Kevn Hogan, MP for Page

The Australian government has announced the extension of funding for the Specialist Training Programme and the Emergency Medicine Programme through 2016.

The federal MP for Page, Kevin Hogan, said more than $150 million would be contributed to programmes that have proven records in the successful training of the next generation of medical professionals.

“Many local Page community members will benefit from the two programmes which are essential in Australians continuing to have access to a world-class health care system,” he said.

“The Government is committed to continuing to support the development of a specialist workforce to meet Australia’s future health needs.”

The number of Specialist Training Programme posts increased from 360 in 2010 to 900 in 2014.

The programme enables trainees to rotate through a number of settings, including rural, remote and private facilities, to diversify experiences and maximise professional development.

LBH Resp Function

Lismore Base Hospital now has a fully functioning respiratory lab. It is currently manned by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. under the supervision of Dr Bliegh Mupunga. 

The lab is open three days per week and offers complex lung function testing, simple pre and post bronchodilator spirometry, bronchial provocation tests (usually mannitol), a formal 6 minute walk test (with or without oxygen) and high altitude stimulation testing. 

LIfe expectancy 2055

Treasurer Joe Hockey and his band of Treasury officials have emerged from their crystal ball gazing to predict the shape of Australia circa 2055. The results, like much futurology, are a mix of data analysis, inspired guesswork and optimism.

Or if you prefer, the bleeding obvious (we will live much longer), the concerning (fewer people of traditional working age), and the how-could-you-possibly-know? (economic predictions tend to assume a consistency that changes in governments or global circumstances cannot guarantee).

One critic of the economic projections said the only sure thing about the economy in 40 years’ time is that there will be an economy.

The 2015 Intergenerational Report (IGR) does, however, contain a caveat – “Long-term economic projections present one possible outcome based on a set of well-informed projections and assumptions about future changes in Australia’s population, workforce participation and productivity.”

Free professional development for health professionals  

North Coast Medicare Local (NCML) is pleased to announce that local health professionals now have free access to online professional development through the TAFE Digital website.

As a result of a partnership with the North Coast Allied Health Association, NCML offers short courses which take about an hour to complete and are worth one CPD (Continuing Professional Development) point per hour.  With NCML’s enrolment key, users will have free and unlimited access to:

1.        Allied Health course topics for allied health professionals
2.        Healnet course topics for nurses and other similar medical professionals and
3.        Generic short course topics for small businesses and self interest

 Health Minister Sussan Ley

Whether it’s called a GP co-payment, a value or price signal, or something else, one thing is sure about the $5.00 that was to be added to every consultation fee: the proposal is, to use one of the Prime Minster’s better-known phrases, dead, buried and cremated.

Not that words as definitive were used by Health Minister Sussan Ley, who, at the end of her media release on the topic (3/3/15), said, “It is clear the proposal for an optional $5 co-payment does not have broad support. The measure, including the proposed $5 reduction to the Medicare rebate, will therefore no longer proceed and has been taken off the table.”

The search continues to find another way to reduce the medical aspect of budgetary debt, this time one that has support from medical professionals, the public and enough Senators to pass into law.