In collaboration with:
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Everytime we head down to NSW we all seem to end up really sick. Snotty noses, bronchitis and temperatures. It isn’t pretty. I think this is why we have stopped visiting so often. The last time we were down there for any length of time was back in 2011 to have Clancy. Of course I ended up so sick, coughing while pregnant isn’t much fun, but it is even less fun after you have given birth. I was so miserable. Luckily Clancy went straight onto the bottle which meant I could dose up on antibiotics to try and get better. The cough cough coughing was killing me.
I really don’t know how you town folk cope with medical centre visits. First you have to make the emergency call – first thing in the morning to try and get one of the last minute appointment. Phone in hand ready to dial as soon as the clock strikes 8:30am. Then the wait in the actual surgery, which may involve unhappy, sick kids whinging and crying for over an hour before you actually see the doctor. Then there is the few minutes spent with the doctor. Pay as you leave if need be then off to the pharmacy to get the medication required to hopefully make you well. I guess it helps if you do have a regular GP that you visit, because often they will squeeze you in. Our GP in Mt Isa is like this, his name is Dr Warren. He will always fit us in, and knows how far we have to travel just to get there.
Gosh, I am puffed just typing that. How do you all do it?
One of my favourite parts about living up here at Bum Truck Nowhere is the fact that we don’t, very often, have to sit in a medical centre and wait for hours. Nope, no siree. We just pick up that phone and dial the RFDS number in Mt Isa. We are usually put straight through to the doctor on call. We tell them our problem and hey presto they give us the number of the drugs we need to take from the RFDS Medical Kit that we have on hand. Here this is what my “Pharmacy” looks like….
It is in a locked cupboard in my laundry and has everything you could possibly need, especially antibiotics. I know how to give an injection if absolutely necessary (have only had to do that once thank goodness). If we do need to the doctor will talk us through it. I have all the dangerous drugs such as morphiene, valium etc all ready to go in zip lock bags with the draw up needle, the needle to actually give the injection and the syringe.
So in a nutshell, if all was ok, I could be on and off that phone and have the medication in my hot little hands all within 5 minutes! Can you even believe it??
Another great thing about living up here is the monthly Barkly Mobile Clinic. This is a team that fly around the stations in our area once a month. A doctor and a nurse. Tony – the nurse is based in Elliot, at the clinic there. The doctor varies each month. They fly out of Alice Springs and are usually just in Alice to do the remote clinic. So they could be from anywhere – Newcastle, Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne etc. We have had the pleasure of meeting lovely doctors from all over Australia and gee I love hearing their stories.
When they arrive we collect them from the airstrip and head back to the station to have some smoko, a cup of tea and a good old fashioned chat. We then set them up in one of our spare guest rooms where they then see anyone who may be feeling a little off or might just need a new prescription. Clancy recently had his 4 year vaccinations & I have even had a pap smear done here – how easy does that sound!!! And it was – easy that is.
We are just so lucky to have access to such wonderful doctors out here and I think we forget just how much training it takes to actually become a doctor. There is a great website that I had never heard of before. It is called the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. There is all sorts of information available over there if you are: A Patient, Becoming a GP or A GP. Check out this video, it even brought a tear to my eye.
90% of all GP’s are members of the RACGP.
We have been so lucky to meet some fantastic doctors, especially those that come out in an emergency with the RFDS. This is Dr Minh – he is one of the Senior Doctors with the Mt Isa RFDS and we are quite fond of him. Minh has been out a couple of times and I have been lucky enough to get him a few times when doing a phone consult. Minh also has a boy around the same age as Harry. Which came in handy when Harry fell while climbing the walls in the hallway last year. Minh totally understood and thought it would be best if they fly out and have a look. What a champ. I thought we would have to go to town, but no – they did a quick little consult in the plane on the airstrip. They even had an ultra sound machine that they could use to see if his wrist was broken or not. Turns out it was just a hairline fracture and only needed splinting. They put a cool little splint on him and we (and them) were good to go. How is that for service?! Here he is, such a great bloke….
Once when Tom was over visiting Mrs Savvy B at their station he literally got the wrong end of the stick – was whacked in the mouth with a moving object and had quite the gash. Thank goodness he didn’t do it here and as he said “Mum, you wouldn’t have coped” – damn right. I am terrible when it comes to blood, definitely not a very good nurse. Anyway, the RFDS yet again flew out, stitched his mouth up on Mrs Savvy B’s dining table and were off again. I of course jumped in the car and headed over (2 hours through the paddocks) but he was all sorted and happily playing (and definitely not wanting to come home) by the time I arrived. They did such a great job that you can’t even see the scar on his lip.
GP’s do such a brilliant job.
Do you have a GP who you have been seeing for years and years?
Lets have a shout out to all the great GP’s out there – let us know where you live and how long you have been seeing your GP for.