The Health News – 7 June 2017

Overview:

• Forty-seven patients have been given a lower dose of the oral form of a drug at Toowoomba Hospital since 2009, but Health Minister Cameron Dick said it was because in most cases it made the patients sick. Cancer Council Queensland Chief executive Chris McMillan said she expected patients’ families would be provided with full details over coming days.

• National Disability Insurance Agency says it has failed in meeting standards and expectations and that the National Disability Insurance scheme needs to improve and adapt as quickly as possible. CEO of peak body Disability Advocacy Network Australia Mary Mallett said the NDIA statement was a step in the right direction.

• A review into Ambulance Tasmania services has found demand for ambulances is increasing 14 times greater than the state’s population growth. Steve Pearce from the Australian Paramedics Association said the report was not surprising at all, given the massive shortfall in paramedics.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  7th of June 2017. Read by Wayne Bucklar. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-06/cancer-council-defends-chemo-patients-given-reduced-treatment/8592462

Doctors decided that administering half-strength doses of chemotherapy drugs to lung cancer patients at Toowoomba Hospital was in the patients’ best interests, Health Minister Cameron Dick insists, despite it going against the national protocol.

Forty-seven patients have been given a lower dose of the oral form of a drug since two thousand and nine, but Mister Dick said it was because in most cases it made the patients sick.

He said the national protocol for administering the chemotherapy drug was not compulsory.

Queensland Health has commissioned an independent review of its audit findings to determine they are sound.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-06/ndis-full-rollout-warranted-significant-improvement-ndia-boss/8593770

The agency that runs the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) says it has failed in meeting standards and expectations and that the scheme needs to improve and adapt as quickly as possible.

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) CEO David Bowen said the preparation for the transition to full rollout “warranted significant improvement”.

Some participants have criticised the planning process, and there have been numerous complaints that disability support plans fall far short of what participants need to live independently.

Other criticisms include long-standing problems using the NDIS web portal, and there have also been reports the NDIA has instituted a policy to reduce financial support to reduce costs.

Mr Bowen called those reports misleading.

After months of poor media coverage, Miss Mallett said the NDIA statement was a step in the right direction.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-06/ambulances-called-for-pets-and-medication-deliveries-in-tasmania/8592794

Tasmanians are calling ambulances for itchy eyes, sore throats, medication deliveries and even for their pets, a new investigation has revealed.

A review into Ambulance Tasmania services has found demand for ambulances is increasing 14 times greater than the state’s population growth.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson has used the review in a budget estimates hearing to point to a growing demand for health services in Tasmania.

Ambulance Tasmania chief executive Neil Kirby said during the past 12 months Ambulance Tasmania had received triple-0 calls for conditions that could only be described as minor at best.

Sore throats and colds made up 140 callouts, with fewer than half of those actually transported to hospital.

Steve Pearce from the Australian Paramedics Association said the report was not surprising at all, given the massive shortfall in paramedics.

The association claimed the state needs an extra 107 paramedics and said it raised that number with the Government two months ago.