Wednesday, March 17, 2010
1. Don't the medical undergraduates already pay a fortune in HECCS?
2. Aren't they just herded into large lecture theatres with one lecturer to learn how to look up Index Medicus?
Training medical students doesn't sound like an expensive exercise to me. Many would be better off doing a two year TAFE course and then apprenticed to a doctor and a hospital. In 4 or 5 years they'd come out with a fair idea about the common complaints and what to do to restore poor health to good.
3. Aren't there more effective and less expensive ways of treating people than in a surgery.
As I mentioned yesterday, if nurses, fitness practitioners, naturopaths and counsellors were given access to Medicare the country would be a lot fitter and healthier, hospitals would be half empty and the Government could cut medical expenditure in half.
Rudd is racing around the country, throwing more bad money after worse and propping up a bloated, inefficient and expensive industry. It's obscene.
On the track
Walking and running again. Nothing to write home about but calves and Achilles feeling better. Am using The Stick to massage my calves, morning and night. Seems to be useful. You can read more about The Stick on this link http://www.thestick.net/
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and tell Kevin Rudd that he can't solve health, fitnes and wellbeing problems by pouring money down the medical black hole.
The Minister for Health has given nurses the go-ahead to start doing some of the work doctors have been doing and getting a Medicare rebate for the pleasure.
This is exceptionally good news. Nurses are quite capable of doing a lot of the work doctors are doing.
The doctors are pissed off; as well the may. Their cosy, protected monopoly looks like being ripped apart. This is the thin edge of a wedge that hopefully will forge a gap that you'll soon be able to drive a truck through.
But to a large degrees, doctors are people with long and expensive medical degrees dabbling in health, fitness and well being, disciplines for which they are not trained and about which they don't have a clue. Running amok with the pad doesn't fix any of the great dysfunctions of our time - metabolic, musculo-skeletal or psychological.
The doctors can't have it both ways. They can't complain about being overworked and then not pass off some of their busy work onto people who can do the job better.
I'll give you a case in point.
According to the NH&MR, 95% of lower back pain is not a serious medical condition. The risk is that you may have a tumour, or something wrong with your kidneys, but to repeat, in 95% of cases the pain is caused by muscles somewhere in the body dragging bones in the spinal; column out of alignment.
(Actually doctors don't know this simple principle. They think the cause of the pain is the herniated disc and send you off to the surgeon to cut the disc out. (No wonder hospitals are bursting at the seems.) They don't have a cause for the herniated disc.)
So if you've got a crook back - go to the gym and get a good set of exercises.
If you've got any of the metabolic dysfunctions - high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes (type 2) , go to the gym as well and work out like buggery.
If you feel shidouse, go to the counsellor, the gym and the naturopath. Steer clear of the doctor, you'll just come away with a drug to paper over your anger/disappointment/grief/vacuity, poor health, lack of energy and vitality ...
On the track
Spent 30 minutes on the stepper at levels 6,7, and 8. A better workout, but not busting my boiler.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and remember; doctors would have their work cut by 70% if the government gave some Medicare numbers to nurses, counsellors, fitness practitioners and naturopaths. The community would be a whole lot fitter. Thank Mrs Roxon for making a start with the nurses.
They already get $450 a week for the privelege of having someone in the surgery to do some of their work and $200 a week to have a chat with them.
Not enough says Townsville GP, Barbara Dignam, chairwoman of the National GP Supervisors Association. She reckons the doctors need $2000 a week to provide medical graduates with a room while working under the supervision of a GP.
Where do people pluck these figures from? You can rent a block of flats for that amount.
Surely medical graduates with four of five years education under their belt are in rooms consulting and earning their keep. They must know something about how to fix up a crook back, write out a certificate for someone with the flu, weight a baby, measure blood pressure ...
A drovers dog could do some of this work., it's dead easy. It's TAFE stuff.
I think we make doctoring look more complicated than it really is. Certainly we've made the cheap expensive and the simple complicated.
This bloated, inefficient and highly protected industry has become too precious for words. In a few short years nurse and fitness practitioners will have taken over a lot of these jobs. Doctors will be sitting around twiddling their thumbs and playing golf on Wednesday.
On the track
Went for a walk with the boys and ran for 10 minutes. Getting back into ity.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned asnd wahcth while the work doctors have been doing gets taken over by nurses, naturopaths and fitness practitioners
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I know now why they're going broke. They only work Monday to Friday. They don't work shifts.
Go there to visit someone on the weekend and there's nobody there. It's like a morgue. On Sunday you can't get a cup of coffee or a sandwich. The shop is closed.
There is a skeleton staff of nurses looking after the patients who had operations during the week.
So here we have massive buildings with massive overheads and they're not working 24/7.
Hopeless, just hopeless.
The government is spending outrageous sums of money building new theatres and for 12 hours of every week day and 48 hours on the weekend they're empty.
I think we ought to get Santos, BHP, Woodside and McDonalds in to run the hospitals. Let's have Gerry Harvey on the next Hospitals Reform Commission.
They've got the wrong management in there at the moment. No wonder they're going broke.
This is just another example of medical bloat and inefficiency. They want to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday at the taxpayers' expense.
On the track
No track. Taking it easy.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and next time someone complains about hospitals going broke, say 'of course they are, they're hopelessly managed.'
Send them an account.
On the track
No track, taking a break.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned, sober and vigilant.
He's out there selling his new hospitals reform bill.
He should be selling off the public hospitals. There is no more reason for a government to run a hospital than there is for it to run an airline, a bank or an electricity utility.
The only reason they do it is because they've been doing it for donkey's years and because they can't make the distinction between the words 'medical' and 'welfare.'
If the government wants to subsidize medical treatment it can do that without owning hospitals.
The medical industry, bloated and inefficient that it is, is quite capable of organising itself without government intervention.
After writing the other day about the incestuous Health and Hospitals Reform Commission the best thing that could have been done was to put David Crawford in charge of it - sift through all the medical garbage and set the business of running hospitals up on a firm, business-like footing.
On the track
No track this week. Taking as break.
In the meantime stay tuned and I'll bet you there's a photo of Rudd with the hapless Mrs Roxon in tow in the paper tomorrow.
The reason hospitals are going broke? They don't send out accounts.
Who was the genius who thought that one up?
People wait for a few months then take a free ride into the hospital. It costs less than a family visit to Taronga Park Zoo, less that the monthly electricity bill, certainly less than your quarterly rates and definitely less than three month's rego on your car.
There is the presumption that everyone who turns up at a public hospital for some elective surgery is on the bones of their arse.
There are some people who can't pay. That can be accommodated with a safety net. There are some people who have prolonged treatments for body system dysfunctions and diseases that are not of their causing. They need a big safety net.
At the moment there's a safety net for everyone - including those who are well off and including those who are well enough off to pay some insurance.
It is not fair for the well off to be complaining about waiting lists.
Rudd is rushing around like a headless chook trying to crack a nut with a sledge hammer.
Kevin, legislate for hospitals to send out accounts.
On the track
No track. Taking a week off.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and do everything you can to steer clear of hospitals.
Monday, March 15, 2010
What I can't work out is when he has time to do his work.
The health of Australians won't get better because Rudd and Roxon are traipsing through hospitals with doctors and nurses telling them how wonderful they are. They love them. They're going to get money. They'll have more autonomy.
I'm waiting for Rudd and Roxon to go to a gym, have a work out and tell the fitness practitioners they're going to get 'an indicative' $13B in new funding over the next 4 years to improve the health and fitness of Australians. It's a big ask in this country expecting to get healthy without getting fit.
I'm waiting for Rudd, Roxon and Julia Dullard to go to a school and announce that every school is going to have more PhysEd teachers and more time in the school program to get kids in exceptionally good shape.
On the track
No track, taking it easy for a week.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and don't hold your breath waiting for Rudd and Roxon to Turn up at a gym near you.
Their report is titled 'A healthier future for all Australians'. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not many Australians will get fitter and healthier by reading this vacuous report.
How could you write a report without mentioning the fitness industry? How could you write about school health and only mention the employment of nurses in ? The Reform Commission did.
'We are recommending that all primary schools have access to a child and family health nurse
for promoting and monitoring children’s health, development and well being. Universal access to ‘school nurses’ is an important component of our ‘one health system’ approach. Under the proposed integration of all publicly funded primary health care services, we would expect that there are effective protocols and good communication between child and family health nurses in schools and the family’s GP or primary health care service. Both have an important role to play. Primary health care services have responsibility for the continuing management of children’s health, while ‘school nurses’ have a vital role in early identification of disease, health promotion, advice and education to children and their families. Child and family health nurses are also important to support families who might otherwise ‘fall through the cracks’.
They suggested setting up a National Health Promotion and Prevention Agency. You can be pretty certain they won't be making recommendations about aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility.
This is a vapid, useless and incompetently prepared report. It's what happens when you put foxes in charge of the hen house.
And whatever they're talking about, they're talking about giving money to the foxes.
'As an indicative estimate, the full year annual recurrent costs of implementing our reforms to Australia’s health system are between $2.8 billion and $5.7 billion. In addition, an investment in capital over five years of between $4.3 billion and $7.3 billion would be required to transform the system’s infrastructure to enable our reforms. We note that changes to the actual level of expenditure in any one year will depend on the pace of the implementation of the reforms. If phased in over several years, as we anticipate, the impact on expenditure in any one year could be quite modest.'
An 'indicative estimate.' $13B more to be sucked down the medical black hole.
You could just about give every adult Australian a free gym membership for that.
I'll lay you London to a brick that after that money has been spent the Government will set up another Commission to recommend twice as much money be spent on 'fixing the medical system.'
The non-medical representatives on the Commission, Geoff Gallop and Mary O’Loughlin should be ashamed of themselves.
There will be no healthier future for Australians from this report.
On the track
No track today. Taking it easy, letting Achilles calm down.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and lead a protest to get a nurse into every primary school in Australia.
The doctors and nurses are lapping up this reform. It means more money for this bloated, inefficient and expensive industry, the industry that has overseen the worst downturn in the health of the country in its history.
The doctors and nurses are drooling in expectation of the goodies that are going to drop from the government tree into their waiting arms. They're dressed up in their Sunday best lapping up these visits with goog-goog-googley eyes.
They'll be able to work less hours for more money. There'll be more people to do the work.
Mark my words, things are going to get worse, not better. The medical industry is one patient in terminal decline. You wouldn't be on this one.
On the track
Went for a walk with the boys. I'm a bit disinterested at the moment.
I might take a week off and let my metabolic clock reset itself.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and if you're in hospital don't let Kevin Rudd sit on your bed.
He's stepping up to the plate.
The great tragedy is it's the wrong plate.
Instead of going into fitness centres he's traipsing around hospitals.
You know that's bunkum.
You know that the more money spent on propping up a bloated, inefficient and expensive medical industry the more bloated, inefficient and expensive it will become, going cap in hand for more money next year.
Every year for the last 20 years the government has given this industry another couple of billion dollars. Every year it has become more bloated, inefficient and more expensive.
The first couple of billion was tragedy, the tens of billions since have been farce.
Mark my words, this industry is not going to become more efficient by throwing money at it.
The people of Australia are not going to become fitter and healthier. That's the benchmark
On the track
30 minutes on the stepper all at level 6.
A token performance.
In the meantime stay tuned and steer clear of Kevin Rudd dressed in a blue smock and hair net.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I’m not sure what it is. All I know if I see Kevin Rudd and his Minister for Health traipsing around hospitals dressed up like surgeon just one more time I'm going to force my fingers down my throat. How in the name of fortune do these people find time to do any work?
It's bunkum; just old wine in old bottles; just reshuffling the cards; just another excuse to throw another billion dollars at a bloated, over-protected medical industry. No-one is going to become fitter and healthier by this pointless exercise.
I say, float and sell off the hospitals; let the medical industry run its own affairs.
There is no more reason for governments to run hospitals than there is for them to run airlines and banks.
On the track
Spent 30 minutes on the stepper at level 6. Energy coming back. 509 steps and 389 calories.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and you won't have to go to hospital.
Another mate of mine told me the story about his daughter's teeth extraction rip off.
His young daughter had to have some baby teeth extracted.
The first tooth cost $300, so did the second, third ... right up to the 11th. All done in less than 30 minutes.
These bastards are ripping us off.
On the track
Went for a walk with the boys.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and keep brushing like mad.
'On the question of costs and health, just a little story closer to home. About three weeks ago, Chris had a very bad toothache (on a Saturday).
On Sunday morning she finally phoned an emergency number. She was promptly told that
(1) being Sunday, there would be an $88 surcharge, and that
(2) she would need to bring $300 in cash.
Upon arriving, we found that the surgery was actually in the dentist's house! You had to walk through her lounge room to the actual surgery.
Twenty minutes and $300 later, she assured Chris that all would be fine.
The next day, her face was up like a balloon and she had to visit the local GP for a course of anti-biotics. She then booked into her local dentist. About forty minutes and $150 later, he said she would need to see an endo-dontist. I believe the term is derived from the ancient Greek: endo meaning "bring lots of", and dontist meaning "money".
Last Friday was her first visit. It took him twenty minutes and $180 to tell her what it would cost to actually do the job. There would be a total of four appointments - one of 60 minutes, one of 45 minutes, and a couple of shorter ones. He obviously likes Chris, as he is only going to charge $2,800 for the work. Sounds like a bargain to me!
Where do they pluck these figures from?'
On the track
No track today.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and hope like hell the government sets up a 2 year dental course at a TAFE near you.
I wrote and told him that's bunkum.
Over the last 40 years the medical schools have increasingly churned out practitioners of junk medicine - which is defined as the medicine that masks symptoms without restoring poor function to good.
All a doctor has to do these days is reach for the pad and the EFTPOS machine. You could train a drover's dog to do that, and certainly in less than 10 years.
There are three great body system dysfunctions of our time
The doctors of Australia are poorly equipped to deal with these dysfunctions. All they're trained to do is send their customers down to the chemists and over to the specialist. They won't even deliver babies for chrissakes, let alone pull out an appendix!
I know the medical industry is very poorly equipped to diagnose the cause of musculo-skeletal dysfunction, let alone prescribe the exercises needed to restore poor function to good. All they're trained to do is mask the pain.
Similarly, because they know next to nothing about aerobic fitness they dose all their metabolically challenged customers up with drugs instead of sharpening them up on the running track and in the swimming pool.
Don't you tell your students that high blood pressure is not caused by a lack of Avpro, diabetes is not caused by a lack of Gliclazide, elevated cholesterol levels are not caused by a lack of Lipitor, insomnia is not due to a lack of Stilnox, any more than piles are caused by a lack of Anusol? It's the wrong treatment. It leads to worse function not better.
This is not world's best practice by any shakes of the imagination.
The students these universities have been graduating are so wrapped in the pharmaceutical warp they get suckered by doctor shoppers into providing them with opiates for bogus headaches and crook backs.
They get suckered by people on compo, attributing personally-generated dysfunctions to work-related injuries.
They get suckered by the drug companies into attending silver service dinner where they get plied with Grange Hermitage while having their bellies scratched.
I could go on and on.
The population is becoming unfitter and unhealthier by the day. The people the medical schools been graduating have had a significant bearing on this decline. A bloated, inefficient and highly protected medical industry has proven itself to be deficient in bucking this trend.
Doctors don't know how to measure how fit their customers are - and yet this is probably the best primary care measure of metabolic health. They don't know how to prescribe exercise and when they do they get the dosage wrong.
And because of the protection - $80B in public money - and because of the status of the medical profession, people keep going back - in blind faith - for treatments that don't restore poor function to good. Their condition gets worse.
Wilson concluded his article by saying, 'Medical education in Australia is of a high quality and most doctors are well prepared at medical school.'
told him, that if he believed that he'd believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden.
I haven't heard from him.
On the track
Went to the gym.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and if you want to stay fit and healthy steer clear of the Queensland University Medical School.
Couldn't help but notice a basketball game on one of the big screens.
They've really stuffed this game up.
When I was a kid basketball was a popular and growing sport; lots of people played it regardless of their size.
In the 80's an 90's it was very popular. Australian basketball was on TV. Canberra still had a team.
Then it got taken over by American hype. If you're not 7 feet tall forget it. There's no future for you you.
This is a sport that's lost all credibility with the sporting public.
In fact it's not going to change until they start separate leagues at the highest level for teams with all players under 6 feet tall. World championships, Olympic Games - all competitions need height classes - just like there are weight classifications in rowing and weight lifting.
The need to attract taller and taller players into Australian major league teams has completely stuff up the sport. It's become dominated by dominated by freaks of nature leaving skillful players or an ordinary sort of height to go elsewhere.
The other thing I've never liked about basketball is the physical contact. It's meant to be a non-contact sport. It's far from it. It's spoilt a good game.
On the track
Went for a walk this morning. You wouldn't write home about that.
In the meantime, stay tuned, highly tuned and regardless of how skillful you are, if you're not 7 feet tall don't even think of considering a career in basketball.
It looks as though Australia is becoming a country of enclaves.
On the track
No track today either.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and ignore the Jet Star and Tiger adverts to fly to Vietnam. Just go to Cabramatta.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I've never been there, just heard lots about it.
It was jam packed with people and kids. At $41 an adult it's not cheap. In fact I was thinking that the NSW Government charges people more to go to the Zoo than they do yo go to a hospital.
We got in for $28 each - a privilege that comes with being over 60.
We watched the seal exhibition. A top show.
The first seal display I ever say was at the Melbourne Aquarium when I was about 4. It got burnt down - which always amused me. How do you burn down an aquarium?
The bird show was good too. I'd like to know how you can train birds to perform. It must take immeasurable amounts of patience.
On the track
There was no track, unless you count 4 hours wandering around Taronga Park. I think it was sufficient. By the end of the day I was stuffed. Then we had to come back to the hotel, feed and bath the boys and out them to bed.
Thank heaven I don't have to do that every night.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and spend the day with your grand children at the zoo.
My Achilles are playing up again, so I welcomed the opportunity to take it easy. After yesterday's workout on the stepper it was a deserved break.
The weather has been just terrific, 12 degrees, sun's up, no wind.
Then I went to the gym for a quick weights session before having a shower and then piling Lisa and the kids in the car to pick up Christine and drive up to Sydney.
I can tell you the back seat was in a right royal mess by the time we all got there. It's amazing how much food comes out of a child's mouth and ends up on the seat or the floor.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and keep your eyes on the road.
I couldn't believe it. Obesity is not a medical problem. Why are scarce resources being spent on professional development for doctors?
Some days you just want to roll your head from side to side.
Daily fitness, that's what kids need. In a small town in America that's exactly what's happened. Kids have got to put in a good solid hour of high intensity exercise. At the high school they put in a huge gym, complete with bikes, treadmills and cross trainers. The kids love it.
The Australian Government has just spent $16B building school facilities. Guess what's in them? Nothing.
In South Australia during the 1980's they developed the best Daily PhysEd curriculum in the world. Guess what happened to it? The resource books are now gathering dust on shelves and the kids are cooped up in cages.
It would break your heart.
And money is going to doctors!
On the track
There was no track. Lisa and the boys have come to stay. Instead we went to Questacon for half a day to watch science tricks. Balloons busting as liquid nitrogen evaporated scared the little bloke out of his wits.
Pity the poor kids who go back to school all fired up only to find that science means equations.
In the meantime stay tuned and if you've got a fat kid get him or her down to the surgery quick smart.
It's not new at all, just the same old same old that anyone under the age of 100 has had to put up with.
And guess what, the Minister leaves out the most important subjects
- play, games and sport
- health and fitness
What have we got, pictures in the paper of kids sitting on their bums, cooped up in classrooms being toldby fat teachers to shut up and get on with their work. No wonder we're breeding a race of fat kids.
And what are they studying, maths, science, English and history. Dead boring.
And what are they doing, busy work when they could be outside racing around.
Give professors half a chance and what's the best they can come up with; maths, science, English and history.
At a time when the population has never been unhealthier, when we're in the midst of an epidemic of depression and ADHD, when it costs the government 10% of the GDP in welfare., the best the Minister can come up with is maths, science, English and history.
Success! Wouldn't it be good to have a subject called success? How good would it be if every kid graduated from high school with a success mentality, with a thirst for the good life, and with the knowledge of how to become wealthy?
Nope, just maths, science, English and history.
Maybe the Minister should change her name to Dullard, because that's what this education revolution is going to perpetuate, dullness.
It would make you weep, particularly if you don't have the maths gene.
We leave to chance the things that are most valuable.
On the track
A very good session on the stepper. 40 minutes all over 140 bpm; 864 steps and 653 calories.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly toned and thank god you don't have to spend another 13 years in school.
It happens all the time.
In the sleepy seaside suburb of Lesswell there’s a doctor who provides his customers with all manner of drug cocktails. If he’s reading this article he may recall prescribing one of them with Aropax, Epilim, Valium and morphine, all at the same time. He may also recall prescribing 50 Valium tablets one day and another 50 four days later to the same customer. He’s very lucky he hasn’t been had up for manslaughter, for his customer, who ended up in hospital in a coma, lived to tell the tale.
Some of his customers treat his surgery as a pharmaceutical super market where they can get access to whatever they want, whenever they want. All they need to do is stack on a turn and they’re off to the chemists. (You want more morphine, just tell him you’ve got a crook back.)
The local chemist turns a blind eye, his slice of the action coming from the onerous task of counting out the pills, typing up a label, sticking it on a bottle and putting the script into a box under the counter.
The medical staff at the local hospital turn a blind eye as well. Maybe it’s a business decision! The prescribing doctor never turns up at the hospital to check out the results of his handy work and the hospital staff are too callow to dob him in.
The State’s Medical Board gets an alert from a concerned party and fires off a ‘please explain’ to the doctor. It’s not important enough to send someone down to investigate.
The doctor sends back a response which the Medical Board accepts – after all, doctor knows best. The concerned party gets the brush off. Apparently it’s not the Medical Boards’s responsibility to investigate issues of malpractice.
The rest of the local doctors turn their heads the other way. In fact they palm their worst customers off onto Dr Feelgood. It keeps their noses clean and the riffraff out of their waiting rooms.
On the track
20 minutes on the stepper. They say 20 minutes is good. Well hardly, but better than nothing.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and if you want to go doctor shopping, go down to Lesswell.