essential and lifesaving medical equipment for sick and injured paediatric patients.

Future of minimally invasive surgery

Macquarie University Hospital is the first hospital in Australia to have three robotic surgical systems. It remains the busiest centre for robotic urology in New South Wales and has rapidly growing programs in other areas. What is behind the Hospital’s success?

Conjoint Associate Professor Walter Kmet, CEO of Macquarie University Hospital, says that the story of robotics at the Hospital is driven by its academic health sciences identity.

The Case for Embedded Pharmacy in Residential Aged Care

Embedded pharmacy in residential aged care has been successful in South Australia at the Tanunda Lutheran Home in the Barossa Valley. Julian Soriano talks about his pharmacy role in medication management and medication safety to deliver the best clinical care for residents.

In this segment, Julian talks about the traditional pharmacy model serving residential aged care and the limitations of the imprest process for dispensing medication. Soon into the project he saw the collaboration required with GPs and onsite nurses in dispensing medication for residents in end-of-life or palliative care. Julian sees the imprest process unable to support end-of-life residents, even being able to check the availability of medication.
But what most may not be aware of, is his rapid growth since starting the business in 2013 having just been in health care a few years earlier. Being part of a 2nd generation health care family, Shawn learnt from his father on site and at trade show visits overseas. Prior to HPA, he spent 2 years working in fit-outs of operating theatres, neo-natal and general population ICU, throughout being more fascinated with what he saw.

Founder makes mobility reality

Shawn Wigham as Managing Director of Hospital Products Australia (HPA), runs a successful business providing equipment to Australia’s health care teams in aged care, hospitals and day-hospital procedure centres.

But what most may not be aware of, is his rapid growth since starting the business in 2013 having just been in health care a few years earlier. Being part of a 2nd generation health care family, Shawn learnt from his father on site and at trade show visits overseas. Prior to HPA, he spent 2 years working in fit-outs of operating theatres, neo-natal and general population ICU, throughout being more fascinated with what he saw.

Australia’s Nursing Crisis Snapshot

“Nursing, already under pressure, is reaching breaking point due to the pressures of COVID-19 and a disjointed healthcare system, including the acute, primary and aged care sectors”, says Kylie Ward, Australian College of Nursing CEO adding, “We must act now to protect our nurses and healthcare; the time has come for a national reckoning on nursing in Australia.”

Australian nurses cannot continue to work under the extreme pressure they are currently operating under – the impacts are mounting.

The almost 400,000 Australian nurses are a constant presence in every one of our major life milestones, national emergencies and global crises. The nurse of today holds a science degree, possesses highly technical training, valuable medical opinions, front-row expertise, is an effective trainer, and is skilled in population and systemic thinking. But the pandemic is inflicting a major emotional and physical toll on nurses.

In this “Perspectives” special, Australian Health Journal spoke with 4 nurses on the challenges they or nurses in their circle have experienced, the key issues as well some of the opportunities. These nurses come from national leadership & policy, large scale workforce management, a final year student completing over a year on placement across 6 Melbourne Hospitals and a NSW based ICU nurse stranded in Mexico, unable to return to a critical role in nursing to an already strained team due to incoming quotas.

While the issues are challenging, there are strategies that can be put into place to ease the pressure, to support nurses, and nursing care in Australia. These are discussed by the the 4 nurses.

– Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN CEO, Australian College of Nursing

– Adjunct Professor Alanna Geary FACN ACN Chair of Workforce Sustainability Policy Chapter & Chief Nursing & Midwifery Officer, Metro North Health

– Natalie Reyes, NSW based ICU Nurse Currently stranded in Mexico

– Hayley Pollock, Final Year Bachelor of Nursing Student & ACN Emerging Nurse Leader

Hair’s-breadth endoscopes to detect plaque

This coming World Heart Day (29th September 2021), Australian Health Journal’s People in Health Care series, releases a segment on Dr Jiawen Li.

Dr Jiawen Li is an inventor and highly adaptable engineer leading the intravascular imaging program at the Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS). She has developing an imaging device can be inserted into blood vessels to provide high quality 3D images to help scientists better understand the causes of heart attack and heart disease progression, and could lead to improved treatment and prevention.

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