The Health News – 2 May 2017

Overview:

• Seven new ambulances will be stationed in South Australia’s remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in an effort to improve the region’s health services and boost staff safety. The vehicles will be purpose-built for outback conditions and contain GPS trackers, two-way radios, and satellite communications.

 Ramsay Healthcare Limited will face the Federal Court to answer accusations by the ACCC that it abused market power by warning a group of surgeons away from a potential competitor. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has alleged that when a group of surgeons made plans to establish a competing surgery, Ramsay management told them their involvement could mean reduced access to operating theatres at the Baringa Hospital.

• Due to a gap in mental health analysis for those over 65, the Federal Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has partnered with Beyond Blue to launch a $5 million research grant round. Beyond Blue said around 15 per cent of Australians over 65 were depressed and men over 85 were the most likely to commit suicide.

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

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-01/ambulance-announcement-to-improve-equipment-in-apy-lands/8487540

Seven new ambulances will be stationed in South Australia’s remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in an effort to improve the region’s health services and boost staff safety.

The $770,000 grant announcement from the State Government was made at Umuwa during a country cabinet tour of the region and more than a year after outback nurse Gayle Woodford was murdered.

It is the first time the country cabinet has visited the Aboriginal communities.

The vehicles will be purpose-built for outback conditions and contain GPS trackers, two-way radios, and satellite communications.

The health service received federal funding after Ms Woodford’s death to improve security systems, which has resulted in nurses not travelling alone.

South Australian Health Minister Jack Snelling said the ambulances would be a major boost for the service.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-01/health-provider-ramsay-accused-of-anti-competitive-behaviour/8487266

Australia’s largest private hospital operator will face the Federal Court to answer accusations by the consumer watchdog that it abused market power by warning a group of surgeons away from a potential competitor.

The Baringa Private Hospital and Coffs Harbour Day Surgery on the New South Wales mid-north coast are both owned by Ramsay Healthcare Limited.

They are the only private facilities in the Coffs Harbour region.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has alleged that when a group of surgeons made plans to establish a competing surgery, Ramsay management told them their involvement could mean reduced access to operating theatres at the Baringa Hospital.

As a result, according to the ACCC, the plans were abandoned.

Chairman Rod Sims said it amounted to anti-competitive behaviour.

He said independent day surgeries in other areas resulted in benefits to the local community like reduced costs, shorter waiting lists, more choice and improved access to medical procedures.

In a statement, Ramsay said it took its obligations under the Competition and Consumer Law seriously and would vigorously defend the matter.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-01/many-in-aged-care-suffering-with-depression-in-silence/8487028

Doctors are calling for more research into the depression and suicide rates of elderly Australians, with symptoms often dismissed and medication prescribed when support would be more appropriate.

Due to a gap in mental health analysis for those over 65, the Federal Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has partnered with Beyond Blue to launch a $5 million research grant round.

Beyond Blue said around 15 per cent of Australians over 65 were depressed and men over 85 were the most likely to commit suicide.

Depression for people who live in residential aged care was as high as 50 per cent.

Many elderly people were prescribed anti-depressants when they really need peer support or social interaction, NHMRC said.

Unfortunately depression is often seen as an “inevitable part of ageing” said Ian Yates, chief executive of Australia’s Council on the Ageing (COTA).

Mr Yates said aged care facilities did not have enough of a focus on rehabilitation and a restorative approach.