The Health News – 31 May 2016

Overview:
• Glen Cloke was supposed to die at 14. Almost 40 years later, Mr Cloke is one of the Peter MacCallum Centre's longest surviving patients since getting his diagnosis. He and 29 other cancer survivors toured the centre's new $1 billion purpose-built facility, which is located inside the new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre building.

• Health authorities in the Northern Territory have issued an alert for the potentially fatal mosquito-borne virus Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE). MVE has been detected in chickens on the outskirts of Darwin, and residents have been urged to take precautions.

• The ACT Government will allocate $29 million to boost staff numbers at the Canberra Hospital’s emergency department to address waiting times and meet the demand of extra beds. The June 7 ACT budget will provide for an additional 39 staff to be hired in the next financial year, including four new doctors and 24 nurses.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  31st of May 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-30/cancer-survivors-get-sneak-peak-inside-new-cancer-centre/7459622

Glen Cloke was supposed to die at 14.

At least that was the prognosis his parents were given before doctors at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre took a bold step in his treatment, and gave him an adult’s dose of radiation therapy.

Soon after, his body began to respond positively, and his parents cancelled the Disneyland trip he had requested as a dying wish.

Almost 40 years later, Mr Cloke is one of the Peter MacCallum Centre’s longest surviving patients since getting his diagnosis.

He and 29 other cancer survivors toured the centre’s new $1 billion purpose-built facility, which is located inside the new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre building.

“This place means a lot to me,” Mr Cloke said.

The centre’s chief executive Dale Fisher said the facility was designed with therapeutic aesthetics in mind.

“It’s a sanctuary for family as well — …. [the old facility] was not purpose-built for cancer care, but we’ve been able to design this building specifically for the patients needs,” she said.

Peter Mac’s first ward opened in 1954 providing desperately needed inpatient service.

There are 56 chemotherapy chairs and 96 patient rooms in the new building, 76 of which are single-bed rooms.

There are eight radiation bunkers in the basement level of the building, each with an LCD ceiling display for patients to face while receiving radiation therapy.

Cancer research has also been allocated 15,000 square metres in the new building.

The current Peter MaCallum Cancer Centre patients will move into the new building from June 23, and the centre will be operational on June 24.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-30/mosquito-borne-virus-mve-detected-on-darwin-outskirts/7459362

Health authorities in the Northern Territory have issued an alert for the potentially fatal mosquito-borne virus Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE).

MVE has been detected in chickens on the outskirts of Darwin, and residents have been urged to take precautions.

The virus is a severe infection that causes inflammation of the brain, as well as affecting the nervous system.

It is considered rare, part of the same group of viruses as Dengue Fever and Zika, and there is no vaccine.

Health authorities have kept a close eye on the mosquito-borne virus for years through the use of chickens.

Professor Paul Young, the head of the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland, said researchers release chickens that mosquitoes will feed on, and then take regular blood samples from the chickens.

The Northern Territory’s Department of Health said it had received that “positive signal” in the Darwin rural area.

Professor Young said while he did not want to play down the seriousness of the virus, alerts of that type were quite common, particularly at this time of year.

Professor Young said there was not a vaccine for the virus because it was considered a relatively exotic pathogen, so there were no commercial incentives to produce a vaccine.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-30/act-budget-boost-staff-numbers-canberra-hospital-emergency/7458190

The ACT Government will allocate $29 million to boost staff numbers at the Canberra Hospital’s emergency department to address waiting times and meet the demand of extra beds.

The June 7 ACT budget will provide for an additional 39 staff to be hired in the next financial year, including four new doctors and 24 nurses.

The money also provides for another 15 positions in 2019-20, bringing the total number of new jobs to 54.

Health Minister Simon Corbell said the extra staff would work in an expanded emergency department and go towards addressing waiting times.

“Additional doctors, nurses and allied health staff will help meet demand in our emergency department at the Canberra Hospital and build on a 30 per cent increase in the number of beds in the emergency department which is currently under construction,” he said.

“As Health Minister I have been very focused on improving timeliness and access to emergency department care.”

Three weeks ago the Government announced several efficiency measures which it said would reduce the often-criticised waiting times at the hospital.

“We’ve undertaken a significant reform agenda which is starting to deliver some very positive results, much better performance against national benchmarks.”

“Combined with the extra beds, and now extra doctors and nurses, these … additional staff will make a big difference.”

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