The Health News – 22 February 2017

• Western Australia’s medical community is hoping that the Government will encourage graduating “homegrown” doctors to take up and retain postings in rural and remote areas.

• Every 40 seconds, people from around the world commits suicide. Every 41 seconds, someone is left behind grieving  with the pain of loss. The show, 41 Seconds, explores how death affects the loved ones of those who committed suicide.

• Dr Sam Yockopua, head of emergency medicine, might get disciplinary action for making a public appeal on Facebook for basic medical supplies. This appeal has angered CEO of the hospital, who says there was no shortage.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  22nd of February 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

Western Australia’s medical community is hoping a Federal Government commitment will encourage graduating “homegrown” doctors to take up and retain postings in rural and remote areas.

Federal Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie said the recently-announced $93 million Rural Workforce Agency was part of a redesign of an existing program which would now seek to “connect medical and health professionals with the communities who need them”.

“Over the past 20 years, Australia has had some success in boosting the number of medical and health professionals in metropolitan areas and some parts of remote Australia,” Dr Gillespie said.

“However our primary focus must now ensure we address the lack of doctors and allied health professionals in many other parts of regional and remote Australia.”

Rural Doctors of Western Australia representative Andrew Kirk said while it was as yet unclear how the funding would be distributed between states, …nonetheless it did augur well for rural areas that have struggled to attract and retain medical professionals.

Dr Kirk said while Australia was producing “lots of new medical graduates” it was “no longer good enough to expect some of them will end up in the country.”

Every 40 seconds suicide claims a life around the world, so every 41 seconds there is someone left behind.

Someone like Mary Galouzis.

“I guess everything stems back from my brother’s suicide many, many years ago and I wanted to write something from the perspective of someone left behind,” she said of her raw and confronting show, which is part of this year’s Adelaide Fringe festival.

“It’s looking at suicide, loss and grief from many …perspectives.”

The show, 41 Seconds, is loosely based on the story of Galouzis’s brother, who took his life four days after her wedding.

“I don’t believe you ever quite get over it — you learn to live with the pain,” she said.

The Fringe play explores how the death of its central character, Nick, affects his family and friends, as 11 characters express their reactions to the loss.

“Each character, in a sense, symbolises my own grief journey,” Galouzis said.

After her brother’s death, she established a community group Talk Out Loud to help address youth mental health and suicide prevention.

Some of the 41 Seconds cast members are from that group.

Interspersed through the play are four monologues, telling real-life stories about mental health and suicide.

Galouzis said she hoped the audiences would engage with, and be helped by, hearing actual life stories.

Galouzis said the show had a powerful finale.

“Each actor walks on with a pair of shoes that belonged to a loved one, and then we show a slideshow of faces lost by suicide,” she said.

After the Fringe, she plans to take 41 Seconds into schools.

Possible disciplinary action against a senior doctor at Port Moresby General Hospital for making a public appeal for basic medical supplies has angered the head of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Dr Sam Yockopua, the head of emergency medicine, made an appeal on Facebook on Friday for things like face masks, gloves, and bandages among other supplies.

The CEO of the hospital, Dr Umesh Gupta, says there was no shortage and Dr Yockopua had jumped the gun.

He said there could be repercussions for Dr Yockopua from the Health Ministry for going outside the chain of command.

The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, David Conn, says that would be shooting the messenger.


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