The Health News – 4 January 2017

Overview:
• The State Government outlines a $775,000 campaign with four phases aiming to gain “public confidence” and make the public “more enthusiastic” about the new Royal Adelaide Hospital. This campaign is meant to run between April 2016 and February 2017, but phases had been delayed because of the project’s budget issues.

• There has been a dramatic increase in the number of women choosing midwives to manage the birth of their babies in Queensland. Doctors have raised concerns that obstetricians were being sidelined, arguing patient care could be put at risk.

• Cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea and syphilis in Western Australia have more than tripled in the past five years. Doctors are now seeking ways to reinforce the safe-sex methods.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  4th of January 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-02/sa-government-royal-adelaide-hospital-ad-campaign-draws-fire/8157298

A $775,000 campaign to make the public “more enthusiastic” about the new Royal Adelaide Hospital is being rolled out by the State Government.

Government documents outline four phases of the campaign, which include building “public confidence” in the Government’s ability to move to the new site and “generating excitement”.

Opposition spokesman Stephan Knoll said the Government should not have to spend more than $750,000 on spin.

“But the fact that the Government needs to spend three quarters of a million dollars on an ad campaign is admission of the fact they haven’t managed to deliver this new hospital well and they now have to spin South Australians into supporting it.”

Mr Knoll said the campaign was meant to run between April 2016 and February 2017, but phases had been delayed because of the project’s own issues.

The final phase of the campaign will also focus on trying to deter low-priority patients from visiting the new emergency department to “mitigate the ‘honeypot’ effect” seen interstate.

Dr Sally Tideman, acting director of medical services with the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, said some new hospitals interstate saw a rise in patient numbers of up to 30 per cent once opened.

She defended the campaign, saying the public needed to be informed.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-31/growing-qld-mums-choose-midwives-birth-of-babies/8138024

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of Queensland women choosing midwives to manage the birth of their babies, despite doctors’ concerns the practice puts patients at risk.

The midwife model of care operates in five hospitals across the state, which have all reported a rise in demand.

In 2016, 936 women, who were considered to have “low risk” pregnancies, chose to use a midwife at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH), 326 more than the previous year.

Demand at the Mackay Birth Centre, run by the local hospital and health service, nearly doubled over the same period, from 140 to 240.

The Gold Coast, Townsville and Toowoomba birth centres were also busier, with some hiring more midwives and establishing more beds in their midwife-led facilities.

Doctors have raised concerns that obstetricians were being sidelined, arguing patient care could be put at risk.

Dr Chris Zappala from the Australian Medical Association of Queensland (AMAQ) said obstetricians should be involved throughout a woman’s pregnancy.

Some women said getting to know their midwife and having their baby with as little medical intervention as possible was a high priority.

At birth centres, natural pain management, such as warm baths and aromatheraphy, are favoured over medical treatments.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-30/big-rise-in-stis-in-western-australia/8154350

A surge in the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Western Australia has health experts concerned, as they seek ways to reinforce the safe-sex message.

More than 3,000 people were diagnosed with gonorrhoea between October 2015 and September 2016, up from 2,170 in the same period the year before.

Cases have more than tripled in the past five years.

And syphilis is also on the rise, with the number of cases rising from 139 to 308.

Acting director for the Health Department’s Communicable Disease Directorate Dr Donna Mak said people were increasingly ignoring the safe-sex motto.

Dr Mak said the increase in gonorrhoea cases had been most dramatic in the Perth metropolitan area, among heterosexual people aged between 20 to 40.

Anyone worried about their sexual health can visit the department’s STI information site,couldihaveit.com.au, to learn more about symptoms, or assess their own risk level.