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Health and Wellbeing

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We Live Here

A Royal Commission into industry scandals

What women want -  July 2014

03 Jul 2014

I felt very honoured last month to be invited to sit on a judging panel of six to select finalists for health awards.

Without going into detail of the criteria of each category, or even the various categories themselves, it was an incredible insight for me to be able to read through almost 100 nominations of individuals, clinical teams, volunteers and more.

As the only non-medical person on the panel, it was perhaps a harder-hitting eye opener, but certainly we all finished our judging (done first by individually scoring each application, then coming together for a day to discuss and mutually agree on our three finalist selections) and left feeling motivated, inspired – and often in awe – of some incredible achievements.

As a person who does not work in healthcare, I believe we so often take for granted the services we receive through public health. I know, I know – there have always been a lot of issues. Public health is, after all, one of the largest service providers in the country. There are systems that don’t work smoothly, there are errors made from time to time, which can be devastating and warrant the personal and public outcry when something negative – or disastrous – does occur.  

There’s not enough budget to update infrastructure, hospitals and wards can look old, be overfilled and under-resourced. Nurses are often pushed to points of exhaustion with unrelenting workloads and shifts that would stretch any one’s patience (pun intended!).

We are all very aware of the things that aren’t right, and it is right and proper that we are pushing for solutions to these issues.

But what I believe we’re not as aware of, that’s not shared through media as quickly as a negative story, is the number of heroes that are in health. Trust me, I had tears in my eyes reading about the dedication, the commitment, the tireless pursuit of better health outcomes that some of these individuals display.

I read of one nurse who goes beyond her role every day, who is so loved by her patients that she’s had children and even a puppy named after her! I’ve read of doctors who spend nearly the rest of their spare time – and they are already working far more than the average 40-hour week – researching, educating, sharing information and striving to find new cures.

I’ve read of managers who have turned a clinical situation around, of teams that have come together recognising an issue and have taken it on themselves to provide a solution.

Of volunteers spending days with patients with dementia, just to keep them calm and give them company. Of those who sit with the grieving, those who take the time to visit their patients at home, those who will not let anything come in their way of delivering their patient the very best in care, every time.

There are more of these people than you might think, and their stories deserve to be told.

They, of course, are humble. They are doing it for the purest of reasons, they are not doing it for themselves. They’re doing it for us – for our present, and for our future.

So I’d like to ask you to raise a glass, and say thank you to all the unsung heroes. Be it for those in health care that you haven’t heard of, be it for those in the army, the navy, the air force, the emergency services, those in life saving, those in ambulance services, fire brigades, SES, and many more. Please join me in saying thank you to those heroes whose stories we don’t hear, that we don’t even know exist. For without them, our lives would be very different.

God bless.

Till next month, stay safe
Abby xx
PS don’t forget you can write to me at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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