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caramac last won the day on September 26 2015

caramac had the most liked content!

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About caramac

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  • Birthday August 13
  1. AMA plan to get more doctors in rural areas

    It sounds like a good idea in principle and something has to be done to provide good, long term service to the rural communities, but the AMA can’t work in isolation, they need all the other healthcare professional bodies to work in conjunction with them. It’s ok to give incentives to doctors, but no one is going to be willing or able to give a satisfactory service on their own, even if they are from the area originally. They’ll need ancillary staff too, even if that’s just an extra nurse. They’ll also need access to clinics, path labs, radiography services etc, which isn’t so much of a problem in rural towns, but almost impossible in very rural areas. There have been muttering along these lines for at least the last 19 years (when we first came to Australia and my husband worked in some rural communities), so it doesn’t sound like anything new really. TBF, all those incentives are already available to doctors who undertake locum work for a few weeks (accommodation, travel, car, enhanced salaries) without the need to commit to a long term contract, and while their families continue to live in the major centres with good schools and infrastructure. It’s a very difficult situation to try to solve.
  2. Buying Cars in the UK

    I’m always a bit suspicious of dealers, but I think Bristol St have a pretty good reputation. So do Arnold Clark. At least it’ll give you an idea of what’s out there - they’re both national companies, so have a huge database of cars to search! Good luck
  3. Buying Cars in the UK

    Second hand or new? There are so many car supermarket type of places everywhere, you can just go in and buy one! I went into Bristol St Motors in our local town, told them what I was looking for, they showed me a few online, had a couple delivered the next day or the day after and I went to try them. I chose one, paid for it and they cleaned it, checked it over and I picked it up. You’ll be in a strong position to negotiate- there are so many cars to choose from! it just takes a few days to get the paperwork sorted out, but the dealers usually do that for you.
  4. Uni fees for returning residents

    I’ve read on here in the past that some universities are a little more flexible with the rules, so it may be worth getting in touch with some that she may be interested in to find out. I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much though, sadly - your daughter will apply through UCAS and will need to give all her education, exam result and residency history and I’m pretty certain they’ll classify her as an international student. I remember my daughters having to tell them how long they’d been resident in the UK for the Student Finance application. Have a look at these websites to see if there’s any information that might help.. https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/filling-your-ucas-undergraduate-application https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/About-UKCISA/What-we-do#layer-6392 Your daughter could also have a look at the Student Room forum/website to see if she any find ways around the rules from others who’ve managed it! https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/
  5. State of the NHS

    When we went into Medicare this time, my daughter told them that she is just here temporarily (she is Australian) and was told that although she can’t have a Medicare card (we’d assumed she wouldn’t anyway) she would be seen by a gp or hospital under the reciprocal arrangement, even for non urgent things, so maybe it works like that both ways. I always assumed she’d have to use travel insurance if not resident except for emergencies.
  6. State of the NHS

    It’s definitely happening here in Australia too now. I’ve been a bit saddened by how much convenience food and ready meals are available in the supermarkets here now. Given that Coles and Woolworths are run by ex uk managers it’s hardly surprising. The shops themselves are so much better than they were 20 years ago, but the availability of c*** is a bit sad. There are far more full time two parent working families now than ever before, so I can see the appeal of a ‘quick fix’ dinner, it’s just a shame they’re made of rubbish. Theres also the issue (certainly in the uk) of cookery being taken off the curriculum - today’s parents never really learned to cook, so can’t pass skills on to their children. It’s a huge time bomb really, just as smoking was in the past. One thing I have noticed as a positive is that this generation of young people seem much less interested in alcohol than mine was/is, so perhaps it’s not all bad news..
  7. State of the NHS

    And you only have to look at who will benefit from it being put into private hands to know why they’re doing it. It utterly sickens me. We have one of the most cost effective health systems in the world and it is affordable in one of the richest countries in the world, but the will isn’t there because those in power aren’t trousering any profit. We’ve seen it in social care, education and housing (more expensive and less quality, accountability and service) and it’s only the pubic’s love of the nhs which means the govt are being careful (sneaky) about how they’re privatising it. I think many people are waking up to what’s going, which does give me some hope....
  8. State of the NHS

    I completely agree re closing beds etc. Walk in centres have been closed, the 111service isn’t fit for purpose (too many unnecessary ambulance calls which diverts crews from more urgent cases), social care cuts which means moving vulnerable people out of acute care into social care is much more difficult, etc etc etc... I can see the point of charging people who misuse services, but there’s a problem with where the cut off point would be. Do you charge the drunks, the drug takers, the ‘attention seeking ‘suicidal’’, the constant ‘worries well’ who take up an inordinate amount of a gps time. Or do you take it as far as the obese who get type 2 diabetes and the smokers who get copd or lung cancer? Health tourism is an issue, but it’s difficult to quantify and the admin costs of possibly recouping the 0.3% of the budget it costs is more than it’s thought the overall cost to the health service. i think this explains the problem quite well - it’s not easy. https://fullfact.org/health/health-tourists-how-much-do-they-cost-and-who-pays/
  9. Thinking of moving back after 9 years

    If you can afford it, give it a go. We moved to Perth when our girls were nearly 5, 3 and 13 months, then back to the uk when they were 9,7 and 5. My husband was offered a job in Sydney, so we returned when they were 14, 12 and 10, but only for a year (girls hated their school and it was a crucial stage, so I took them back while oh stayed here until he got a job in the uk). All of them have now finished school and two are through, or almost through undergrad degrees and we’re (some of us) now back for another stint, in Melbourne this time. We may stay, we may go back again. Who knows... All three say they’ve enjoyed moving and can’t imagine being in one place all their lives. Their teachers always used to comment on how they had a different perspective on things because of their experiences, so don’t think that you’ll be doing your kids a disservice even if you decide to come back sometime in the future. Your children are still so little, it’ll be lovely for them to connect with relatives, but it’s still possible to have a relationship with people even on the other side of the world. In the end it’s only money (if you can afford it, or lucky enough to have expenses paid) and life’s an adventure!
  10. Been to the UK and now I'm back

    I’m in Melbourne now too and feel so comfortable here - I know what you mean about feeling at home here (and I’ve only been here since the end of Nov, although have had long stays here before). I never expected to feel so comfortable here, but it has everything I like - nice, but not too hot weather so I can walk, friendly people, plenty of cultural things going on, good public transport (although I don’t have to travel at peak times...), close to hills, countryside, wineries, calm beaches (I don’t do surf)... The traffic is bonkers and there are too many traffic lights, but those are minor annoyances really. Im lucky because I feel at home in parts of the UK too, which is just as well because I’m going backwards and forwards for the foreseeable future! I’d agree with Toots though - I think you may well find it easier to settle in another part too. I’ve only ever visited Southampton and would never in a million years agree to live there (apologies to those who like it there). It was crowded, dirty, difficult to get around and took hours to leave! There are some truly lovely parts of the UK if you REALLY have to try again for your OH and It might be worth exploring a bit more. I have to say though, watching Escape to the Country is about as realistic as Wanted Down Under, so your OH may well be living in a fantasy world in terms of the lifestyle he could have there, but I do understand his need to watch them for his ‘fix’. I feel for you - it’s so difficult when one half of a couple doesn’t feel settled and life feels like one long compromise.
  11. Rough Guide - Guess top destination for 2018

    Looks like Norfolk! I’m driving around Melbourne at the moment... That’s traffic!! I guess you’ll notice it more though.
  12. Rough Guide - Guess top destination for 2018

    I’m going to be there next week to do a bit of exploring on our way down to visit my husband in Hobart. Can’t wait to see it! We were in Hobart last week - that’s stunningly beautiful (and windy!), so looking forward to seeing more of your lovely island.
  13. Rough Guide - Guess top destination for 2018

    The air probably was good there - it blows so hard sometimes it’d fill your lungs without any effort to breathe! It’s such a pretty coastline up there - totally unspoilt, huge sandy beaches. Our dog loved it. He’d run for miles! I hope he likes Melbourne beaches as much when he comes back.
  14. Rough Guide - Guess top destination for 2018

    It’s such a beautiful part of the world. I feel lucky to have been able to live there for a while.
  15. Weather in Bristol

    My daughter was in Bristol for uni and loved the city. She’s just told me that national Geographic has voted Bristol coolest city in the uk and one of the 20 coolest in the world, so depending on how cool you are, you’ll fit right in! We’re in Melbourne now and my daughter has said there are lots of things that remind her of Bristol- some of the architecture, lots of cultural things going on, a good city centre (although Bristol is obviously much smaller, it’s still well served), access to countryside and nice beaches, good food... Bristol airport seems to have a good service for domestic and international flights (daughter used to fly home with easyJet to the NE very regularly and it’s only cost £50ish, depending on time and how far in advance you book), so I’m sure you’ll be able to get to NI fairly easily. I cant help with specific schools, but have heard from various sources that they can be a bit hit and miss - some excellent, some which people try to avoid. Guess that’s the same anywhere though. It does seem to get more rain than other parts of the UK, but I think that’s true of most of the west of England- it’s wetter than the east, but it’s always a few degrees warmer than the north of England, so that’s a plus! From what you’ve written, and because you love Melbourne, I think Bristol would suit you better than Oxford or Cambridge, but it’s worth going to look at both those too. I love Cambridge, and it is probably drier than Bristol, but it doesn’t have the same vibe. It’s a little more sedate and I don’t think anyone would describe it as ‘funky’. There’s plenty going on and there are good schools, but it’s further from the coast and the countryside is much flatter- great if you’re into cycling, and the skies are huge and beautiful, but you’ll be disappointed if you like hill walking! You’ll also have to travel further for airports to get you to NI. You could probably get to Dorset in a couple of hours, but I hate driving across the country (I had/have to do Norfolk to Cheshire fairly frequently and it’s a bit of a slog). I don’t know Oxford at all, but I do know it’s expensive to buy houses and live there. Very lovely though.