Chewing the fat - NRGPN members David Sare, Brian Witt, Andrew Binns, Sue Page and David Guest are flanked by NCML executive members Vahid Saberi, Chris Clark and Tony Lembke at the Lismore breakfast meeting on 1 July 2014 discussing the future for both organisations

Over the last two months the North Coast Medicare Local (NCML) has held a series of meetings up and down the coast with its member organisations and local groups of GPs. The painful process of transitioning from Divisions of General Practice has largely consumed the energies of the NCML for the last two years and it is only now that a number of the programs relevant to general practice are coming on stream.

Options for improved support for After Hours Care, which has been a protracted and difficult issue for the NCML, were discussed at the joint NRGPN Board / NCML executive meeting on 10 July 2014. The Board has argued for continuing assistance in cold chain maintenance, sterilisation, IT support and other matters pertinent to passing GP accreditation.

Dr Charlie Hew, at the end of the road

Most people would be delighted to have run 90 km in just over 12 hours, but it’s the ‘just over’ part that disappoints local GP Charlie Hew who would possess a medallion marking the completion of the Comrades Ultra-Marathon in South Africa had he been a mere eight minutes faster.

At least he had the satisfaction of breasting the finishing line, for until recent times any runner still on the course after twelve hours faced locked gates at the stadium. This year’s winner, it might be noted, completed the course in just five-and-a-half hours.

Dr Hew is not complaining, however, as the South African weather in June was unseasonably hot and humid: “I didn’t train enough in the heat,” he says over a bottle of water and a chai latte in a Lismore café, having just finished a morning 20 km run.

Moreover, he had never run 90 km before – his longest training run, he says, was 56 km, which just happens to match his age.

© CC-BY-SA The Wikipedia

While echoing the Prime Minister’s words about the government considering “an adjustment here and an adjustment there” in order to see the Federal Budget pass through the Senate, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann – Joe Hockey’s fellow cigar smoker - gave nothing away in a breakfast interview with ABC RN’s Fran Kelly.  

Asked to comment on the Budget’s proposed - and widely opposed - GP co-payment of $7.00, he said, “Let’s see what will and won’t go through [the Senate]”.

The author leads the bunch into the final corner of a Melbourne criterium race.

Because of its strength and light weight, Carbon Fibre technology has taken hold of the cycling world, but it does have a downside, as Max Osborne explains.

Most of us know the meaning of ‘carbon’ and ‘fibre’, but when they’re brought together in a manufacturing process the combination holds unprecedented benefits for products as diverse as the aircraft in our skies and the bicycles on our roads.

So what is this seemingly magical product?

Carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) consists of thousands of individual strands of raw carbon filaments that are bundled together and typically woven into a fabric that is coated in a resin or ‘plastic’. A stack of multiple fabric layers are then cured at high temperature and pressure in a process which compacts the fibres and hardens the resin to develop a stiff and strong composite material.

Jasmine Ritchie of Embrace Exercise

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in Australia and it is estimated that over 20% of CHD worldwide is due to lack of physical activity. Exercise is an effective tool in both the prevention and treatment CHD, with recent research indicating that exercise may be as effective as pharmacological agents in the secondary prevention of CHD.

Exercise provides a therapeutic effect via a number of mechanisms. These include its positive effect on myocardial oxygen demand, endothelial function, clotting factors and inflammatory markers. Exercise can also play an indirect role by influencing the risk factors for CHD including cholesterol levels, blood pressure, obesity and hyperglycaemia. In addition to this, exercise improves general physical functioning and psychological wellbeing.