The Health News Australia December 18 2017

  • Major changes are afoot for the Tasmanian Health Service. After months of criticism from medical staff, the Government has conceded it is “clear that decision-making is too centralised”. While remaining committed to a single statewide health system, Health Minister Michael Ferguson announced that the function of the THS would be stripped back with public hospital managers directly consulting with the health department.
  • My Health Record has the potential to save lives and deliver economic benefits but the system needs improvements and doctors don’t have time to talk patients through the opt-out process, according to the Australian Medical Association. In its Pre-Budget Submission 2018-2019, the doctors’ advocacy group this week claimed the federal government needs to invest in improving the national repository of Australians’ healthcare information for it to reach its potential.
  • Australia’s rising number of gonorrhoea cases has been described as a potential ‘perfect storm’, with the emergence of extensively drug resistant strains overseas. University of Queensland researchers are leading a clinical study determining the most appropriate treatment for patients by analysing drug resistance from the DNA of the organism causing the infection. There were about 20,000 cases of gonorrhoea in Australia last year, with the highest incidences among men who have sex with men in urban areas, and among people living in remote Indigenous communities.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 18th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-17/overhaul-for-beleagured-tasmanian-health-service/9266432

Major changes are afoot for the Tasmanian Health Service. After months of criticism from medical staff, the Government has conceded it is “clear that decision-making is too centralised”.
While remaining committed to a single statewide health system, Health Minister Michael Ferguson announced that the function of the THS would be stripped back with public hospital managers directly consulting with the health department.

The Government established the Tasmanian Health Service on July one, two thousand fifteen by combining the three Tasmanian Health Organisations. A Deloitte report into the Tasmanian Health Service released by the Government showed respondents perceived a lack of unity in the organisation is impacting on its effectiveness.

Mister Ferguson said the changes announced will increase efficiency and empower hospitals. He added:  “We are listening, we will never stop listening and as we continue to seek to get the balance right between the need for genuine statewide planning and ensuring that decisions for hospitals are made at the local level.”
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Premier Will Hodgman said the move would increase efficiency and empower hospitals. Under the plan, the current head of the THS David Alcorn would no longer be required, and the Governing Council would be scrapped. Opposition Leader Rebecca White said if Mister Ferguson was serious about the policy he would recall Parliament and implement it in this term of government.

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Earlier this month the Australian Medical Association told an inquiry of a “toxic and dysfunctional culture” affecting Tasmanian health care. AMA state president Stuart Day said the THS was “top heavy”.

http://www.healthcareit.com.au/article/ama-calls-improvements-my-health-record-it-reach-potential

My Health Record has the potential to save lives and deliver economic benefits but the system needs improvements and doctors don’t have time to talk with patients through the opt-out process, according to the Australian Medical Association. In its Pre-Budget Submission two thousand eighteen-two thousand nineteen, the doctors’ advocacy group this week claimed the federal government needs to invest in improving the national repository of Australians’ healthcare information for it to reach its potential. The submission says “The AMA believes a fully functioning and widely used My Health Record will not only save money but save lives. Ongoing improvements will help ensure its success.”

“We note government estimates anticipate that the My Health Record will generate savings of around one hundred twenty three million dollars by two thousand twenty and two thousand twenty one. The submission warns usability problems will discourage doctors from embracing the technology and could consume time otherwise spent concentrating on patients.
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In two thousand eighteen the federal government plans to create a My Health Record for every Australian unless they opt out, and the AMA cautions that the public communication campaign surrounding the uptake of this major health infrastructure project is for the government to conduct, not doctors.  

http://health.uq.edu.au/article/2017/12/push-control-gonorrhoea-resistance-threat-looms

Australia’s rising number of gonorrhoea cases has been described as a potential ‘perfect storm’, with the emergence of extensively drug resistant strains overseas. University of Queensland researchers are leading a clinical study determining the most appropriate treatment for patients by analysing drug resistance from the DNA of the organism causing the infection. Associate Professor David Whiley said this would enable the most powerful antibiotics to be preserved for cases that would not respond to other drugs.
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Doctor Whiley said: “Ciprofloxacin would not be recommended for general use but could be effective for many patients, instead of our really precious drugs that we need to protect.”
There were about twenty thousand cases of gonorrhoea in Australia last year, with the highest incidences among men who have sex with men in urban areas, and among people living in remote Indigenous communities.
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The World Health Organization has recently warned about sporadic cases– including one in Australia – of gonorrhoea resistant to all current antibiotics.
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Doctor Whiley said he would not currently expect patients who walk through the clinic door to have their treatment fail in Australia. The molecular methods of detecting resistance will offer improved ability to detect the emergence of drug-resistant strains, and for the first time will be fast enough to directly guide individual patient treatment. Doctors Whiley’s research is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

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