WA News Guest Opinion / Editorial Goodbye 2017 … It’s Been Fun
Goodbye 2017 … It’s Been Fun
Written by Jan Hallam
Wednesday, 06 December 2017

2017 has come down to these final three weeks. So what’s happened to the past 320 odd days? Well everything; too much and not enough.

As trite as it sounds, the Season does give us the opportunity for some self-reflection and the more honest that is, the more useful it can be as the New Year comes a knockin’.

This year has been the usual cat and mouse with ‘spokespersons’, ‘disruptors’ and ‘forces of reason’ from here, there and Canberra… except the mice are as big as cats and don’t give a rat’s!

It’s scary out there.

Useful and important information is concealed and replaced with dazzling and breathtaking tripe – believe me, I’ve read tonnes of it.

As money and politics have tightened, so have lips. You can’t buy an honest quote – delicious irony aside! As to answering an email or a call, pfffttt, that went out with yesterday’s Tweet.

In our last issue of the year, we have asked wheels and spokes about their wish to make our community a healthier place. We were pleased and grateful in equal measure that the invitations were accepted heartily and the responses genuine.

Health Minister Roger cook wants a meaningful discussion on the cult and culture of alcohol in our society. We will all be pickled in our graves when that one unravels but, as the philosophers say, it’s the journey that’s important.

St John of God Health Care’s Dr Michael Stanford looks to simpler times when children walked to school rather than deposited by a presidential convoy of black 4WDs. He also pulled a gem out of the vault – whatever DID happen to the Reid Report?

Bunbury GP Dr Clare Willix is recommitting her efforts to work for health equity for Aboriginal Western Australians. She can’t do that alone – the whole of society, regardless of politics and race, needs to do the same.

Kevin-Cass Ryall from Ramsay has a message for fellow executives – MOVE! Not chase-tails or look-over-shoulder corporate moves, but simply get off the chair and put one foot in front of the other – and make sure your staff does the same. It is a message that some health initiatives don’t come with a hefty price tag, just common sense and a positive work culture.

Bayswater GP Dr Rohan Gay has the final word at least for 2017 on health care homes. Spoiler alert: “The only role for centralised bodies should be developing, publishing and overseeing chronic disease programs that are delivered at a local level.”

Please, whoever in high places (I’ll settle for a middle-ranking bureaucrat) reading this, listen and please answer our questions about capitation, the impact on independent GPs, influences of special interests and whether this is yet another expensive dead duck?

Next year will be full of many of the same dilemmas we faced this year. It will also be full of the reasons we all do what we do. A sense of purpose that our work has value.

This cat is ready for her fifth decade of chasing mice.