Patient-centred continuity of care for people in remote Australia: a modern Fairy Tale

Monday, 4 August 2014

People from all around the world are trying to get to Arcadia, that Wide Brown Land in the South where safety is assured and the people feast on milk and honey and barbecued prawns.

The good folk of Arcadia also have well-managed health services providing such valued but esoteric outcomes as 'continuity of care ', 'patient-centred integrated health care teams', and 'well-managed patient pathways'.

Thus it is that desperate health consumers of the world board leaky vessels with names like Health Reform, Hopeful Advocacy and Good Intentions to try to find their way to Arcadia.

However, on such journeys, dangers abound. Arcadia is a large island in the cold southern seas surrounded by forbidding waters. It is protected by 'Operation Arcadia First' (OAF), the genesis of which was the electoral ambition of the Gods of Arcadia who have decreed that they alone will decide who lives in Arcadia. The effectiveness of this bi-partisan OAF results in many of those seeking safety and barbecued prawns ending up on Neverchristmas Island.

News is just in, then, that another of these danger-filled ventures is underway, with 100 citizens from Farpoorerland attempting to make it to the shores of Arcadia in the small craft Primarycareaform. 1000 miles from land the vessel sinks: partly because of imperfect preparation prior to setting sail, partly due to political indifference, and partly because it had a hex put on it by the Medicine Men of Arcadia who fear some watering down of their magic spells by foreign cultures (such as nursing and optometry).

But have no fear: the bold officers of the Resolute Arcadian Navy are on hand. Their patrol vessel Metropolitania has rescued 70 of the 100 from the dangerous seas and is plying towards Childrenus Island.

But what, you may ask, of the other 30 per cent? They have been abandoned by the authorities - and are left to crawl around the great Ocean with no apparent hope of being saved. The concern of those 30 is not now barbecued prawns or continuity of care: just being brought to the margins of the ocean anywhere in order to be alive.

With warm sand between their toes once more, the lucky majority will object little to the fee of $7.00 a meal if they think of the comparative fate of their abandoned cousins.

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