The Health News – 2 June 2017

Overview:

• Researchers at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) have been investigating what effect Cannabidiol has on the mental illness. Using a rodent model of schizophrenia, the research team found cannabidiol was able to restore recognition, working memory and social behaviour. University of Wollongong PhD candidate Ashleigh Osborne said the findings suggested Cannabidiol could be used as a pharmaceutical drug.

• Renewed concerns about Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) have emerged following the release of a survey of doctors, which gave the facility the lowest rating of any of Perth’s major public hospitals. According to the AMA survey, only 8 per cent of junior doctors believed there was good morale at PMH, and more than half said they were burnt out.

• The Federal Government wants to drug test 5,000 new Centrelink clients and those who test positive will be forced onto an income-management scheme, which controls how a recipient spends their money. The Department of Social Services confirmed recipients who fail a test more than once will pay for the cost of subsequent tests.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  2nd of June 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-01/study-finds-cannabis-plant-could-hold-key-to-schizophrenia/8580468

An active compound in cannabis plants, once isolated, could be used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia according to findings of a new study.

Researchers at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) have been investigating what effect Cannabidiol has on the mental illness.

Cognitive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia include social withdrawal and blunted emotional expression.

Previous studies have shown the isolated compound can improve cognition in illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

Using a rodent model of schizophrenia, the research team found cannabidiol was able to restore recognition, working memory and social behaviour.

University of Wollongong PhD candidate Ashleigh Osborne said the findings suggested Cannabidiol could be used as a pharmaceutical drug.

The experimental findings have been recently published in Nature Journal.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-01/princess-margaret-hospital-doctors-patient-safety-warning/8580638

Patient safety at Perth’s only children’s hospital is being compromised by low staff morale, the Australian Medical Association has warned.

Renewed concerns about Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) have emerged following the release of a survey of doctors, which gave the facility the lowest rating of any of Perth’s major public hospitals.

According to the AMA survey, only 8 per cent of junior doctors believed there was good morale at PMH, and more than half said they were burnt out.

AMA WA president Andrew Miller said rostering problems and a lack of resources were the critical causes, while the run-down state of the building also had an impact.

Dr Miller said it was inevitable that the situation would have an impact on patient treatment.

Dr Miller pointed to the case of a 10-year-old cancer patient whose urgent brain surgery was delayed by a month due to a lack of available slots with surgeons to argue patient safety was being put at risk.

Health Minister Roger Cook admitted he was concerned by morale at PMH, but said the hospital’s board had taken “decisive steps” to remedy the problem.

An independent review into the cause of morale problems has been handed to the board and will be released to staff shortly.

Mr Cook said the independent review will be released publicly.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-31/welfare-drug-tests-10pc-expected-to-test-positive/8577556

Almost 10 per cent of welfare recipients are expected to test positive for cannabis, ice or ecstasy in a new drug-testing trial.

Those who return a positive test more than once will also have to pay for some of the cost of the analysis, a Senate estimates hearing has been told.

The Federal Government wants to drug test 5,000 new Centrelink clients and those who test positive will be forced onto an income-management scheme, which controls how a recipient spends their money.

The Department of Social Services’ Cath Halbert told the hearing she “was not expecting very large numbers” to fail the illicit substances test.

Young people deemed to be at risk of substance abuse will be required to undertake random saliva, urine or hair follicle tests for drugs in three locations from next year. The method of testing is yet to be decided.

The Department of Social Services confirmed recipients who fail a test more than once will pay for the cost of subsequent tests.

Labor and Greens senators expressed their surprise about the move and wanted to know the cost of the drug tests.

Department officials refused to provide detail[s]…

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