The number of North Coast residents vaccinated against the coronavirus has now topped 98,000, according to Healthy North Coast /Primary Health Network, which has recorded a regional increase of around 22,500 vaccinations in its Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie footprint.

The most recent population count for the North Coast region was 477,693

The previous fortnightly increase was around 18,000, indicating that the uptake of the vaccine is gathering pace.  

Over the same period, the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine to general practices has increased to 26,400. The number of vaccine doses available at Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics has been boosted and NSW Health has established vaccination centres at local hospitals, as well as a number of pop-up clinics.  

Morning rounds with Dr Hugh Fairfull-Smith

Rudyard Kipling noted there are only two kinds of men in the world - those who stay at home and those who do not. My peripatetic parents and subsequent upbringing meant I fell into the latter category. 

Graduating from Aberdeen University saw me with a degree in medicine, but, unlike my peers, no idea what I wanted to do with it. Joining one of Scotland’s first General Practice Vocational Training Schemes, I passed the MRCGP in 1975, and during that time, I sat and - to my surprise - passed the first part of the MRCP. I passed the second part in 1980 and thought a year’s experience working as a Senior Registrar in NZ would be interesting. So Cate and I trotted off with a two-year-old and a 10-week-old. Cate had baby number three while I sat and passed the FRACP  in 1982.

Southern Cross University nursing graduate Sophine Longworth (left) on duty at the Tweed Hospital.

Graduates in the health sciences and support disciplines from Southern Cross University have a 96.6 per cent success rate in finding employment, according to the latest snapshot of tertiary educational outcomes, and a great majority of employers are happy with the skills they bring to their work.

The QILT (Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching) suite of higher education surveys is funded by the Australian Department of Education. It includes the Employer Satisfaction Survey (ESS) of the views of 3,430 employers on the attributes of recent graduates from Australian higher education institutions. The study looked at how successfully graduates gained and settled into employment in terms of their professionalism, teamwork and interpersonal skills, and their ability to perform and innovate.

speech pathologist Dr Kirstine Shrubsole

During ten years as a speech pathologist Dr Kirstine Shrubsole encountered Aphasia on a daily basis, seeing great improvements in some patients while others remained stuck, some indefinitely. Aphasia, a neurological disorder caused by damage to the portion of the brain that is responsible for language, commonly affects 30 per cent of stroke victims.

“When you work in a hospital there are guidelines that tell us what we should be doing and when, based on the research, but when I was working in the hospitals myself we often couldn’t implement them,” Dr Shrubsole says.

In the Spring 2020 edition of NorDocs an article headed 'Aboriginal offenders' impairment mitigates against custody' described a two-year-long neuropsychological project involving adult Aboriginal people in NSW charged with an offence. The study by Dr Robin Murray and Dr Molly Schafer found 72% of those brought before the courts had significant cognitive impairment, Further, almost 50% of cases were being diverted from custody when these findings were submitted to court at the time of their sentencing. 

It is most welcome news that the NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman has announced the Berejiklian government's  pledge of $28m to help cognitively impaired people navigate the legal system. This announcement was covered in this report by The Sydney Morning Herald - NSW pledges $28m to help cognitively impaired people navigate legal system