Brain Tumour Survivor

A site dedicated to leading edge treatment for brain tumours
It is currently Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:40 am

All times are UTC + 10 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 106 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:37 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Surge in health fund membership

Australians have flocked to sign up for health insurance, contradicting expectations that the new means test would trigger an exodus from health funds.

Figures released today show 132,366 people took out cover in the June quarter, amid widespread publicity about heavier taxes on higher-income earners who did not take cover.

The rise takes membership numbers to a 24-year high. It is higher than at any time during the Howard government, which introduced changes in 1999 to boost health insurance.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has seized on the latest big increase to attack the ''fearmongering'' by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

"Despite the Opposition Leader's doomsday prediction that thousands would drop their cover after the government passed legislation to means-test the private health insurance rebate, the exact opposite has happened," Ms Plibersek said.

She said Mr Abbott had warned that ''about 6 million Australians will downgrade or abandon their private health insurance as a result of this means test".

The latest figures take the total number with hospital insurance to 10.58 million, representing a historical high of 46.8 per cent of the population.

One of the drivers of the big rise may have been campaigns by the Australian Taxation Office, which notified about 100,000 uninsured high-earners that they faced a 1.5 per cent Medicare levy surcharge on their incomes if they did not sign on by July 1.

Under means-testing of the private health insurance rebate, those earning $84,000 or less and couples and families earning $168,000 or less would not be affected. Individuals and families would need to be earning about $130,000 and $260,000 or more to lose the rebate entirely.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion ... 24ar3.html


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:21 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Sydney's west loses out in health lottery

A report on the state of health services across Sydney has found that the west is more poorly resourced than other parts of the city and incentives are need to attract more health professionals.

The report is being released today by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils which says the west has fewer hospital beds, more deaths from potentially avoidable causes and less medical staff than other parts of the city.

It urges the State Government to consider paying incentives for doctors to be lured to the west in line with those used to encourage doctors to relocate the rural and regional areas.

WSROC president, Alison McLaren, says such incentives could be up to $47,000 a year per doctor.

She says politics must be put aside to address the obvious divide in health care between the west and other parts of the city.

"Investment in health hasn't kept up with the increasing population and what we need now is the state and federal governments to work together to come up with a solution that the blame game needs to stop."

"This isn't about politics, this is about people's lives and so we need to see an increased investment from both state and federal governments into both GPs and into hospitals," Ms McLaren said.

The State Opposition says the findings of the WSROC report are not surprising.

The Opposition's health spokesman, Dr Andrew McDonald, says the State Government has a responsibility to put more money into the west.

"If you go to see a doctor in emergency, about one in 10 will not even be able to see a doctor, the shortages are so severe that many people are delaying care because they know that if they go to the emergency department, they won't be able to be seen," Dr McDonald said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-19/s ... ry/4208302


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:41 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
More indigenous medical students create milestone

THE number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students has increased dramatically in the past decade and now matches the ratio of indigenous to non-indigenous people in Australia for the first time.

Last year, 80 of Australia's 3241 domestic first year medical students were indigenous - 2.5 per cent, up from 0.8 per cent in 2004.

The milestone is being celebrated by medical deans and the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association because 2.5 per cent of Australia's population is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

''This is a huge step forward,'' said the president of the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association, Peter O'Mara.

However, Associate Professor O'Mara - a Wiradjuri man, GP and Aboriginal health specialist - said the biggest task was getting students through their medical degrees because about 30 per cent of indigenous students had not completed the course in the past compared with about 2 per cent of other students.

Family and cultural commitments, financial difficulties and, in some cases, racism contributed to the high attrition rate, he said.

A new agreement being signed today between the association and the Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand aimed to monitor and support these students more so they could graduate and become successful doctors, he said.

The agreement comes after a report, published this year by the Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand, found a huge variation in how well universities were teaching indigenous health and recruiting and retaining indigenous students.

While all universities were teaching some indigenous health, the report said about 66 per cent of indigenous medical students had experienced racism and discrimination from other students, residents, professors or physicians during their course, with 64 per cent feeling inadequately supported.

Associate Professor O'Mara said he hoped the new agreement would help better educate all medical students about indigenous people, including their history and special needs, so they can help close the gap in health outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

While indigenous people generally felt more comfortable with indigenous doctors, there were only about 160 of them, making up 0.2 per cent of the total medical workforce, he said.

''To get parity, we need another 1200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors,'' he said.

A fourth year medical student, Dana Slape, a Larrakia woman, said she was thrilled about the recent milestone because it showed universities were getting better at recruiting indigenous students. Having been told during high school that she was unlikely to get into medicine, Ms Slape, 28, said it was important for young indigenous people to see people overcoming hurdles to achieve their goals.

''Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have just as much ability and right to become doctors as everyone else,'' said Ms Slape, who mentors younger indigenous students at the University of Western Sydney.

''We're aware that as we grow our numbers of doctors, lawyers and teachers, more kids will be inspired to do the same.''

http://www.smh.com.au/national/more-ind ... z247KD2m6F


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:14 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Bill Shorten holds the line on parenting payments

EMPLOYMENT Minister Bill Shorten has vowed to press on with legislation that will force 100,000 single mothers off parenting payments and on to the dole, despite a Senate report dominated by Labor MPs suggesting it be delayed indefinitely.

Mr Shorten has not been specific about when the change will go ahead, despite the fact the budget measure is meant to start next year. The federal government wants single parents moved to the Newstart allowance when their youngest child turns eight. The changes will cost single parents as much as $223 a fortnight, saving the government $728 million over four years.

A spokesman for Mr Shorten said: "We have received the report and will consider what the committee has to say but we remain determined to implement the caucus and government decision." The Senate committee has asked the Gillard government to delay the measure indefinitely.

The committee has recommended the Senate defer consideration of the bill until the parliamentary joint committee on human rights has concluded its inquiry and the committee's report has been considered. "The committee notes, but is not convinced by, the department's assertion that this measure is fair and would promote workforce participation," the report says.

Victorian Labor senator Gavin Marshall chaired the committee and led the move to put off the bill until other issues were resolved.

The Australian's revelation in June of the financial hit single mothers faced from the change sparked unrest on Labor's backbench and led to the human rights committee being asked to consider the radical welfare changes in a human rights framework.

The Senate committee also recommended the government consider deferring Schedule 1 of the bill until the Senate education, employment and workplace relations references committee completed its inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart Allowance and other payments.

Greens senator Rachel Siewert said: "There was strong evidence ... that moving recipients off Parenting Payment (single) to the Newstart Allowance would further harm already-struggling families. This evidence also suggested this approach would not deliver the intended goal of helping people into work, and the committee remains unconvinced by departmental claims that the measure would promote workforce participation."

Coalition senators wrote that measures to increase workforce participation were a good thing for individuals and the country.

The Australian Council of Social Service said a delay would give families needed "breathing space".

National Welfare Rights Network president Maree O'Halloran said: "This isn't welfare-to-work; it's welfare-to-poverty.

"Australia's 122,000 single parents and their children deserve a lot better."

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nationa ... 6457024412


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:24 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Service workers back NSW drink regulations

MEASURES to restrict the sale of alcohol and trading hours for licensed venues must be adopted across NSW, a group of emergency service workers says.

The Last Drinks coalition, comprised of nurses, doctors, police and paramedics, wants the government to adopt all 10 points from the plan developed by the Foundation of Alcohol Research and Education (FARE.

The FARE plan advocates 1am lockouts, risk-based licensing fees, improved late-night public transport, an end to happy hours and more community consultation before licences are approved.

It also calls for new licences to run no later than midnight.

"The Kings Cross measures are a big step in the right direction, but if they're to have a serious impact they'll have to be the first of a number of measures announced by the government," Australian Medical Association NSW vice-president and Last Drinks member Dr Saxon Smith said.

"It's great that action is being taken in Kings Cross, but it would be a real missed opportunity if measures weren't introduced elsewhere in the state too."

The plan will be handed to Premier Barry O'Farrell on Saturday and FARE chief executive Michael Thorn has called on the government to heed the advice of alcohol policy experts.

"FARE's 10-point plan to reduce alcohol harms in NSW represents a complete solution for the people and communities of NSW, and I stand ready and willing to offer FARE's assistance to the premier," Mr Thorn said in a statement.

Mr Thorn said the community was demanding action be taken to decrease the instances of alcohol-related trouble, with 80 per cent of people believing Australia has a drinking problem and 77 per cent thinking more must be done.

"Now is the time for the premier to implement positive alcohol policy reforms that would address the concerns of the wider community," Mr Thorn said.

The Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA), a lobby group for spirit manufacturers, believes FARE is cynically using tragic incidents to push its agenda.

"FARE's 10-point plan sadly appears to exploit the acknowledged problems of Kings Cross and the tragic death of Thomas Kelly to pressure the NSW government into sweeping bans and new regulations across the state," DSICA spokesman Stephen Riden said.

He said preventing the sale of one type of alcohol after 10pm will not solve alcohol-related problems.

"A ban on one type of alcohol will see drinkers respond by switching to other types.

"Have these well-meaning but misguided people (FARE) given any thought to beer and wine or do these products suddenly become alcohol-free after 10pm?"

Mr Riden argued the plan to ban shots, doubles and pre-mixed drinks after 10pm had no logic behind it.

"If you really want to stop violence in Kings Cross, you'd start by understanding that alcohol is alcohol, irrespective of how it is made."

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaki ... 6457867923


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:40 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Canberra admits PCEHR delays

THE Gillard government has confirmed that key components of the personally controlled e-health records program missed the crucial June 30 deadline, but says the entire system has now been "implemented".

Some items have yet to be properly tested, which means complete rollout will take a few more months.

The opt-in PCEHR scheme allows consumers to enter personal information, medical history and medication details. They can choose which healthcare organisations can see and edit their record, and view a log of those who have accessed and added information to the record.

One of the biggest benefits of the system is that consumers can share their health information with healthcare professionals from a central online system.

Although the program's national infrastructure partner, Accenture, missed the deadline to provide a working solution for a slew of offerings, the Department of Health and Ageing refused to say if the company would be penalised.

The department declined to respond when asked whether the Accenture contract provided for any damages or penalties -- other than delays in payment -- for missing deadlines.

Accenture project documents prepared more than a year ago state that the PCEHR program would go live in three stages: release "0" for a demonstration model, release "1a" for software vendor testing and release "1b" the full system.

Release 0 should have been ready by September last year, release 1a by February and release 1b by the end of June, the documents sighted by The Australian say.

But when the PCEHR system launched on July 1 only a "vanilla" or light version of the consumer portal was available.

It is understood that some staff at Accenture and the National E-Health Authority, which is overseeing the project, are concerned and frustrated at the implementation process.

For example, integration to Medicare for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Medicare Benefits Schedule, Australian Childhood Immunisation Register and Organ Donor Register should have been completed and ready to go by July 1.

A Health spokeswoman confirmed that "migration" of the records was done in mid-August.

The PCEHR audit log is another case in point.

When it was made available, the end result was a mishmash of numbers that looked more like computer language than anything readable.

According to the Health spokeswoman, the "national infrastructure as implemented is complete and live and has been signed off for clinical safety, and was implemented with no critical or high severity system errors or defects".

"There are no outstanding critical or high severity defects from any previous releases."

The Australian previously reported that the PCEHR system was pushed live without a proper backup system and with more than 60 unresolved high-severity and critical bugs. Also, Accenture failed to detect a hacking incident for several months while the system was being developed.

Health has vehemently denied both incidents.

The spokeswoman said the final components of the project included healthcare provider PCEHR registration, the healthcare provider portal, which would allow view access of relevant patient e-health records including information entered by patients, as well as MBS and PBS claim information, immunisation records, and Organ Donor Registration details.

While the components that will allow GP software to upload and view e-health records had been implemented, more testing was required.

"There are several software vendors currently testing their products, and it's expected that the eHealth-conformant software will be in the hands of GPs progressively from this point onwards," the spokeswoman said.

"It's expected that the eHealth-conformant GP software will undergo some limited usability and confidence testing before being made broadly available."

She said the migration of Immunisation records and Organ Donor Registration for consenting consumers was completed on August 19. The Migration of MBS and PBS claim information commenced the same day and would have been completed in a few days.

"In the meantime, people who have registered for a PCEHR and consented to have their MBS and PBS information provided to the PCEHR will progressively get access to these records as a part of the national e-health system."

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/austral ... 6459290184


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:45 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
A life-saving flu machine needed outside of Brisbane

A LEADING Queensland intensive care specialist believes more lives could be saved from heart disease and life-threatening infections such as the flu if retrieval aircraft were fitted out with heart-lung bypass machines.

Marc Ziegenfuss, The Prince Charles Hospital's Adult Intensive Care Unit director, has been pushing for State Government funds for more than two years to integrate the machines and trained staff into Queensland's rescue aircraft.

He said he had come close to losing patients during retrievals from regional areas to Brisbane because they required access to the life-saving equipment, which was not available outside the capital.

"A lot of Queensland's wealth is generated by people working in remote areas, and they deserve equity of access to advanced medical intervention," he said.

"This sort of support would be widely welcomed by rural and regional medical practitioners, who do an excellent job with their limited resources, but cannot offer the therapies available in metropolitan centres.

"It can be very distressing losing a patient knowing he could be saved by technology available in Brisbane."

The $25,000 machines, known as ECMOs, for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, have become life-saving equipment during the flu season.

They were first introduced into Queensland in 2009 amid the swine flu pandemic.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said Queensland had agreements with NSW to retrieve adults needing to be transported with ECMO support, and with Victoria for the transfer of children requiring ECMO, as needed.

Three previously fit and healthy Queenslanders have died in as many weeks after contracting the flu, including a 16-year-old boy, a man in his 50s, and Sunshine Coast mother of four Katrina Day.

Mrs Day spent more than a month on an ECMO machine in Brisbane's Prince Charles Hospital before dying on Sunday night.

Her husband of 14 years, Nick, has vowed to raise money to buy more of the machines in the hope of preventing other families experiencing a similar loss.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/nati ... 6460242129


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:49 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Truth of federal government's $4bn dental boost like pulling teeth

THE landmark $4.1 billion dental package announced yesterday to fix up the nation's teeth will save taxpayers about $1.5bn over the next two years, thanks to large savings from the axeing of two existing dental care programs.

The agreement by the Greens to back the Gillard government's new scheme, which includes $2.7bn over six years to give free or subsidised dental care to 3.4 million children, means the federal government can finally close the Howard-era Chronic Disease Dental Scheme, which is costing taxpayers nearly $1bn annually.

The new scheme will also pump $1.3bn into state-run public dental clinics to fund 1.4 million dental services for low-income adults, while $225 million will also be spent on improving facilities and boosting the dental workforce.

But the announcement was overshadowed by confusion in the government's ranks as to whether the new programs were a spending or a saving measure, with even Julia Gillard appearing at odds with Health Minister Tanya Plibersek on the issue.

Ms Plibersek insisted the commitment was for new money, and "yes, we will have to find savings".

"We found over $30bn of savings in the last budget and we will have to find savings to pay for this scheme, just as we have had to find savings to pay for all our other investments," Ms Plibersek said.

At the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands, the Prime Minister said the "announcement today is about a large saving", after being asked if it was "irresponsible" to make a $4bn pledge without saying where the money was coming from.

"That is through the closure of a scheme designed by the former government, by the Howard government," Ms Gillard said. "Indeed the Leader of the Opposition was personally involved in its design and it's been the subject of economic blowouts and it's also been the subject of lack of fairness.

"It's a scheme in which, literally, some millionaires are able to benefit whilst a teenager from a poor family can't get a filling for their tooth. In those circumstances, that scheme is being replaced by a better and more cost-effective set of arrangements."

Ms Plibersek's office later stated that despite being described as a $4.2 billion program over six years, most of the new money would not begin flowing until 2014. In addition, the axeing of the CDDS could not be counted as a budget saving because the scheme had not been factored into the budget since 2007-08, due to the government's intentions to axe it, meaning the government had been finding the money to pay for it on a quarterly basis ever since.

Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton seized on the mixed messages on the finances of the new arrangements.

"Labor can't even get their lines right; how will they deliver a dental scheme?" Mr Dutton said.

Under the new arrangements, children aged from two to 17 in families that qualify for Family Tax Benefit Part A will be entitled to $1000 worth of treatment every two years, either from a private dentist or a public clinic, to cover basic services such as check-ups, cleaning and fillings.

In a second phase of the package, which will come on stream six months later, in July 2014, $1.3bn will be pumped into state-run public dental clinics to provide an extra 1.4 million services for low-income adults.

The cost to taxpayers will drop between now and mid-2014 because the new programs replace the Medicare-based CDDS, which the government claims has been hit by widespread rorting.

The new programs will also replace Labor's own Teen Dental scheme, which cost $65m in 2011-12 but has consistently failed to hit its targets because it funds only check-ups and not the treatments found to be needed.

Yesterday's announcement prompted praise from health and dental organisations, including the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance, the Australian Dental Association, the Australian Medical Association, the Public Health Association of Australia and the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association. Australian Health Care Reform Alliance chairman Tony McBride said low-income Australians could currently wait up to three years to get treatment and the new measures would address "one of the Cinderella areas of health".

But dental campaigner Hans Zoellner, chairman of the Association for the Promotion of Oral Health, slammed it, saying few children needed enough dental treatment to get near the $500-a-year cap. On the other hand, the few children with more serious problems would be disadvantaged by the new cap, while many would have been covered by the much higher $4250 limit available through the CDDS.

"Government statements that the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme was widely rorted are not supportable on the available data," Professor Zoellner said.

He said spending per patient had dropped to $1171 a year last year from a high of $2202 in the first year of operation.

"When the minister says there are 1000 complaints of rorting, this must be seen in context of two million courses of care ... This is evidence for high success, and not rorting," he said. "The increased funding for public dental services will make only modest difference because all past experience is that the public system will not be able to attract additional dental workforce."

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nationa ... 6461149159


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:44 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Universities and aged-care facilities to transform into 'practical learning centres'

THE Federal Government has revealed plans to build a mega workforce of aged-care professionals.

And, it says, one in 20 working Australians will be required to tend to the country's ageing population in future years.

Minister for Ageing Mark Butler will today award $8.25 million in 16 grants to transform universities and aged-care facilities into "practical learning centres" as the ballooning sector cries out for more workers.

He said the money would bring research, training and real-world scenarios together for students and follows a successful pilot scheme in Tasmania.

"By 2050 we expect more than one in 20 working Australians will be an aged-care worker," Mr Butler said.

"This means we need more than half a million new workers and we want the best possible learning environment for this wave of students."

The 16 projects to receive funds under the Teaching and Research Aged Care Services initiative cover a range of disciplines, including nursing, psychology, medicine, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and is specifically for those who will work with the elderly.

"It is critical that as the population ages, we ensure we have a highly skilled workforce and that the career path is attractive to the younger generations who are considering a future in the aged care industry," Mr Butler said.

The Government will also give $6 million to eight organisations focused on improving residential and community aged care with education and training.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sout ... 6464286080


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:20 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
'Shocking' malnutrition in Afghan children despite millions in aid

KANDAHAR: About a third of young children in southern Afghanistan are acutely malnourished, with a level of deprivation similar to that found in famine zones, a government survey has found, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid that has been poured into the region.

The worst affected area identified by the United Nations-backed survey was the southern region, centred around Kandahar and Helmand. The report found about a million Afghans under five were acutely malnourished.

''What's shocking is that this is really very high by global standards,'' said Michael Keating, the deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan. ''This is the kind of malnutrition you associate with Africa and some of the most deprived parts of the world, not with an area that has received so much international attention and assistance.''

The Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey found 29.5 per cent of children are suffering from acute malnutrition. A level of more than 30 per cent among young children is considered a sign of a famine, although under UN guidelines, child malnutrition is just one of several criteria used to decide if an area is suffering a famine.

Southern Afghanistan has adequate food supplies, experts say, but a serious problem with nutrition. Some families are too poor to buy supplies while others have little education about how to nourish their children; common illnesses like diarrhoea also sap children's strength.

A major problem is attitudes to breast feeding, according to a UN nutrition specialist, Elham Monsef. Women are often told breast milk is not good enough or find it hard to nurse, so infants are given everything from tea and water to formula milk that is over-diluted or made with dirty water.

Basic health measures common in most developing countries, such as enriching flour and putting iodine in salt to ensure healthy brain development, are not universal in Afghanistan.

On a paediatric ward at Mirwais hospital in Kandahar city, children admitted for therapeutic feeding were visibly wasted, with saggy skin, protruding bones and no energy; at least one had the disease kwashiorkor, caused by lack of protein.

On a recent visit, the hospital was packed with desperate mothers such as Fatima, who had travelled from the violent Helmand district of Sangin to seek help for her 18-month-old son, Saddam. At 4.4 kilograms, he weighed the same as some newborns in Britain, and lay listlessly on a greying bedsheet he shared with another patient, his older sister and three women.

Poverty has left Fatima helpless in the face of her son's suffering. ''I cannot produce mother's milk, but we are not able to buy food or powdered milk. My youngest child died from this.''

Aid workers admit that evidence of an extreme crisis caught them by surprise. ''The numbers are just too serious to ignore,'' said Aidan O'Leary, the head of the UN office that co-ordinates the humanitarian response to crises in Afghanistan. ''It's very clear that the nutrition response as a whole has to be ramped up.'

The last such survey was conducted in 2004 and although the conflict has since escalated, there has also been an increase in aid. USAID has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into southern Afghanistan. Britain earmarked tens of millions more for development work in Helmand.

The UN and aid groups are racing to gather more details on the scale of the problem.

In a sign of how severe the problem is, experts warn the crowded wards tackling malnutrition in provincial centres help only a tiny portion of families affected. ''Our focus is on the acute cases, but we need to do more community outreach to prevent it,'' said Vidhya Ganesh, the deputy head of Unicef in Afghanistan. ''The major challenge for us is that therapeutic feeding [in hospital] presents only the tip of the problem.''

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nationa ... z25cnIu48e


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:17 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Painful dash to dentists as scheme ends

FEDERAL Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has raised concerns of an eleventh hour "patient rush" to register for the controversial Chronic Disease Disability Scheme.

The Minister said patients were urged to sign up after health organisations encouraged enrolments before registration closed last night.

When Ms Plibersek announced the CDDS would be dropped, the Australian Dental Association and Association for the Promotion of Oral Health rallied against the move.

One medical chain, Primary Dental who also run the hotline 1800bulkbill, published advertisements in major newspapers (including The Sunday Telegraph) urging patients to sign up to the scheme before it is closed on November 30.

"Do you have diabetes, a heart or lung condition, complex medical needs ... You may be eligible for bulk billed dental care under Medicare before it ends," the advertisement said. "See your GP before 8 September 2012."

Ms Plibersek said any push to get patients to sign up was concerning.

"I am concerned firstly that people might be encouraged to use the scheme inappropriately," Ms Plibersek said.

"Secondly, dentists should inform their patients they might face significant out-of-pocket costs if their treatment isn't completed by the time the scheme closes."

The CDDS works through GP referral. Once referred from a doctor, a patient can access up to $4250 in Medicare benefits for dental services over two years.

From today, no new patients are allowed to register for the CDDS. But any existing patient registered for the CDDS can continue to receive treatment covered by Medicare until November 30.

"It would be unlawful for someone to access the scheme if they didn't comply with its requirements," Ms Plibersek warned.

But a spokeswoman for Primary Dental said they were actively encouraging eligible patients to sign up last week.

"People who are eligible for the CDDS have particular healthcare needs like diabetes and heart disease and other chronic diseases," she said.

"It is really important they get their GP plan in, and then they can be treated until the end of November."

The Australian Dental Association said many patients currently registered on the CDDS will be unable to complete their treatment plans before the November 30 closure.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/nation ... 6467994230


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:37 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Labor vows $63m Calvary rebirth

ACT Labor has promised a total of 69 new beds for Calvary Hospital and a boost to birthing services for the Belconnen health service.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said yesterday that, if re-elected next month, her government would spend about $63 million over four years on 64 new beds for Calvary, a new two-bed birthing centre and boosted capabilities for the hospital's emergency department.

The announcement was accompanied by a public show of unity with Calvary's private owners, with whom the ACT government has had a sometimes frosty relationship in recent years.

Yesterday's pledge included hiring 13 doctors, 99 nurses, and 12 allied health workers to service the new wards, beds and birthing suites.

Labor is promising a new medical Rapid Assessment and Planning Unit of eight beds in the emergency department, for people who present at the emergency department with complex conditions.

The hospital's psychiatric services for elderly patients will also be expanded by five beds, Ms Gallagher said.

The Chief Minister said that the two new birthing suites, to be installed in unused space at Calvary, would give about 200 northside women each year an opportunity to use the ''midwife-led'' model of care, currently only available at the Canberra Hospital in Woden.

''In terms of maternity services, a big driver on the northside of Canberra, is creating a birth centre environment here at Calvary Hospital,'' the Chief Minister said.

''We know it's what women love, we've expanded it at Canberra from three to five suites and this is about creating that environment here.

''Half of the births at Canberra Hospital's birth centre are from women north of the lake, so we know there is demand there.''

The policies were endorsed by Calvary's owners, the Little Company of Mary Healthcare, this morning with the group's chairman John Watkins praising the initiatives.

''We're most pleased with this announcement today, this commitment to the people of north Canberra,'' he said. ''We're particularly excited about the maternity model, I think the midwifery-led model is going to be embraced by the families and the women of north Canberra.''

Canberra Liberals' health spokesman Jeremy Hanson said his party supported an expanded Calvary Hospital but said he did not believe that Labor could deliver on its promises.

''The Canberra Liberals support the need to expand the capacity of our health system, including Calvary Hospital, and have recently announced a $7 billion health policy that includes a new sub-acute hospital, and urgent care clinics in the suburbs,'' Mr Hanson said. ''We will look at the details of Labor's announcement, but given the recent three-year acrimonious battle between Labor and Calvary, and Labor's ongoing failures in health, it is unlikely they will deliver on their promises.''

But the ACT Greens said yesterday that they were not happy with the birthing suite plans, with health spokeswoman Amanda Bresnan saying her party wanted a ''stand-alone'' birthing centre in the city's north.

''Last week the ACT Greens announced a commitment to a feasibility study for a stand-alone birth centre led by midwives at the new University of Canberra sub-acute hospital,'' Ms Bresnan said.

''The birth centre at the Canberra Hospital isn't meeting demand, with around 400 women a year unable to use this service.''

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-new ... z26BwsWtrU


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:28 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Newman Government rips up hospital pyjamas funding

YES, we have no pyjamas. Queensland Health is saying goodnight to free bedclothes for hospital patients in the state's southeast.

The Government has ruled the constant laundering and supply of 1.4 million patient PJs each year too costly.

It says stocking 10 different sizes is a logistical nightmare and too often thousands walk out the hospital door with patients as they leave.

The state hopes to save $1 million a year by forcing patients to supply and wash their own sleepwear.

But tie-at-the-back theatre gowns are safe and will be offered to patients who arrive without their own pyjamas.

Staff at Cairns Base Hospital were highly unimpressed about a pyjama shortage last July, unleashing a storm of criticism when officials failed to replenish stocks for a month.

Together union lead organiser Tristan Douglas predicted similar outrage at a full ban, which he feared would disadvantage the elderly, poor and those without nearby family or friends to deliver clothes.

"You can't exactly stop an ambulance and say 'hold on, I need to pack a bag'," he said. "A lot of these pyjamas have to be destroyed afterwards, so it's an extra cost to people."

A spokesman for Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said Queensland Health was catching up to other Australian states, saying some hospitals in regional areas had already put state-funded pyjamas to bed.

In the southeast corner, Queensland Health's Group Linen Services will continue to supply items such as sheets and towels but some of its 355 employees may face redundancies as the pyjama workload disappears.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/nation ... 6472974830


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:43 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
NSW Health told to find $3bn in savings

The New South Wales Health Minister has directed the state's health department to make more than $3 billion in savings.

Jillian Skinner has confirmed local health districts will be required to find $775 million dollars in staff savings under a "labour expense cap".

A further $2.2 billion will be cut from the health bureaucracy over the next four years.

Ms Skinner denies the measures amount to budget cuts, saying the savings will be redirected into frontline health services.

"(We are) moving money from inefficient, less efficient ways of treating patients down to the front line so that, for example, this year we'll be treating 50,000 extra emergency department patients, 30,000 extra in-patients and we're doing 2,000 extra elective surgeries," she said.

"Not relying on locum doctors, that costs millions of dollars a year, not relying on agency nurses, putting on permanent staff."

Ms Skinner says the measures will stretch the health budget further.

"We've downsized the head office of the health department so that the Ministry of Health is now the smallest health head office in Australia," she said.

"We've abolished the middle layer of bureaucrats and pushed them down to the frontline so that they can help deliver these improved patient services."

Labor is concerned the O'Farrell Government will not be able to quarantine frontline health jobs.

Opposition leader John Robertson is sceptical of the health minister's claims the cuts will be redirected.

"Slashing $3 billion from New South Wales hospitals is going to mean fewer beds, longer waiting times and compromised patient care," he said.

"No one could have anticipated a $3 billion cut to health funding from Barry O'Farrell based on what he's told voters before the election."

General Secretary of the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association Brett Holmes says the cuts will impact on patient care.

"A lot of talk about re-directing money from backroom services to frontline services is all spin," he said.

"When you take $3 billion out then you have to say some level of services must be cut.

"This will have an impact on the ability to deliver services to patients in New South Wales."

The announcement comes just days after the State Government announced a $1.7 billion cut to the education budget.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-14/2 ... ection=nsw


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:20 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
When AMA talks, seek a second opinion

As a member of the Australian Medical Association, I am concerned the peak doctors' body is using its prestige to advocate the arguably short-sighted, intolerant and elitist agenda of a small but highly active group within its ranks.

Like a dependable but eccentric uncle, the AMA has its foibles, which people have come to accept (such as its Mafia-like protection racket of healthcare provision). Nonetheless, the community defers to the AMA, believing it represents impartial health-related information without ideological intrusion.

If only. Its latest foray into public policy comes out of a group-think summit held in Canberra for like-minded academics (industry dissenting voices were also absent), which produced its standard public health imperative: something must be banned. This time it was alcohol, for people under 25. (Presumably a group of 24-year-olds having a beer at a barbecue would be raided by police and jailed.)

While it's reasonable to discuss the drinking age, did you notice AMA president Steve Hambleton's disingenuous appeal to medicine and even neuroscience by claiming that the brain doesn't fully mature until 25? We might peak at 25, but an average 10-year-old's brain can process that you don't get drunk and beat someone's lights out because they looked at your girlfriend.

Accompanied by the usual tirades against the evils of Big Alcohol, this latest communique is typical of the AMA's public health advocacy. Without tolerating dissent, its core assumption is that "humans are far from rational''. This occurs in a vacuum of any understanding that freedom comes with personal responsibility.

This agenda also infects the association's indigenous advocacy. There is an immense number of indicators of a severe entrenched cultural malaise among the Aboriginal community, including crime rates, violence, alcoholism, unemployment, lack of representation in the professions, health status, domestic violence and lack of home ownership. Yet, in the AMA's policy approach, these are externalised and ascribed exclusively to non-Aboriginal society, for which the remedy is more money, more affirmative action and more "Aboriginal solutions". Unless rank and file doctors start to speak out against some of the cult-like, almost superstitious, indigenous policy emanating from the AMA, we will be damning another generation of indigenous people to intolerable serfdom.

At a recent function attended by many federal parliamentarians, Dr Hambleton also dragged the association into the heated debate over refugee policy; giving the questionable impression to our leaders that the AMA's ideological position is both representative of the membership and based on a health imperative.

Demonstrating the intolerance of the politically correct elite, he labelled most MPs and many of his professional colleagues as "inhumane".

The concepts of health and mental health are often used as political trump cards. But the reality is that short of severe mental illness, the interaction between negative life experience and what is conceptualised as mental illness, is extraordinarily complex.

Such simplistic statements are an affront to rational thinkers, but there is a more pragmatic reason for policy leaders to meet the AMA's lobbying with skepticism.

Dr Hambleton called for the "urgent establishment of a truly independent expert medical panel to oversee the quality of health services" to asylum seekers. He generously offered "to provide suitably qualified doctors to serve on the panel." Perhaps doctors with the "right" ideological views would be preferred?

I'm sure Sir Humphrey Appleby would blush with pride to see the entry into such a contentious political firestorm as refugee policy of a small but highly opinionated group of doctors, who might be perceived by the general public as the impartial and inevitable voice of "evidence-based" assessment and treatment.

I don't support the universal application of detention and offshore processing. But the over-simplified, reductionist solutions being offered by the leadership of the AMA are so "yesterday". Doctors deserve better, as does the community.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/ ... z272V7EmDB


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 106 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

All times are UTC + 10 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.176s | 15 Queries | GZIP : Off ]