Question Time: Compassionate Healthcare

Question Time: Compassionate Healthcare

Medical professionals and patients agree, on the whole, that our healthcare system should be compassionate and patient-focused – but whether we’re meeting our own standards is a whole other question.

In this discussion, we’ll explore the idea of compassionate healthcare, and consider whether we’re meeting the mark in Australia today. Can empathy for patients be taught to medical students, or is empathy something that can’t be taught at all? Can bureaucratic and staffing obstacles create a crueller healthcare system? How much waste is in our system, and how might money be better spent to deliver the level of care that professionals want to provide – and that patients deserve?

Join 7.30 reporter and Question Time host Madeleine Morris for a full hour of audience Q&A on the present and future of Australian healthcare. Madeleine is joined by medical oncologist Ranjana Srivastava, Lucy Cuddihy (head of nursing and midwifery at Barwon Health), and mental health advocate Kate Richards.


Portrait of Kate Richards

Kate Richards

Kate Richards is a writer of fiction, narrative nonfiction and poetry. She has a medical degree with honours and works part-time in medical research in Melbourne. Kate is the author of the critically acclaimed Madness: a memoir and the Penguin Special Is there no place for me?

Portrait of Lucy Cuddihy

Lucy Cuddihy

Lucy Cuddihy was appointed to the position of Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer at Barwon Health, Geelong, Victoria in 2005 and has an Adjunct Professorial appointment with Deakin University, School of Nursing.

She has been invited to participate in a number of expert advisory panels in the Department of Health and Human Services, is appointed to the Victorian Health Service Review Council, serves on advisory boards with Deakin University and is a member of the Board of Directors of Barwon, Child, Youth and Family Services.

Portrait of Ranjana Srivastava

Ranjana Srivastava

Ranjana Srivastava is an oncologist, Fulbright Scholar in ethics and award-winning author. Her book Dying for a Chat: The Communication Breakdown Between Doctors and Patients won the Australian Human Rights Literature Award. Her latest book is After Cancer: A Guide to Living Well.

Portrait of Madeleine Morris

Madeleine Morris

Madeleine Morris is a Melbourne-based reporter for ABC television’s 7.30. She was formerly a presenter for the BBC in London and reported from dozens of countries before returning to her native Australia. She is the author of Guilt-Free Bottle-Feeding: Why Your Formula-Fed Baby Can Grow Up To Be Happy, Healthy and Smart, published by Finch. 

Listen to Question Time: Compassionate Healthcare