21 March 2011
Welcome to this week's edition of Health Alert. The Health Alert is transmitted on Monday of each week (unless there is a public holiday on Monday).
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The DLA Phillips Fox Health Team
Family Court of Australia
This Family Court of Australia decision concerned an application by parents of a prematurely born baby to be authorised to consent to an operation to remove and not replace an endotracheal tube from the baby's airway, and to consent to the administration of palliative care if the baby then experienced pain, respitory distress or collapse.
The baby was suspected to have suffered some brain damage and the parents sought to have the tube removed to ascertain whether there remained any significant obstruction of the baby's airway. The case was controversial because it was unknown whether the baby would respond to removal of the tube by breathing on her own, or of suffering respitory collapse.
The court considered that this was a "special case" and that ultimately court authorisation of the procedure and subsequent treatment was required. The court followed the evidence of various doctors, the Clinical Ethics Committee and the baby's parents that it was in the best interests of the child to remove the tube. It granted the application to authorise the parents to consent to the removal of the tube, and the administration of palliative care if needed.
Australia. Department of Health & Ageing
- 18 March 2011- Opal Fuel Campaign to Focus on Boat Owners in Kakadu -Top End fishermen at the Kakadu Klash fishing competition are likely to be talking about the increasing use of low aromatic Opal fuel in boats as the rollout of Opal continues throughout Kakadu National Park.
- 18 March 2011- Postgraduate Scholarships for Aged Care Nurses-Around 130 scholarships are available for postgraduate or continuing education relating to care of older people.
- 17 March 2011- 182 GP Training Places for Queensland-182 new GPs will begin training in Queensland this year as the Australian Government continues to deliver national health reform benefits, helping Queenslanders to see and contact a doctor when they need to.
- 17 March 2011- 50 Bed Boost for Logan Hospital Redevelopment: National Health Reform Delivering-The upgrade of Logan Hospital has been given a shot in the arm with a boost of $175 million in new funding from the Australian Government to deliver 50 new beds and a new emergency department building.
- 17 March 2011- Better Help for Health Professionals Means Better Help for Treating Mental Health Problems-Health professionals will have access to new clinical practice guidelines to help them identify and treat mental health problems following National Health and Medical Research Council's approval of guidelines developed by beyondblue: the national depression initiative.
- 17 March 2011- Ipswich Health Workers Praised for Flood Disaster Response-Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon today toured the Ipswich GP Super Clinic and praised the local community for digging in and providing a helping hand during the recent flood crisis.
- 17 March 2011- QEII Emergency Department to Double in Size-The upgrade of Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee (QEII) Hospital has been given a significant boost with an additional $68.5 million in funding from the Australian Government including a doubling of the size of the emergency department.
- 16 March 2011- 81 Extra GPs for WA as Part of National Health Reform-Eighty-one new GPs will begin training in Western Australia this year as the Australian Government continues to deliver national health reform benefits, helping more West Australians to see a doctor closer to home.
- 16 March 2011- Delivering World Class Rehabilitation and Better Health Services for WA-The Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, has inspected work on the construction of Western Australia's new State Rehabilitation Centre at Murdoch alongside Member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke MP.
- 15 March 2011- 'Swap it Don't Stop it'-The Australian Government has launched its 'Swap it don't stop it' campaign – a call to make easy, small, healthier lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of illness and disease.
- 15 March 2011- More Australians Access Mental Health Care-Record numbers of Australians are receiving mental health treatment according to an evaluation released on 15 March, however there are still some groups who are not accessing the services they need.
- 11 March 2011- Commonwealth Funds Major Upgrade for Port Macquarie Base Hospital-The Australian Government has announced a huge boost to health services in Port Macquarie and the Mid North Coast by committing $96 million in a major upgrade of the Port Macquarie Base Hospital.
- 11 March 2011- Minister Congratulates Improved Access to Mental Health Hotlines-Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler has congratulated Vodafone Hutchinson Australia's decision to abolish call charges to a number of front line national suicide prevention hotlines - including Kids Helpline and Lifeline.
The new approach to aged care complaints: A Department and industry dialogue - The 20th annual Tri-State Conference was held in Albury from 27 February to 1 March 2011, bringing together aged care professionals from NSW, Victoria and South Australia. First Assistant Secretary for the Office of Aged Care Quality and Compliance, Iain Scott, and Assistant Secretary for the Aged Care Complaints Scheme, Lucelle Veneros, addressed the sector on the topic "The new approach to aged care complaints: a Department and industry dialogue".
Australian Institute of Health & Welfare
Cardiovascular disease: Australian facts 2011 - 17 March 2011
Australia's public sector medical indemnity claims 2007-08 - 11 March 2011
Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration
Australian Public Assessment Report (AusPAR) for prescription medicines (updated) - Immunoglobulin – normal (human) - Telmisartan/Amlodipine
Australian National Council on Drugs
Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council
Better help for health professionals means better help for treating mental health problems - 18 March 2011 - Health professionals will have access to new clinical practice guidelines to help them identify and treat mental health problems following National Health and Medical Research Council's approval of guidelines developed by beyondblue: the national depression initiative.. View Media Release
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
Court finds allergy treatment claims misleading - The Federal Court has found three companies and two individuals made false claims and misled cons...Issued: 11th March 2011 Release # NR 047/11
Australian Capital Territory. Department of Health
- Workplace Health Promotion funding round open Katy Gallagher, MLA March 17 2011
- More elective surgery, busy emergency department and Walk-In Centre success in quarterly health report Katy Gallagher, MLA March 17 2011
- ACT Government Secures AAA Credit Rating Katy Gallagher, MLA March 16 2011
- Plans unveiled for new community health centres in Gungahlin and Belconnen Katy Gallagher, MLA March 11 2011
Bats warning (18 March 2011) - ACT Health has received feedback in recent weeks from people bitten or scratched by bats.
Health Services Performance Report (17 March 2011) - See the latest quarterly report on the performance of the public health services provided by ACT Health.
Slimming Products Health Warning (12 March 2011) - Canberrans should avoid consuming plant seeds marketed as slimming products under the labels 'The Latin Seed.'
New South Wales. Department of Health
- Health Care Worker Diagnosed with Tuberculosis [16 March 2011]
- Visiting Medical Officers - Remuneration PD2011_019 16/03/2011
- Bullying - Prevention and Management of Workplace Bullying in NSW Health PD2011_018 15/03/2011
- Pension Based - Scale of Fees IB2011_014 17/03/2011
- Fees under the Public Health Act 1991 IB2011_015 17/03/2011
- Fees Payable to Lecturers in Respect of In-Service Courses IB2011_013 16/03/2011
- Best Practice Prescribing of Aminoglycosides IB2011_012 15/03/2011
Northern Territory. Department of Health & Families
- Fond farewell to Territory's Principal Nursing & Midwifery Adviser - Department of Health Chief Executive Jeff Moffet has announced that the Northern Territory's Principal Nursing and Midwifery Adviser, Dr Greg Rickard, will step down from his position on 18 March 2011 after eight years with the Department.
- Hand-foot-and-mouth disease circulating in the community - The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has issued advice to parents about the viral infection known as "hand-foot-and-mouth disease" that is currently circulating in children in Darwin and other Territory centres.
- Mosquito virus warning for Barkly region - The detection of Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV) / Kunjin virus (KUNV) in the combined NT Health and Department of Resources Primary Industry laboratories program of sentinel chickens in the Barkly region, gives early notice of the presence of these mosquito borne viruses in the region and has prompted a public alert from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
- Kon Vatskalis - Territory Teeth To Get 'Makeover' - A first of its kind four-year strategy for improving the oral health of Territorians was launched today by Health Minister Kon Vatskalis.
- Interruption to MRI service at Royal Darwin Hospital - The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine owned and operated by Northern Territory Medical Imaging (NTMI) at Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH), has been accidentally damaged by water leakage.
Queensland. Department of Health
- 17/03/2011 50 BED BOOST FOR LOGAN HOSPITAL REDEVELOPMENT: NATIONAL HEALTH REFORM DELIVERING
- 17/03/2011 QEII EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT TO DOUBLE IN SIZE
- 14/03/2011 Premier pledges $3 million for Toowoomba Cancer accommodation
- 11/03/2011 HEALTH MINISTER THANKS STAFF FOR TREMENDOUS EFFORT DURING DISASTERS
South Australia. Department of Health
- New mental health centre open in the south - Friday, 18 March 2011 - Mental Health Minister John Hill has opened a new Intermediate Care Centre (ICC) in Noarlunga. Read more...
- Doctors start work at Modbury GP Plus Superclinic - Monday, 14 March 2011 - General Practitioner services are now available at the $25 million GP Plus Super Clinic Modbury. - Read more...
Tasmania. Department of Health & Human Services
- State Progressing the Royal Hobart Hospital Redevelopment Minister for Health 17 March 2011
- New Works Improve Patient Care at the Royal Hobart Hospital Minister for Health 17 March 2011
- Clarence GP Super Clinic a Step Closer Minister for Health 16 March 2011
Victoria. Department of Health
- Minister opens Heart Foundation Conference Published : - 18/03/2011
- Detailed consultations on mental health reform Published : - 15/03/2011
- Melbourne health respecting Victoria's diverse cultures Published : - 15/03/2011
- Minister urges vaccination ahead of flu season Published : - 15/03/2011
Health Victoria - The Department of Health's monthly publication. - Read latest edition
Ombudsman Investigation - Assault of a Disability Services Client by Department of Human Services Staff (278KB) - Report tabled in Parliament 3 March 2011.
Western Australia. Department of Health
- 15 March 2011 - At risk groups urged to get free flu vaccine
- 15 March 2011 Morton - Minister supports rural mental health event
- 11 March 2011 Morton - State Suicide Prevention Strategy fast-tracked in the Kimberley
- 11 March 2011 Hames - Work bans impact on hospitals
United Kingdom. Department of Health
United States of America. Centres for Disease Control
Older Adults Not Getting Recommended Preventive Services - Critical gaps exist between older Americans who receive potentially lifesaving preventive services and those who do not, according to a new report from agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Published: 3/10/2011)
$10 Million Awarded to Help Reduce Health Care-Associated Infections - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding $10 million for new research to five academic medical centers as part of its Prevention Epicenter grant program, which supports efforts to develop and test innovative approaches to reducing infections in health care settings. (Published: 3/10/2011)
US Cancer Survivors Grows to Nearly 12 Million - The number of cancer survivors in the United States increased to 11.7 million in 2007, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. There were 3 million cancer survivors in 1971 and 9.8 million in 2001. (Published: 3/10/2011)
Australian Medical Association
Advice from DoHA and ARPANSA on exposure to radiation arising from nuclear incidents in Japan 17 March 2011 - 11:30am - The following advice was released on 17 March 2011 by ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) with regard to the nuclear incidents in Japan.
2011 AMA Award for Excellence in Health Care 15 March 2011 - 12:00pm - The AMA Award for Excellence in Health Care is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to improving health or health care in Australia. The closing date for nominations is Thursday 21 April 2011.
2011 AMA State Awards 15 March 2011 - 12:00pm - The AMA State Awards recognise the work of State and Territory AMAs in promoting the Association and the profession. The closing date for submissions is Thursday 21 April 2011.
Budget cuts are not health reform 11 March 2011 - 4:36pm - AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that the Government risks losing all health reform credibility if it pursues speculated Budget savings by cutting essential patient services while at the same time pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into unproven projects such as Medicare Locals and GP Super Clinics. Dr Pesce said that cutting funding for services that are known to help patients is not health reform. "Health reform should be about making the system better, not cutting services that work or making services more expensive for people," Dr Pesce said.
GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 9 - 11 March 2011 11 March 2011 - 10:45am - New AMA Health Reform landing page; Australia to host the World Medical Association (WMA) Council; Multidisciplinary Team Care Arrangements (TCA) in the management of patients with chronic disease in Australian general practice – research paper; Medicare Australia (MA) Telephony Modernisation program – call for GPs to participate on a working group; Keep patients occupied with FOXTEL Business; Post new comment
British Medical Association
BMA statement following Special Representative
The BMA will continue to demand major changes to controversial NHS reform proposals and to pursue robustly amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill following intense and detailed debate at a special meeting of the BMA's Representative Body. (Thursday 17 March 2011)
BMA comment on report on hospital
Commenting on today's (Tuesday 15 March, 2011) Committee of Public Accounts report on the productivity of hospitals in England, Dr Paul Flynn, Deputy Chairman of the BMA's Consultants Committee (Tuesday 15 March 2011)
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