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Much of what’s wrong with healthcare is in the consulting room

It's not that complicated. Not really. So where do you look for pathology? Inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation. How does it look, how does it feel, how does it sound and what do you hear when you know where to listen closely. I'm … [Read more]

We don’t have to agree but it doesn’t have to end in tears

I told him NO. You don't need antibiotics you have a virus. Now leave. This is the rather macho way in which the story of how a patient's 'unreasonable' request was rejected is sometimes recounted. In some cases the law was changed to allow people … [Read more]

The welcome rise of alternative providers

Two weeks ago an 80-year-old waited without food or drink for 14 hours in a Dublin city emergency department having fallen in her local supermarket. She was black and blue from head to toe a response to the call of gravity when she was launched off a … [Read more]

No plan, no progress it’s a simple equation in healthcare

Every business manager can lay her hands on plans and policies and can probably recite the 'vision statement'. I like the one for Lexmark printers because I think it works for healthcare clinics: Customers for life. To earn our customers' loyalty we … [Read more]

The country needs general practice to be the provider of choice

Ever since I came to Australia as a foreign graduate I have been obliged to work in a so-called 'area of need'. Directly opposite one practice in such a location, there is a large shopping centre. I sometimes go across the road to get my lunch. I … [Read more]

It’s time to consider what we want beyond access to general practitioners

Ever since Adam was a boy the thing that has driven policymakers into a frenzy is 'access' to a GP. That's good because they recognise that the work done by a general practitioner is very important. However, it sometimes feels like 'access' is the … [Read more]

General practice can evolve- it just has!

  It's Thursday night- I don't blog on a Thursday night. But this isn't any ordinary Thursday. Today I believe I walked in on the future of general practice in bricks and mortar- designed and run by a couple whose combined age is not much … [Read more]

Junk used to wallpaper doctors’ offices

Of all the things doctors can do in their practice they can certainly choose what to display on their walls. In 1994 a group of researchers reported: To determine whether patients read and remembered health promotion messages displayed in waiting … [Read more]

Start the consultation as you mean to continue

What I consider this week requires no renovations, no insurance rebate or government subsidy. It does require clean hands. Yet the humble handshake has the power to catapult a meeting into an entirely different dimension. Many of our social … [Read more]

The first thing people see is an ugly great barrier

For effective engagement with their quarry, the service provider has to be open. When the first point of contact with that person is a tall desk it sends the wrong message. The reception counter says: You are on that side, we are on this side. … [Read more]