Lismore street after 2017 flood

The University Centre for Rural Health North Coast has experienced major operational growth in 2017, expecting more than 6,500 weeks of placements across the North Coast by more than 1,300 students from 21 universities.

UCRH’s focus has expanded from the original emphasis on training medical students, and it now supports students from 16 health disciplines. Particular growth has been achieved over 2017 in allied health with innovative models of placements developed at aged care facilities and schools, which are delivering positive outcomes for students and their placement organisations.

In order to accommodate the increasing numbers, construction works have commenced on a new 30-bed student accommodation facility at UCRH’s Lismore campus with completion due by mid-2018. Planning is also progressing on two additional student accommodation facilities in the Richmond and Clarence Valleys that will support a further 20 students training in the region.

With the Lismore Library as a backdrop, café patrons are seen through Leora Sibony’s work ‘Basic Forms’ (found objects, metal, wood, 2017), part of her exhibition Industrial Relations.

Purpose-built at a cost of $5.8 million the Lismore Regional Gallery and Quadrangle project off Keen Street opened in late October 2017 with a range of exciting, innovative and high-profile works. These included original paintings by Margaret Olley (after whom one of the exhibition galleries is named, others honouring former Mayor Jenny Dowell and patron Vicki Fayle), modern Bundjalung and other Aboriginal works and historical artefacts, and local woodworker Geoff Hannah’s astounding timber and shell inlay cabinet, valued at more than $1.0 million.*

The two-level building replaces the ‘temporary gallery’ in Molesworth Street that was the City’s only public art space from 1954 until this year.

We have four times the space; a climate controlled, flood-free storage area for our permanent collection of more than 1000 pieces; and a friendly and welcoming environment for visitors and locals,” said director Brett Adlington

Following last month’s look at personal security on the net, David Guest, sees what’s on offer for North Coast practices.


“The Internet, the last frontier: where men are men

and women are men, and 14 year old schoolgirls are FBI agents.”


When the internet was being designed over 30 years ago, it was envisaged that it would be a glorious utopia where one would  be able to communicate with friends and family on the other side of the world in seconds. The vision came true. Text only emails are passé now. Video conferencing with several family members is also old hat. (NBN permitting.) 


What was not expected was the number of people trying to use your information for nefarious purposes. The potential to be hacked is a serious risk for everybody on the net and has spawned several billion dollar industries.

 The Federal government’s concerns about the rapidly rising cost of after-hours home visits by medical practitioners has led to using the increasingly popular ‘nudge theory’ in an attempt to change the behaviour of doctors making the highest number of claims.

The issue of rising budgetary costs - highlighted previously in GP Speak - is one of the issues being considered by the government’s clinician-led Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce. The review has recommended that after-hours billing should only be allowed by GPs who normally work during the day and are recalled to work for management of patients needing urgent assessment.

Nudge theory is a concept in behavioural science that employs positive reinforcement and subtle messaging to seek compliance with desirable government policies or social strategies.

"Going cold turkey"

Nicotine replacement therapy has been portrayed as the best way to wean smokers off their habit. But as Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health, University of Sydney, explains, NRT is not the cure-all it has been cracked up to be.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) became available in Australia in 1984 (gum) and 1993 (patches), first as prescription-only items. From 1988, they started becoming available as an over-the-counter item, with patches available without prescription from 1997. Today, some forms of NRT can even be bought in supermarkets.

If prescribed, NRT attracts a government subsidy. In the 17 months from July 2013 to Dec 2014, data provided by the Department of Health show 199,818 NRT scripts cost the government A$8,617,804.

But 31 years later, what should governments do if data show that NRT is little better, or even a good deal worse, at helping smokers quit than if they try to do it cold turkey?