The Health News – 22 June 2015

Overview:

• Tareq Kamleh a former Australian doctor now helping Islamic State (IS) in Syria. Tareq responded for his warrant arrest, he said he had “no concern about any moves to cancel his passport or registration as a doctor.

• Ambulance officers Scott Stanton fear it could only be a matter of time before someone is badly hurt or even killed during a callout to help people high on ice.

• The Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley is putting pressure on the Senate to pass legislation that could see the price of some of Australia’s most common medicines halved.

Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 22nd June 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-21/australian-doctor-tareq-kamleh-responds-to-arrest-warrant/6561600

A former Australian doctor now helping Islamic State (IS) in Syria has responded to moves to arrest him, saying he no longer considers himself a citizen and the prospect of his passport being cancelled does not concern him.

A warrant for Tareq Kamleh’s arrest was obtained by the Australian Federal Police at a closed hearing of the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Thursday.
In a post on Facebook … Kamleh, 29, said he had “no concern” about any moves to cancel his passport or registration as a doctor.

In the post, which was addressed to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), Kamleh said he intends to stay in Syria, and denied he has a “malicious character”.
“It is this injustice within the Australian judicial system that was a catalyst for me to leave.”
Police allege Kamleh is a member of, and recruited for, a terrorist organisation and that he entered a “declared area” under section 119.2 of the Criminal Code Act.
AHPRA announced recently that the Medical Board of Australia had begun regulatory action over Kamleh’s medical registration.
Kamleh worked in hospitals in South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory and remains registered as a doctor in Western Australia.
The former paediatric registrar recently appeared in an IS propaganda video revealing he had gone to Syria to work for the terrorist organisation.
South Australian police said their joint counter-terrorism team had obtained the warrant and would be able to arrest Kamleh immediately if he returned to Australia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-21/paramedics-on-frontline-of-ice-epidemic-fear-for-safety/6549150

Ambulance officers fear it could only be a matter of time before someone is badly hurt or even killed during a callout to help people high on ice.

Paramedics across Australia talk about the superhuman strength ice users can display, but in 25 years of treating all sorts of drug cases, veteran medic Scott Stanton says he has seen nothing like it.
“The patient was a female, of very slight build, probably around 40 to 50 kilograms,” he recalled of one case.
“It took three of us to restrain her, with the assistance of the [police], before we could give her an injection to try and sedate her.”
Having restrained the woman on scene, Mr Stanton and his team got her to hospital. But once there, the patient erupted into life once again.

“It required six wardsmen, myself and two doctors to restrain the patient and get a drip into her so we could anaesthetise her and get her to sleep … and even then we gave her enough of the drug that it would have put a horse to sleep. It was that much.”

Mr Stanton is a veteran of the heroin epidemic of the late 1990s. He remembers the emergence of ecstasy and speed.
He says he never feared heading out on shift to treat drug patients. Not until the rise of ice.

With ambulance officers facing rising violence, South Australia has launched a social media and advertising campaign to highlight assaults against paramedics.
The graphic video, shot using a mobile phone, shows a young man high on ice at a party pushing and screaming at a paramedic trying to treat his unconscious friend.
The campaign slogan tells viewers: “I can’t fight for your mate’s life if I’m fighting for mine.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-21/pressure-on-senate-to-pass-deal-to-cut-price-of-medicines/6561250

The Federal Health Minister is putting pressure on the Senate to pass legislation that could see the price of some of Australia’s most common medicines halved.

Sussan Ley last month signed off on new agreements with the Pharmacy Guild and Generic Medicines Industry Association that would save the budget more than $2 billion over five years.
The Government calculated that under the deal the price of more than 2,000 brands of prescription medicines would also fall, Ms Ley said.
“Overall within this package there is a very strong downward trend on the price of medicines, particularly the most common and popular medicines that people take,” she said.
Ms Ley said some of the most common medicines for cholesterol and heart conditions could halve in price, in some cases by $10 per script for general patients.
She said the Generic Medicines Industry Association deal meant the most expensive brand of a drug would be taken out of calculations when determining the price of generic medicines.
The Minister urged the Senate to pass the legislation this week.

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