thumb_0506Kennan_Taylor_Ralph_Locke.jpgDisillusionment is rife amongst practitioners and the public, and preventative health practices are being examined to help deal with some failing of scientific medicine. Dr Kennan Taylor and Dr Ralph Locke make an interesting comparison…

Western medicine is undergoing profound changes. Disillusionment is rife amongst practitioners and the public, and preventative health practices are being examined to help deal with some failing of scientific medicine.

It was with this in mind that Dr Kennan Taylor decided to establish HealthQuest, a practice designed to provide patients with both traditional and complementary approaches suitable to ill health.

“We look at the underlying patterns, predispositions and triggers of ill health; we do not eschew the medicative approach, we restore a balance by emphasising primarily on nutrition, exercise and a psychologically healthy attitude,” Kennan says.

The core focus is on chronic illness – both physical and mental – metabolic syndromes, hormonal difficulties and fatigue, as well as specific illnesses, and is very much patient focused, exploring alternatives while making use of western medical approaches and with less emphasis on hospital care, specialist management and extensive investigation approaches. These approaches include nutritional and environmental medicine, counselling and psycho-spiritual medicine.

“Our approach … depends on the patient, with their desire and intention to delve further into their problems and find creative and self-managed solutions,” Kennan says.

“By placing the patient centre stage and dealing with the person, not just the problem, the patient is empowered and undertakes self-responsibility.”

HealthQuest uses a consultation model that explores all dimensions of health; physical, social, emotional and spiritual, and integrates this into an ongoing strategic health plan. The initial core consultation process is for two one-hour consultations at around $220 per hour.

“Obviously we cannot afford to be governed by the current Medicare arrangements and need to set our own rates. We trust that in time our specialist features, which require time to deliver, will be more financially rewarded from the Federal perspective … however we do provide Medicare rebates for consultations!”

The HealthQuest service will include email interaction and education services through Dr Ralph Locke – who will also build the research and development elements of the practice.

“The education services are designed to support the consultation process, but also stand alone in terms of delivery,” Kennan said.

The project is designed to be flexible and move into other areas, such as regional delivery, corporate healthcare and personal and professional education.

“We have several future plans, including extending the consultancy arm to adopt similar practices and practitioners in WA and training medical practitioners in the integration of complementary approaches within their existing practices.”

HealthQuest’s educational service extends to residual programs, making use of residential retreats, which Kennan already kick-started several years back after moving to Albany in the early 1990s.

“I started a complementary-based general practice, based on my experience in psychological medicine, and undertook further training in nutritional and environmental medicine. I had bought a small rural property, now called Ganieda Sanctuary, with the intention of developing a residential retreat basis to my work.”

So how will Kennan sell the concept to the public as something specifically different from other GP and “similar” practices?

“We have a patient-centred orientation that takes time to evaluate the current health (and illness) status.

“Our initial consultation process is medically delivered, as are our initial approaches (diet, exercise, psychological medicine). Specialist complementary services would come thereafter, and are often covered in the educational services.

“We stand in interesting times in medicine and the changing face of primary healthcare. Medical practice needs to meet these demands and effectively develop creative alternatives in health and medical delivery to the public.”

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