North Coast Radiology group has recently released some resources to improve and streamline general practitioner ordering of radiological investigations.

The online forms for magnetic resonance imaging and bone densitometry specify the MBS item number for approved procedures. This is more efficient and makes it clear at the time of the request whether the investigation will be Medicare rebatable or not.

The MRI request form asks for a recent eGFR if the patient has renal impairment and also reminds the user of the absolute contraindications (cardiac pacemakers) and relative contraindications (Intracranial aneurysm clips, intraocular foreign bodies, metallic implants (including cochlear) & extreme claustrophobia) for the procedure.

In late January the newly formed Men and Women in Medicine groups held a dinner for new residents of the Lismore Base Hospital. David Glendenning and and Marissa Barker, GP registrar organisers for the meeting, give their accounts of the night.

Following the success of the meeting, the Women’s group is holding a dinner at 6.30 pm on Thursday 26 April at Miss Lizzy’s.

The Women’s group celebrates the diverse and strong female medical representation in the Richmond Valley area and aims to create support and connections with other female doctors.

Interested doctors can register by emailing Dr Julia Chiu at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 23 April or seeing further details on the NorDocs Facebook Page

This article was first published by Dr Jane Barker in January on To Medicine with Love.

This article is written in response to a recent report on Alcohol and Cancer published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and asks whether we, as physicians, have difficulty talking honestly about alcohol with our patients, because of our own attitudes towards it.

It is not unimaginable that bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild, which once bore the artwork of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, might one day be required to have plain packaging and images of oesophageal cancer or a cirrhotic liver. (1)

So concludes a lead article in a recent edition of the Lancet, reporting on a newly published statement on alcohol and cancer from the American Society of Clinical Oncologists or ASCO. (2)

Optimising patients for surgery is an essential part of good medicine and requires a team approach. In recent years there have been improvements in perioperative iron management as a result of the National Blood Collaborative, in which St Vincent's and Lismore Base took part. The improvement has occurred because of improved co-ordination and communication between the GP, surgeon and the pre-operative clinics.

A difficulty sometimes encountered by the pre-op clinic at LBH is getting current health information on their more frail patients. This information is usually sent to the surgeon by the GP but may not in turn reach the pre-op clinic.

Hospital in the Home

Dr Richard Lucas outlines the new Hospital in the Home (HITH) Service at Lismore Hospital

What is the HITH service?

HITH is an alternative, patient focused, easy to access, voluntary, cost-neutral model of care for acute and post-acute medical patients to be treated outside the hospital inpatient setting.

The model of service delivery is offered as either “in-centre treatment” where the patient returns to the Lismore Base daily or goes to the relevant community health service for treatment. Alternatively, where possible, the service provides treatment in the patient’s home or at the Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF).

Care is provided by appropriately trained registered nurses or a physiotherapist.

The HITH physician also operates clinics at Lismore Base Hospital three times weekly to review patients whose illness requires closer monitoring.

The HITH entry criteria dictate that the patient is an admitted inpatient to LBH.