Introduction

Visionary leader, highly respected teacher, healer, mentor, tireless advocate and champion of Rural Health, Dr Pat Farry was unmatched in his efforts and contribution to Rural Medicine and General Practice education. His vision of sustainable and quality health services for rural communities and small towns of New Zealand was through education. He devoted much of his career to advocating and lobbying for improvements and funding for rural medicine. The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust was established in March 2010, with the purpose of continuing this legacy. › Continue reading…

The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust has announced application details for its Travelling Scholarship for 2017/2018. The annual Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship awards up to $10,000.00, which may be divided between two recipients. The scholarship assists medical students to travel internationally to a rural situation to observe new concepts, develop their own skills and share their learning with other students when they return. › Continue reading…

Life, Hope and the Buddha’s Tooth

Management of cases in a Paediatric ICU is an area I have not had a lot of experience in during my clinical training so this week I chose to spend my time on this ward to further my knowledge of this specialty. It was explained to me by the consultant early on in the first ward round that the most challenging aspect of managing children on the ward is discussing end of life care due to the Sri Lankan emphasis upon the sanctity of life. › Continue reading…

At Capacity and Infections

The idea of a hospital being ‘at capacity’ has gained a new meaning for me since my attachment started on the Paediatrics ward at Karapitiya. This year has been particularly bad for dengue in Sri Lanka with an estimated 81, 000 dengue patients nationwide and around 250 deaths from this mosquito-borne virus.

Paediatric ward at Karapitiya

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Labour Room and the Law

This morning was busy in the labour room with five babies being born before midday. The layout of this area is strikingly different from the standard maternity suite in a New Zealand hospital. The room is one open space with eight curtained beds housed in two bays. Perhaps most surprising to me was that it is normal and expected that women birth alone here without any family or partner support. This included women coping with the delivery of babies with very poor, terminal prognoses such as one woman with an anencephalic foetus who was being induced at 41 weeks. › Continue reading…

First Impressions

Things have changed since my partner Steve and I were last in Sri Lanka. We travelled here for a month in 1999 during a brief ceasefire during the Tamil Tiger years. I’ve always had a fascination with islands and Sri Lanka didn’t disappoint despite our travel being restricted to avoiding the then more dangerous north of the island. › Continue reading…

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