09 Oct Our vital and treasured health professionals
In the conversations about how we improve the health of the Southern District Health Board catchment, it is important to pause for a moment and reflect on the contribution made daily by our health support network.
I am of the view that for chronic disease we actually have an illness network which could be taken of a criticism of our hard working teams in the GPs’ offices and hospitals. IT IS NOT! They are intelligent, committed, highly trained people, as far as I can tell, working too hard to try to fix your problems and mine, as they arise.
But the health industry has, a bit like the farming community, taken the science of the day to heart, constantly looking for better ways to do things, to produce more from less. In both cases, this is no longer serving either the practitioners or the recipients of the effort and applied sciences well. We need to change.
It is quite straightforward though not necessarily easy to make substantial change and start quickly. Farmers need only tweak farming practices to become more favourable to soil biology and a heap of challenges “go up in oxygen” removing the apparently surplus CO2 from the atmosphere in the process. In medicine, particularly the part that applies to chronic health, we need to change the emphasis or perhaps more accurately add an emphasis: we must support people to make the lifestyle changes that for many will free them from the burden of unnecessary chronic disease.
1 – Incentivise all providers so that they make more money by supporting us to stay well or, if already unwell, get us healthy and keep us there.
2 – Employ health coaches to work with the Doctors in pursuit of the above and support individuals/groups/communities to make the changes needed. In some cases this help will extend into the home and providing real food ingredients.
3 – Run a series of Solution Orientated Research Projects (SORPs) to help us find out what may not currently be known about ridding people of their chronic disease. This could start with a SORP on Diabetes Type 2 (DT2). Those who believe they can support say 100 people with DT2 would work with them for say 6 or 12 months. At the end of the period, the DT2 is gone, medication is finished, their feet, kidneys and eyes breathe a sigh of relief and full life recommences.
The successful researchers would receive millions for their trouble and we then use their recipe over and over again – to start to chip away at the 250,000 currently afflicted. Much misery and reduced societal contribution is also fundamentally changed. As an aside at the completion of the above SORP it will be discovered that we “have discovered” and significantly positively affected the common cause of most chronic disease. This will be seen as a big deal which will be nice. Please see my letter written from 2039 to see how this will pan out! [include link]
4 – Fund maternity services appropriately. As long as we are a biological society, mothers and babies are paramount and having mothers routinely driving for hours while in labour is third world stuff which New Zealand properly is ashamed of.
These initiatives will all combine to enable our treasured health professionals to focus on the acute care needs of our community – and to catch their own breath too!