GPs are first line of defence but last to know

THE live news stream was surreal: a massive black tidal wave engulfing entire towns on the north-eastern coast of Japan, sweeping away people, lives, homes and possessions.

Then the threat of a nuclear incident emerged from several of Japan’s nuclear energy plants. This was going from bad to catastrophic in a major hurry.

Surreal, too, was the Australian Prime Minister’s press conference some days later advising travellers returning from Japan that if they were concerned they had been exposed to radiation they should consult their GP.

Brilliant! I was wondering when I was going to get to crank up my trusty old Geiger counter. As we have so much collective knowledge about the acute management of low-level radiation exposure, we would be the obvious referral point. 

But, seriously – what a useless piece of advice. I asked the AMA if they had been contacted by the relevant authorities. Apparently not. No fax to the