The Health News – 22 July 2016

Overview:
• The Nursing and Midwifery Federation said there were cancellations at both the Royal Hobart Hospital and the Launceston General Hospital on Tuesday. Union secretary Neroli Ellis said the move appeared to have been in order to free up beds.

• All other mainland states have a multi-disciplinary service in a public hospital setting, catering to young people suffering chronic pain, but there is no dedicated paediatric service in South Australia. Dr Chris Hayes, from Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital, said it was a serious issue.

• Since the first ice bucket challenge in August 2014, more than 60,000 supporters have donated more than $3 million to MND Australia and state MND associations. But despite the success of the campaign and the money raised, a cure has not yet been found. More than 2,000 people in Australia have MND, a disease that takes lives an average 27 months after diagnosis.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  22nd of July 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-20/27bed-block27-blamed-for-elective-surgery-cancellations/7646388

A continuing “bed block” is being blamed for elective surgeries being cancelled at the state’s two major hospitals.

The Nursing and Midwifery Federation said there were cancellations at both the Royal Hobart Hospital and the Launceston General Hospital on Tuesday.

Union secretary Neroli Ellis said the move appeared to have been in order to free up beds.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson said it was an operational question which he would seek advice about from the Tasmanian Health Service.

The Minister said the elective surgery situation was a “positive story”.

“The Tasmanian health system has performed more surgery than in the state’s history,” he said.

He said the elective surgery waiting list was at an all-time low of fewer than 6,000 and waiting times were also significantly reduced.

But Ms Ellis said: “It’s not a positive story when people are waiting unacceptable periods of time for elective surgery”.

“Our hospitals have got huge bed block and huge hours, or days waiting in emergency departments,” she said.

“The bottom line is we haven’t got enough capacity to meet our needs in Tasmania, and that means we need to open more beds.” [she said]

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-20/pain-experts-for-young-sa-patients-needed-to-improve-wellbeing/7645928

Chronic pain experts have called for the establishment of a dedicated paediatric service in South Australia to follow the lead of other states.

All other mainland states have a multi-disciplinary service in a public hospital setting, catering to young people suffering chronic pain.

Dr Chris Hayes, from Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital, said it was a serious issue.

“It is very important, this seems to be a fairly fundamental lack in Adelaide,” Dr Hayes said.

“In South Australia … there’s been a bit of a lag behind the other mainland states in both adult and paediatric pain services.”

He said children should not just be treated in adult settings.

“It is different for various reasons including the family aspect of their care, and the importance of school attendance.

Women’s and Children’s Health Network acting chief executive officer Phil Robinson said children requiring chronic pain management were able to currently access care with the state’s public health system or from a private specialist.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-20/motor-neurone-disease-sufferer-hopeful-cure-will-be-found/7644736

Motor neurone disease (MND) attracted an outpouring of support from across the globe two years ago with the ice bucket challenge.

Justin Bieber, Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey and Leonardo DiCaprio were among celebrities who threw a cold bucket of ice over their heads to raise funds for research into the condition.

And of course thousands of Australians took part too.

Since the first ice bucket challenge in August 2014, more than 60,000 supporters have donated more than $3 million to MND Australia and state MND associations.

But despite the success of the campaign and the money raised, a cure has not yet been found.

More than 2,000 people in Australia have MND, a disease that takes lives an average 27 months after diagnosis.

There are 146 people living with MND in WA.

Despite there currently being no cure for MND, that does not prevent Western Australian man Jim Gilbert from holding on to hope.

The 62-year-old was diagnosed with MND two years ago.

He is now confined to a wheelchair at his farm and vineyard near Mount Barker …

A positive frame of mind is one vital thing Mr Gilbert is hanging on to.

Mr Gilbert’s journey with MND was the inspiration behind a fundraising effort called Swim for Jim by family and friends, which culminated in a cheque of more than $185,000 being presented to the MND Association of WA earlier this year.

Mr Gilbert said the response to the cause had been outstanding, …

MND Association of WA executive officer Maeve Egan said the Swim for Jim fundraiser was initially expected to raise about $20,000.

The cause of MND is unknown, and not all symptoms of the disease necessarily happen to everyone, with patterns of weakness varying from person to person.

MND is diagnosed in people of all ages.

Symptoms can be managed to help the person achieve the best possible quality of life.