The Health News – 8 September 2016

Overview:
•  A plan to close 39 beds at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) has been temporarily suspended by SA Health after talks with the nursing union. Australian Nursing Federation official Elizabeth Dabars met department officials to ask for more evidence the beds were not needed.

• The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne poll found Australians were spending $67 million annually on cough and cold medication for children aged under 15.Dr Anthea Rhodes, a paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital, said one problem was that the drugs were so easily available and many people failed to realise that they could have significant risks.

A team of medical specialists working with pregnant women who are using drugs will meet with the state’s Assistant Health Minister Pru Goward to argue the case for her to lift the ban on pregnant women entering the injecting centre in Sydney’s Kings Cross. Dr Marianne Jauncey, the medical director of the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings Cross, said the biggest danger for pregnant women using was for them to stop suddenly.

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

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-07/royal-adelaide-hospital-39-bed-closures-suspended-nurses-say/7822980

A plan to close 39 beds at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) has been temporarily suspended by SA Health after talks with the nursing union.

Health authorities earlier said a private aged care provider had agreed to take in the elderly patients who had been occupying the beds.

Australian Nursing Federation official Elizabeth Dabars …met department officials to ask for more evidence the beds were not needed.

SA Health interim chief executive Vickie Kaminski said she was happy to consult further.

The RAH emergency department was beyond its capacity on Tuesday afternoon, but Ms Kaminski said that was not a justification for keeping certain beds.

The interim chief executive said she was not focused on achieving any predetermined bed or staff numbers.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-07/concern-over-kids-given-cough-medicines/7822768

The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne is worried about the growing numbers of parents reaching for the quick-fix of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for young children that could potentially cause them harm.

The hospital’s poll found Australians were spending $67 million annually on cough and cold medication for children aged under 15.

Dr Anthea Rhodes, a paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital, said the number of parents giving their children these medications was “frightening”.

She said one problem was that the drugs were so easily available and many people failed to realise that they could have significant risks.

Dr Rhodes said they were concerned to see that of the parents who said they gave their children cough and cold medicines, three-quarters had been advised to do so by a pharmacist.

She said while it may sound boring and old-fashioned, the best medicines were things like time, rest and plenty of fluids.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-07/proposal-to-allow-pregnant-users-access-to-injecting-room/7821744

A highly controversial proposal is being made to allow pregnant women access to Australia’s first and only medically supervised injecting centre in Sydney’s Kings Cross.

A team of medical specialists working with pregnant women who are using drugs will meet with the state’s Assistant Health Minister Pru Goward …to argue the case for her to lift the ban on pregnant women entering the centre.

Mary Harrod is one of the proposal’s advocates and the public face of the NSW Users and Aids Association, and she has her own story of drug addiction.

She started injecting heroin about a year before she became pregnant and continued to use until she was about seven months’ pregnant.

Ms Harrod said she found it extremely difficult to get help and the threat of her baby being taken away from her loomed over her.

She said the fear was always that though authorities like the Department of Family and Community Services might be there to help people like her, there was also the lingering worry that they might “have another agenda”.

Ms Harrod eventually found a treatment place that promised to help her with her addiction and to help her keep her baby.

She went through a managed withdrawal program and her son was born without a dependency.

The medically supervised injecting centre on Darlinghurst road was set up nearly 16 years ago after a huge spike in the number of fatal heroin overdoses.

Dr Marianne Jauncey, the medical director of the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings Cross, said the biggest danger for pregnant women using was for them to stop suddenly.

Dr Jauncey said that the safest thing was for the pregnant woman to be allowed access to the health facility, where they would be kept safe by the staff.

The Kings Cross centre is the only one of its kind in Australia and there would have to be a change in legislation before another centre opened.

 

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