It’s the pointy end of medical care – the part we hope to avoid as much as possible but still want to know is there for us, just in case.

Even with after-hours GPs and urgent care centres,
the emergency department is still the place to go when things are really heading south.

Traditionally that’s meant a visit to the nearest public hospital but more people seem prepared to pay a few hundred dollars to go private and bypass ambulance ramping and the stretched public health system.

Many will watch with interest once Perth has three private hospital emergency departments within the next year or so. What will be the take-up, and will they ease pressure on the public system?

What we know with certainty is that a frequent visitor to any ED is the patient with chest pains, and this month Medical Forum looks at local research trying to keep us, and our hearts, well away from the emergency department.

Many will watch with interest once Perth has three private hospital emergency departments within the next year or so. What will be the take-up, and will they ease pressure on the public system? 


Patients might also hope their medical records will be there for them in an emergency, and this month we track the progress of My Health Record to see why some doctors are not onboard and why many patients don’t even know their data exists.

And for a quirky Perth connection to a baby grand piano used in silent movies starring Charlie Chaplin, read our profile piece on a colourful Perth cardiologist. Never say medicine isn’t entertaining.