The Health News – 8 August 2016

Overview:
• The Tasmanian Government opened 12 extra ward beds and promised 17 new nurses for Launceston’s emergency department in late June after claims of an exodus of staff and plunging morale due to overcrowding.

• Dignity for Disability MP Kelly Vincent said announcing a review into problems with the new computer system for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, instead of simply rectifying the issue was an insult to those who had been affected.

• Australian Nursing Federation WA secretary Mark Olson said they had been forced to get “creative” in taking personal leave after the Government capped pay rises at 1.5 per cent. He said in the current environment, if a nurse called in sick, they were often not replaced, and knowing that, they tended not to take sick days off.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  8th of August 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-07/health-minister-michael-ferguson-bed-block-issues-at-lgh-eased/7698490

Emergency measures have relieved bed block issues at the Launceston General Hospital, Health Minister Michael Ferguson says, although extra nursing positions are not yet filled.

The Tasmanian Government opened 12 extra ward beds and promised 17 new nurses for Launceston’s emergency department in late June after claims of an exodus of staff and plunging morale due to overcrowding.

Mr Ferguson said he would “never declare victory” on bed block, but it was his understanding the problem had eased.

Recruitment is still underway to fill all 17 nursing positions.

Mr Ferguson also announced details of a series of health forums he will host across the state next week.

He encouraged Tasmanians to use the events to bring their concerns or lingering questions about health reforms – such as the move to a single state health service – directly to him.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-06/ndis-computer-glitches-to-be-reviewed/7697178

A South Australian state MP has criticised the timing of a review into problems with the new computer system for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, describing it as a “slap in the face”.

Providers have reported records going missing, an inability to process payments, and in some cases, overpayments.

Federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter announced a review on Friday night but said the main problems have been fixed.

Dignity for Disability MP Kelly Vincent said the problem was identified weeks ago, and said announcing a review instead of simply rectifying the issue was an insult to those who had been affected.

Mr Porter said the review would be carried out independently and acknowledged there had been delays in payments to service providers.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-05/wa-nurses-call-for-sick-pet-leave-as-they-negoitate-new-eba/7695916

The head of the nurses’ union in WA says calls for days off to care for sick pets is not silly or frivolous and would be a first in Australia.

The union is negotiating with the State Government after the current agreement with nurses expired at the end of June.

Australian Nursing Federation WA secretary Mark Olson said they had been forced to get “creative” after the Government capped pay rises at 1.5 per cent.

Mr Olson said members were not happy with the pay offer, but were more concerned about their workload.

He said in the current environment, if a nurse called in sick, they were often not replaced, and knowing that, they tended not to take sick days off.

The union has called for creativity in taking personal leave, and said it should be available to care for ill pets, or as bereavement leave after a pet dies.

When asked if it would be acceptable to go home to look after an ill goldfish, Mr Olson said he would not be prepared to draw the line as to what constituted a good reason to use the leave.

 

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