In the new edition of ANU Reporter, ANU Medical School's Senior Lecturer in Rural Medicine, Dr Jill Bestic, reflects on the importance of family in the remote top end of the Northern Territory.
"I have been a medical practitioner for 36 years and I still regard my access to people in difficult situations as a privilege.
"I recently returned from a General Practice as locum for a month in the top end of Northern Territory. I have, for many years, been interested in and have worked in palliative care. I was asked on my last placement to go to see a woman by one of the remote area nurses. When I asked why, she said that she was not sure what was going on but she knew this woman well and she was not her normal feisty self.
"I visited her home. I parked the vehicle, walked across the yard and into the house where I was met by numerous Aboriginal people in the main room. The woman I had come to see was on her bed, had nasal prong oxygen on and was extremely thin, sitting up and not in distress.
"The family met her every need. There were tears."
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