Friday, September 22, 2006

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Do you intend to retire? I do, one day. Not yet, though. When I get to about 60, which is probably about the same as most people reading this. And we expect one of those nice lives full of leisure - you know, golf, travel, nice red wines, all of that.

Except if you're an Aboriginal Australian. If you're a man, you're life expectancy is 20 years less than mine. You can expect to live until you're about 56. Not much retirement there then. Imagine that being you, and your friends. No retirement, not much fun with the grandchildren.

In health there are measurements made to measure the health of a whole population which reliably reflect how healthy that population is. These are thing like life expectancy, mortality at a given age, the infant death rate. These are all higher for Aboriginal Australians - similar in fact to the developing world. Imagine the number of times you have to go to a child's funeral and multiply that by four. Imagine the number of days off to go to funerals.

Both within countries and across the world, populations with the biggest health needs have the least access. And working in Aboriginal health you can make a difference to people and communities. Why wouldn't you want to do that?

Friday, September 08, 2006

And who might you be?

Dear mysterious and perhaps non-existent reader, who might you be?
Well, you might be a member of my family or Jo's family finding out what we're up to on TI (as we don't write or phone often enough. And the pictutres are prettier on a blog). Or you might be friends in the UK. Or in Australia. Or in another country, perhaps.
Alternatively, you might be an Australian GP interested in finding out what it must be like to go to remote Australia. Or you might be a rural Australian GP thinking that I'm a Johnny-come -lately not really committed like you all are to rural medicine. (And you'd be half right. But only half...) Or you might be a GP registrar, perhaps even one of my registrars from Wentwest. Or perhaps you're an anaestheitc colleague of Jo's looking on with curiosity - do they use ether, alcohol or just a great big stick to bite on?
Some of you may be players or audience members of the Penrith Symphony Orchestra, wondering if my viola will warp in the humdity.
Or you may have hit upon the site randomly. That would be quite exciting, wouldn't it!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Thursday what?

As you may have gathered from what I've written so far, we're off to Thursday Island in November for 2 months. What is Thursday Island? Well, have a look here for some photos. It's just north of the Far north of Far north Queensland, which as the description suggests is high up in Australia. Apparently there is a population of about 3500, the same as Picton where we live in New South Wales. That's probably the only similarity, though. If you can find other similarites (or even if you've visited both places!) please let me know.

That's all for now. It'll get more entertaining, I'm sure.... For now we're getting bogged down in paperwork, and I haven't yet heard a good joke about doing paperwork...