The Health News – 23 November 2016

Overview:
•  Dr Chamari Liyanage is serving a four-year prison term in Greenough Regional Prison after being convicted of the manslaughter of fellow doctor Dinendra Athukorala at their home in the West Australian town of Geraldton in June 2014. She is appealing to the Immigration Minister to allow her to stay in Australia after serving her sentence.

• Tasmanian  Coroner Simon Cooper called for warnings on the Robitussin cough mixture box and on the bottle, about the potential risks of the medicine on driving abilities. The recommendation was part of his findings into the death of Sarah Victoria Bishop in a car crash on the Channel Highway in October last year.

• The new Dhulwa Facility in Canberra will house up to 25 patients in need of both acute mental health treatment and secure surroundings. The $43 million site was years in the making, and will be run with 24-hour clinical support and security.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  23rd of November 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-22/doctor-who-killed-abusive-husband-appeals-to-stay-in-australia/8047094

A Sri Lankan-born doctor who bludgeoned her husband to death with a mallet after years of abuse is appealing to the Immigration Minister to allow her to stay in Australia after serving her sentence.

Dr Chamari Liyanage is serving a four-year prison term in Greenough Regional Prison after being convicted of the manslaughter of fellow doctor Dinendra Athukorala at their home in the West Australian town of Geraldton in June 2014.

She was acquitted of the more serious charge of murder and has been eligible to apply for parole since June.

Her application for parole is due to be heard early next year but if granted, she is likely to be moved into immigration detention and could be deported because her visa was cancelled whilst behind bars.

During her trial, the court heard the couple’s five-year marriage was defined by the “worst kind” of escalating sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

Mr Putt [her immigration lawyer] said his client was at no risk to the country and should be allowed to stay.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-22/coroner-calls-for-warnings-on-robitussin-cough-mixture/8047070

The Tasmanian coroner has warned of the dangers of driving after consuming a popular cough mixture available without a prescription.

Coroner Simon Cooper called for warnings on the Robitussin cough mixture box and on the bottle, about the potential risks of the medicine on driving abilities.

The recommendation was part of his findings into the death of Sarah Victoria Bishop in a car crash on the Channel Highway in October last year.

The 71-year-old died after her sports car veered onto the wrong side of the road and into the path of a four-wheel drive.

Mr Cooper found Mrs Bishop had been taking Robitussin for a cold but because of her slow metabolism, the level of the medicine’s active ingredient in her system would have impaired her ability to drive.

Robitussin is available without a prescription.

Mr Cooper said it was appropriate to remind motorists of the dangers associated with using cough or cold medicine prior to and while driving.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-22/canberra-mental-health-treatment-dhulwa-open/8045828

A long-awaited secure unit for mental health patients has opened in Canberra, plugging a gap that has previously seen patients sent to either hospital or jail.

The new facility, named Dhulwa, will house up to 25 patients in need of both acute mental health treatment and secure surroundings.

The $43 million site was years in the making, and will be run with 24-hour clinical support and security.

Matthew, who chose not to give his last name, wound up at Canberra’s jail, the Alexander Maconochie Centre, after a psychotic episode brought on by drug use several years ago.

He has since pushed hard for the unit to be completed, and said he would have been better served by being treated at Dhulwa.

Executive director of ACT mental health Katrina Bracher said before Dhuwala, people like Matthew were either jailed or treated at a less secure hospital ward.

“We have cared for those people in the adult mental health unit with security staff and corrections staff in the unit,” she said.

“The need for this facility has been well known over a number of years.

The facility will focus on rehabilitation, and the average stay time is estimated to be about two years.