The Health News – 14 December 2016

Overview:
• The South Australian Government needs to show more support for a proposal to grow medicinal cannabis at Holden’s Elizabeth factory once the site is vacated in 2017. The Australian Cannabis Corporation (ACC) wants to use half the existing buildings, which would create 2,500 new jobs and generate $800 million annually.

• Up to 60,000 students in years 10, 11 and 12 will be offered free vaccines for meningococcal B by the University of Adelaide and SA Health in 2017 as part of a “nation-leading” trial. Meningococcal B has been in the spotlight this year with several cases in South Australia, causing serious illness and even death. The vaccine trial is being funded by GlaxoSmithKline, the company which makes the drug.

• Garry Steven Davis, a former employee of Summitcare Nursing Home, has been sentenced to 40 years in jail with a minimum of 30 years until he is eligible for parole after being found guilty of injecting insulin to residents who does not require insulin. As a result, 2 residents died while the other recovered.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  14th of December 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-12/sa-government-not-doing-enough-to-support-cannabis-factory-plan/8111598

The South Australian Government needs to show more support for a proposal to grow medicinal cannabis at Holden’s Elizabeth factory once the site is vacated in 2017, the State Opposition says.

The Australian Cannabis Corporation (ACC) wants to use half the existing buildings for a new enterprise it said would create 2,500 new jobs and generate $800 million annually.

Opposition agriculture spokesperson David Ridgeway said the Government was not giving the opportunity enough attention.

“If you’re the flavour of the month and the Government can see a positive media spin out of it, they’ll talk to you, but if it’s hard work and a difficult project to get off the ground, the Government walks away,” he said.

The Holden site at Elizabeth in Adelaide’s north spans about 124 hectares with carparks, road infrastructure and open land.

Factory floors, storage spaces and offices cover about 24 hectares of the site.

A State Government spokesman said it was working with the ACC to help it establish a presence in SA and welcomed investment in the medicinal cannabis sector.

The Government spokesman said it was inviting investors to establish their businesses in South Australia under the “Commonwealth’s new licensing scheme”.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-13/sa-students-offered-free-meningococcal-b-vaccine/8114926

South Australian teenagers will be given free vaccines for meningococcal B as part of a “nation-leading” trial.

Up to 60,000 students in years 10, 11 and 12 will be offered the vaccine by the University of Adelaide and SA Health in 2017.

The organisations are examining the impact of immunising large community groups against the disease.

Meningococcal B has been in the spotlight this year with several cases in South Australia causing serious illness and even death.

There have been repeated calls for the Commonwealth to subsidise the cost of the vaccine, which is up to $500.

The trial involves taking throat swabs to see whether students are carrying either harmless or potentially dangerous types of meningococcal bacteria, and what effect the vaccine has on the germs.

Health Minister Jack Snelling said the trial would test whether the vaccine could create “herd immunity” in South Australia.

“[The vaccine] will protect the children that are vaccinated, but that then protects all the people they come into contact with as well, and it helps us develop what we call herd immunity,” he said.

“If vaccination rates are high enough, you get protection not only for people who are vaccinated but also the unvaccinated as well.

The vaccine trial is being funded by GlaxoSmithKline, the company which makes the drug.

Associate Professor Helen Marshall, from the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute, said researchers wanted to reach as many eligible students as possible.

worldwide shortage of the vaccine, known as Bexsero, has led to waiting lists at many pharmacies.

The vaccine for the C-strain of meningococcal has been on the National Immunisation Program for several years.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-13/nsw-nursing-home-killer-garry-davis-jailed-for-40-years-murder/8115392

Former New South Wales nursing home employee Garry Steven Davis has been sentenced to 40 years in jail for murdering two residents and attempting to murder a third.

In September, the 29-year-old was found guilty of injecting residents with insulin at the SummitCare nursing home in Wallsend over a two-day period in October, 2013.

Residents Gwen Fowler, 83, and Ryan Kelly, 80, died as a result of the injections, while Audrey Manuel, 91, recovered and has since died from unrelated causes.

The crown argued none of the victims required insulin and all three had been in relatively good health before being injected.

In sentencing Davis to 40 years in jail with a minimum of 30 years until he is eligible for parole, Supreme Court Justice Robert Hulme said “he acted with extreme callousness”.

“It is as if he thought their lives were worthless,” Justice Hulme said.