The Health News – 11 January 2017

Overview:
• Five-week-old Masaly Mosby died of pneumonia in 2011 after being taken to Broome Hospital three times in four days. Coroner Sarah Lynton, who is examining her death, says more could have been done by hospital staff and the infant’s own family to save her life.

• The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has ordered the Port Augusta power station to stop ash dust blowing over the city to prevent further environmental harm. The notice received by the company orders them to execute dust monitoring daily.

• Rural communities don’t have access to medical treatment for weeks at a time as Western Australia’s Mid West region grapples with a nurse shortage. The nearest hospital to Yalgoo is more than 200 kilometres away in Geraldton, while for Cue and Mount Magnet the nearest hospital is in Meekatharra, 120 and almost 200kms respectively.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  11th of January 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-10/broome-hospital-under-fire-after-baby-girl-death-inquest/8173418

A coroner examining the death of a baby in Western Australia’s remote north says more could have been done by hospital staff and the infant’s own family to save her life.

Five-week-old Masaly Mosby died of pneumonia in 2011 after being taken to Broome Hospital three times in four days.

The hearing examined procedural lapses by the hospital and the fact her family failed to wait in the Emergency Department on the third visit.

Coroner Sarah Lynton concluded more could have been done to prevent the death.

Broome Hospital’s Senior Medical Officer, Dr Sue Phillips, told the hearing the incident was a “tragedy” and the hospital had brought in changes since the baby’s death.

“We’ve had a fairly major redevelopment of the Emergency Department,” she said.

WA Country Health Service Regional Director Bec Smith said the hospital has changed its triage procedures and upgraded staff training and supervision.

Coroner Lynton said she accepted the reforms made by the hospital.

Her findings will be published later in the year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-10/epa-notice-orders-more-dust-monitoring-at-port-augusta/8173296

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has slapped the owner of the Port Augusta power station with a formal notice requiring it to stop ash dust blowing over the city.

A thick haze of ash from the former coal-fired station has been affecting residents for about a week.

The Environmental Protection Order is a statutory order that requires Flinders Power to take actions to prevent further environmental harm.

The company must ramp up dust monitoring to daily rather than one day in six.

It must also re-apply a dust supplement to an ash dam and undertake a Root Cause Analysis and report to the EPA why the dust problems happened.

EPA chief executive Tony Circelli said the initial application of a dust suppressant failed when heavy rain washed it away and wind blew the dust over the city.

The order stated a dust plume which covered Port Augusta on January 1 had the potential to cause “adverse human health effects and discomfort”.

It also constituted an “environmental nuisance and/or material environmental harm”.

The EPA said Flinders Power must also review its plans to close the power site …

Under the Act, it is an offence for the company to not comply with the order.

Flinders Power said it had a budget to meet all its contractual obligations including site remediation.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-10/regional-nurses-desperately-needed-across-mid-west-wa/8173096

Rural communities are being left without access to medical treatment for weeks at a time as Western Australia’s Mid West region grapples with a nurse shortage, local councils say.

Six shires across the Mid West and Murchison have called on the State Government and Opposition to commit to increasing the minimum numbers of staff at regional nursing posts from one to three.

Between December and January, the towns of Cue, Mount Magnet and Yalgoo were left without a healthcare professional for up to two weeks.

Cue Shire president Ross Pigdon said if a serious accident had happened during this period, lives would have been at risk.

“Admittedly nurses need time off, I don’t deny that … but if something happens during that period while she’s having a break, where are we?

“It’s a situation that’s just going backwards and has been going backwards for a long time.”

The nearest hospital to Yalgoo is more than 200 kilometres away in Geraldton, while for Cue and Mount Magnet the nearest hospital is in Meekatharra, 120 and almost 200kms respectively.

 

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