Do 30 Burpees a Day.

Do 30 Burpees a Day.

Setting a goal today.

30 burpees a day for the next 30 days. At the end of the month, I’ll donate $30 to Bandaged Bear.

#forsickkids

Rules:

1) 30 burpees every day for 30 days (22nd July to 20th August)

2) 1 cent for every burpee (total of $9) to your favourite charity at the end of 30 days

3) If you need a rest day, you will need to make it up on your other days so you can tally a total of 900 burpees

4) You must post on LinkedIn every day with the hashtag #30for30

I will be donating $30 to the Bandaged Bear Appeal #forsickkids (https://lnkd.in/f5h5ymR) at the end of the month.

Who wants to join me?

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Great observations and tips on how to write a brilliant blog from fellow blogger Christian Mihai. Thank you Christian!

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Prevent illness.

Prevent illness.

Great general practice is perceived to be boring and unrewarding. Effective general practice is underpinned by anticipating likely issues and resolving them in advance, before they become an issue. The best GPs look like they’re not doing much, but get things done effectively and efficiently. No one sees all the bad things that great GPs prevent.

Adapted from Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA, absence blindness is a fascinating concept that could serve as a powerful argument for why general practice is often undervalued.

Read about my thoughts on this concept by clicking through to my article on LinkedIn. This is a new and exciting concept for me. I know you have a lot of things vying for your attention, but would absolutely love your thoughts!

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Say the right thing.

Say the right thing.

As a doctor, I build my career on having conversations. It is important to me that I choose the right words to say in all of my interactions. This is part of effective communication.

A tip for all.

Do not describe people by their diseases. Examples of getting this right.

1) A patient is not diabetic. A person lives with diabetes.

2) It is not okay to assume a person “suffers from diabetes.” Again, a person lives with diabetes. Allow the person to tell you whether or not they suffer because of it.

Do you have any examples of common mistakes in the way we communicate in health care? Please do share your thoughts.

You might even teach me a thing or two about what I am doing wrong! I’m all ears.

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People versus the government.

People versus the government.

I’m always on the lookout for answers to the big questions.

Q: Why is there often a disconnect between policy makers and those on the ground getting things done?

Potential, and at the least, very interesting answer:

A: “Government today, within the developed countries, is such an enormously complex affair that it is doubtful whether the relationship between a given society and its government is really understood by any large segment of the society.

Further, there appears some doubt that modern government responds fully to any coherently stated objectives of the society it serves; indeed there is reason to doubt that these objectives are ever fully stated in a feasible, comprehensible form…

To discuss bringing into a more desirable state an organisation whose objectives, and the necessary and appropriate limitations and constraints, are really not stated is to take on an impossible task.”

Marvin E. Mundel, ‘Measuring and Enhancing the Productivity of Service and Government Organisations’

As cited by W. Edwards Deming in ‘Out of the Crisis’, a book gifted to me by a very significant mentor.

Image credit: unknown source

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Health care for all.

Health care for all.

I chanced upon this article while scrolling through my LinkedIn feeds yesterday, titled Bulk-Billing Clinics ‘Turning Away’ Complex Patients.’

Everybody loves a good story and an effective journalist is skilled at capturing large audiences through the use of catchy headlines. Like other stories, this one can be told a thousand ways depending on who is telling it. So here’s my account.

In an era where everyone in health seems to be talking about person-centred care, it never ceases to amaze me how we can get our terminology so wrong. We do not have ‘complex patients’. We care for people with complex needs. Perhaps the article should more aptly be titled:

‘Overstretched clinics inadequately remunerated for meeting the complex needs of the people they serve’.

Less catchy, isn’t it?

Tracey Johnson, whom I have had the great pleasure of meeting, and who is the CEO of Inala Primary Care, had this to say.

“Our charitable GP practice bulk bills. 68% of our patients have health care or pension cards and others are under 16. In Queensland’s most disadvantaged suburb, we have seen big corporate practices relocate as they could not hold GPs nor earn sufficient revenue given the number of non-English speakers and complex patients.

We have ended up with a super complex cohort, 38% of whom see one of our team 12 or more times a year. It is hard to keep the doors open when that is your caseload and bulk billing is your revenue stream. We desperately need income supplementation to maintain services and can’t wait for the MBS review to fix the problem.”

It is quite striking to hear this perspective from one of Australia’s leading primary health clinics. Can I reiterate:

“It is hard to keep the doors open when that is your caseload and bulk billing is your revenue stream.”

The needs of our people with complex needs are not being met and those that make a genuine effort to address these needs are not being adequately remunerated.

Bulk-billing practices (those that accept their patients’ Medicare rebates as full payment for their services) are overburdened by volume. Practices that attempt to charge a gap struggle to do so when patients make the choice to access ‘free and fast’ care.

As a health system, we make the deliberate choice to invest greatly in hospitals, and continually divest in general practice. The evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of increasing our investment in primary care to drive sustainable improvements in our population’s health outcomes.

We can not simply accept a position of celebrating the end of the ‘Great Medicare Freeze’ when the costs of running a practice are spiralling upwards and the viability of high quality general practice, the most efficient and effective sector of our health system, is under threat.

The AMA Gaps poster illustrates how successive Governments have failed to index the Medicare schedule fees in line with the CPI and average weekly earnings. Accounting for the increase in the consumer price index, general practitioners now earn approximately 18% less than they did 30 years ago, whilst costs of owning, managing and running a general practice have increased substantially over that period of time.

Practically, this means either that:

1) Practices absorb the additional costs of running a practice and do so in a way that is not financially viable, threatening practice closure; or

2) Patients pay a higher gap to see their general practice team.

According to the AMA, “with year upon year of indexation that has been well below par, today there is now quite a disconnect between Medicare schedule fees and the realistic cost of providing the services.”

Gaps-Poster-2016_1-1

Health care consumers are in the best and most powerful position to advocate for funding parity in general practice.

Remember, it is your rebate that has been consistently cut, sliced and more recently, frozen. I’m angry, are you?

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