The Health News Australia November 6 2017

  • Reports of mistreatment, assault and neglect in the New South Wales disability sector spiked last year, while complaints about disability services reached their highest level in more than a decade. The state’s ombudsman received a total of 838 complaints, 402 formal and 436 informal, about disability services in 2015-16, according to its annual report. It’s the highest number of complaints the ombudsman has received about disability in a decade, and represented a 42% increase on the previous year.
  • The Health Department will cut jobs for the second time this year as it sheds 55 staff and moves hundreds more employees into the Department of Social Services. Health’s national office in Canberra would shrink from three branches to two and from 13 sections to seven, reducing jobs from 145 to about 90.
  • There’s hope for millions of Australians who suffer from back pain, with scientists discovering a revolutionary treatment that could fix the problem with a single injection. Australian scientists have discovered that stem cell technology may assist the one in six Aussies who experience the debilitating condition. The injection works as an anti-inflammatory, with the stem-cells then encouraging older, worn spinal disc to regenerate.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 6th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/04/complaints-about-nsw-disability-services-at-highest-level-in-a-decade

Reports of mistreatment, assault and neglect in the New South Wales disability sector spiked last year, while complaints about disability services reached their highest level in more than a decade. The figures, released by the NSW ombudsman, have prompted new warnings about the looming loss of funding to the disability advocacy groups, which give a voice to the most vulnerable. According to its annual report, the state’s ombudsman received a total of eight hundred thirty eight complaints, four hundred two formal and four hundred thirty six informal, about disability services in two thousand fifteen and two thousand sixteen.

It’s the highest number of complaints the ombudsman has received about disability in a decade, and represented a forty two percent increase on the previous year. The ombudsman was also notified of seven hundred eighty five “reportable incidents”, an increase of fourteen percent. About four hundred of those involved clients, and were mostly allegations of neglect, physical assault and ill-treatment. There was a thirty one percent jump in complaints about disability accommodation providers, which are operated, funded or licensed by the Department of Family and Community Services. The NSW government is currently moving out of the disability sector as the nation transitions towards a fully operating national disability insurance scheme.
The NSW opposition seized on the statistics as evidence the state government had failed to address the “endemic abuse and mistreatment of some of the most vulnerable members of our community”.The shadow disability services minister, Sophie Cotsis, said the government had “clocked off” ahead of the NDIS transition.
….
The NSW government is planning to end funding to disability advocacy groups in the state, arguing they can now be supported by the federal government through the NDIS. But at least 50 groups in NSW say the loss of state funding would cause their closure.The Physical Disability Council of NSW executive officer, Serena Ovens, said advocacy groups were crucial in giving a voice to people who were abused or neglected in group homes.
The closure of advocacy groups would deny a voice to people with a disability, particularly the most vulnerable.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/health-department-to-cut-55-jobs-shift-work-to-social-services-in-overhaul-20171101-gzchrs.html

The Health Department will cut jobs for the second time this year as it sheds fifty five staff and moves hundreds more employees into the Department of Social Services. Health’s public servants learnt of the overhaul as the department starts to transfer hundreds of staff over several years into Social Services, which will take over its grants administration work.

Among staff leaving Health in the latest shake-up, the department has identified fifty five positions it won’t need after the restructure. Department first assistant secretary Donna Moody told employees that redundancies would be forced on staff that Health could not redeploy.
It plans to move grants administration into the new community grants hub run by Social Services, forcing a restructure in its Canberra division where positions will be declared vacant and staff will be asked to send expressions of interest for available roles.
….
Staff reductions in the Health department’s state and territory network are expected to be made through natural attrition. The latest round of job cuts comes towards the end of a volatile year for the department, which announced it was shedding two hundred fifty staff through voluntary redundancies in February, parted ways with former secretary Martin Bowles in August and subsequently welcomed new boss Glenys Beauchamp. A Health department spokeswoman said under reforms to improve grants administration across the Australian Public Service, the Department of Social Services was one of two hubs consolidating the grant process across government.

Health’s national office in Canberra would shrink from three branches to two and from thirteen sections to seven, reducing jobs from one hundred forty five to about ninety.  Mister Bowles told staff early this year the department was cutting jobs in a bid for “affordable” staff numbers amid federal budgetary constraints. The announcement came after he flagged last year that budget and staffing issues would be the department’s largest challenges in two thousand seventeen.

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2017/11/04/21/07/the-revolutionary-single-injection-treatment-helping-back-pain-sufferers

There’s hope for millions of Australians who suffer from back pain, with scientists discovering a revolutionary treatment that could fix the problem with a single injection. Australian scientists have discovered that stem cell technology may assist the one in six Aussies who experience the debilitating condition.
….
The injection works as an anti-inflammatory, with the stem-cells then encouraging older, worn spinal disc to regenerate. Researchers from Monash University have spent the last decade working on the treatment. The third phase of the clinical trial is currently under way and the results are expected early next year.
….
As well as helping ease pain, the breakthrough treatment could stop the use of opioids.

If the trial is successful, the drug could be commercially available in Australia within the next two years.

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.