U3A Melbourne City Short Course, Term 4

Health Care Interventions – Choosing Wisely

Course Leader: Dr Ken Harvey
Dates: Thursday October 8th – November 26th, 2015
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Venue: GAA House, Lecture room 3 (the Museum Room) ground floor
8 sessions, 25 places | Repeated course

Enquire at citymelb@u3a.org.au

Medical advances have helped many of us live longer and have a better quality of life. Yet a number of studies have shown that around one third of what we spend on health care is probably unnecessary, wasteful and sometimes harmful. This is especially true for medical interventions near the end-of-life. Ironically, many doctors die differently from their patients. They don’t want fancy treatment, expensive chemotherapy offering little benefit or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). They know the downsides and they just say no.

This course encourages consumers to ask questions of their healthcare professionals about the risks, benefits and costs of certain medical investigations and procedures. It will discuss the evidence for and against certain interventions. It’s based on the U.S. Consumer Reports and Australian NPS “Choosing Wisely” campaigns.

Topics that may be covered (depending on interest) include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), cancer chemotherapy, screening for breast, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer, testosterone therapy in ageing men, polypharmacy (multiple medications), antipsychotics in dementia and the use of antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infection.

Dr Rodney Syme will join us for two sessions to discuss end-of-life issues including dying with dignity, advance healthcare directives, refusal of treatment and enduring medical power of attorney certificates.

Course Materials: There may be some photocopied handouts for purchase.

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About Dr Ken Harvey

Public Health Physician, Medical activitist
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