The Health News – 14 June 2016

Overview:
• Dr. Aidan Foy is being honoured for his significant service to medicine, education and the community, being commended with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours. He joins other Hunter region residents including Emeritus Professor Francis Bates, Kathryn Pitkin and The Hon George Souris in receiving an AM.

• An alliance of 800 disability advocates and ethical designers are calling for mandatory disability access in new homes. The alliance says Australia must do better as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and they have submitted a formal proposal for a change to building regulations.

• Federal Labor has committed $250 million, if it wins next month’s election, to restore core funding at the CSIRO. The union representing CSIRO staff welcomed Labor's promise to boost the organisation’s funding

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

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-13/newcastle-doctor-aidan-foy-awarded-am-in-queens-birthday-honours/7493884

Newcastle gastroenterologist and physician Aidan Foy says it is gratifying to be commended with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Dr Foy is being honoured for his significant service to medicine, education and the community.

He joins other Hunter region residents including Emeritus Professor Francis Bates, Kathryn Pitkin and The Hon George Souris in receiving an AM.

Dr Foy immigrated to Australia in 1962, and graduated university in 1971.

Despite finding the profession challenging initially, he persevered, eventually working in gastroenterology.

Over the last decade, Dr Foy and a team of other medicos have worked in remote parts of Australia, including Alice Springs, Moree and Mungindi.

“That’s been one of the most exciting and fulfilling things that we’ve done. This is where it’s really important for me to say ‘we’, because it’s not just me,” he said.

“Our experience out in Moree and Mungindi has been really interesting and fulfilling.

“We were able to look at all aspects of internal medicine … and getting to know that community was very interesting, very gratifying.

Dr Foy is optimistic the health of people in remote towns, particularly Indigenous communities, will be improved over time.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-13/building-regulations-should-include-disability-access-advocates/7505172

An alliance of 800 disability advocates and ethical designers are calling for mandatory disability access in new homes.

The alliance says Australia must do better as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and they have submitted a formal proposal for a change to building regulations.

Margaret Ward, an architect and the convenor of the Australian Network for Universal Housing Design, said the alliance has called for minimum access to be included in the Australian building code, now called the National Construction Code.

She said it would only add $1,000 to the cost of construction to have one entry and one bathroom wheelchair accessible, and some wider corridors and doorways.

Robbie Carr was a carpenter who in his 20s began dropping his tools and was soon diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

His mother, Heather Roman, said she struggled to find a home his wheelchair could enter.

“That has been so hard. We tried to find houses that had wide doors, were low to the ground or had a ramp. [It was] nearly impossible,” Ms Roman said.

Mr Carr, now 37, said he could not visit the homes of most of his family members and friends.

Kristin Brookfield, from the Housing Industry Association, said regulations were not the answer.

“We [would] much prefer seeing a voluntary approach,” she said.

“Our preference is that we educate our members and we educate consumers, home buyers and the disability community itself, on what are some simple solutions that could be included in homes, and letting that consumer choose.”

Ms Brookfield said accessibility for people with disabilities should not be mandatory because “it goes to the issue of the one size doesn’t fit all”.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-13/election-2016-labor-pledges-csiro-funding/7505148

Federal Labor has committed $250 million, if it wins next month’s election, to restore core funding at the CSIRO.

The Labor candidate for the Tasmanian seat of Denison, Jane Austin, said a Labor Government would also stop job cuts.

“We have said that we will commission an independent review into the corporate structure, management and functions of the CSIRO,” she said.

Ms Austin said the funding would also enable research ship RV Investigator, based in Hobart, to be at sea 300 days a year.

“At the moment it’s sitting in the dock for 120 days idle unable to fulfil its scientific commitments to the Australian people,” she said.

But Ms Austin said it would be difficult to reinstate people who have lost their jobs and the funding was about what was happening with “the future of the CSIRO”.

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz accused Labor of undermining the independence of the CSIRO.

He said recent structural changes and job cuts announced by the CSIRO were decisions made by management.

The union representing CSIRO staff welcomed Labor’s promise to boost the organisation’s funding.

Unions say about 275 scientists around Australia expect to be made redundant within days.