Thu 25 Oct 2018

Are you really OK?

Diane Jones arrived as WITT’s resident GP in July to provide care for a section of the community she did not regularly see in her days as a GP.

After working for 36 years as a GP Students she can say with some authority that students are not particularly adept at identifying health issues, let alone taking action.

Now she is seeing those students, once a week at WITT in her B-block surgery.

WITT’s doctor pulls no punches when she warns students that they are doing themselves no favours by ignoring health issues – it can significantly impact on their study and, worse, their futures.

“I know young people think they are invincible, but I am finding people with conditions which must be addressed – such as diabetes and hearing and sight problems,” she says.

She believes some of those who should be making time to see her assume the surgery is simply open to hand out morning after pills and something for a sore throat.

When WITT News visited Diane had a list of nine students to see – not bad since the appointment list was almost empty when the day started. She discussed joint complaints, cosmetic surgery, ear and throat issues, anxiety, diabetes, period and stomach pains.

She wants the students with issues to make an appointment see their doctor for ongoing treatment, but believes many do not have a regular doctor or may have not visited their health centre for so long that they are no longer on the books.

She also worries that students are not accessing health care using a Community Services Card, which entitles them to health care at a more affordable rate. It does not cost students to see Diane.

Aside from advice on how to get health care, diet and dental care are two areas where she often assists students with advice.

“Your teeth are important for obvious reasons – but also, if you have worked hard to succeed at WITT and then enter the hospitality industry you don’t want to be at the front of house with chronic and visible dental problems.

“We can discuss options on what to do – and how the remedy might be found.”

Medical Clinics run every Wednesday and appointment are available through Campus nurse Jacquie Vink or you can call on extension 8775.