The Health News – 9 December 2016

Overview:
• Dr John Cullen, a senior doctor from Sydney’s Concord Hospital, wrote to Jillian Skinner asking her to deliver on the $150 million redevelopment pledged by the Government at the 2015 election. He said that the need for additional rooms and other services are high, and patients that should be in isolation are being forced to share rooms with others.

• Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital will not be shut down despite a secret document recommending its closure as part of Transforming Health. Health Minister Jack Snelling said the report, which has been released through Freedom of Information, is an old report that was never being considered by the Government.

• Kim Ryan, the recipient of the Australian Mental Health Prize, says more needs to be done to address the links between physical and mental health care.  She hopes to use the award to challenge the misconception that patients’ mental and physical conditions should be treated separately.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  9th of December 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/concord-hospital-doctor-pleads-for-more-funding/8102580

A senior doctor from Sydney’s Concord Hospital has pleaded with the NSW Health Minister to deliver promised funding, saying dying patients and those who should be in isolation are being forced to share rooms with others.

Head of the geriatric medicine department, Dr John Cullen, wrote to Jillian Skinner asking her to deliver on the $150 million redevelopment the Government pledged at the 2015 election.

“There are not enough single rooms to accommodate the dying, those with open wounds, patients needing isolation because of colonisation or infection with multi-resistant organisms or those with disturbed behaviour due to dementia,” Dr Cullen wrote.

In the letter, which was obtained by the Opposition under freedom of information laws, he said his own department, which cared for elderly and vulnerable patients, was particularly in need.

Local Labor MP Jodi McKay said it was appalling that doctors have to beg …

She said the Government should be urgently prioritising the redevelopment, because the area around Concord was experiencing enormous population growth and was targeted for more high-rise housing in the future.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/adelaide-womens-and-childrens-hospital-not-facing-closure/8102326

Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital will not be shut down despite a secret document recommending its closure as part of Transforming Health, the State Government says.

Health Minister Jack Snelling said the report, which has been released through Freedom of Information, is an old report that was never being considered by the Government.

“To suggest that we are closing the Women’s and Children’s Hospital it [is] absolutely untrue,” Mr Snelling said.

“What we’re talking about is a report or some work that was done a number of years ago in the very early stages of Transforming Health when we were presented with — essentially — billions and billions of dollars reduction in our funding from the Commonwealth Government.

But he said the Government was looking at where it could eventually put a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital, which was promised in 2013 to be co-located with the new Royal Adelaide Hospital by 2024.

But state Liberal Leader Steven Marshall said the Government was considering walking away from a promise that was agreed to by the Opposition and called for by clinicians.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/first-mental-health-prize-winner-to-challenge-misconceptions/8101374

The recipient of the inaugural Australian Mental Health Prize says more needs to be done to address the links between physical and mental healthcare.

…. [this week] the award was presented to Australian College of Mental Health Nurses chief executive Kim Ryan by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The Canberra-based advocate, with more than 25 years’ experience in the mental health sector, was recognised for her promotion and support of mental health nursing.

Ms Ryan said she was “overwhelmed” by the win, and hoped to use the award to challenge the misconception that patients’ mental and physical conditions should be treated separately.

She said part of the answer was to ensure all nurses were “competent and confident” in dealing with all problems experienced by patients.

The prize was established by the University of New South Wales and a group of prominent Australians, headed up by media personality and businesswoman Ita Buttrose.

Ms Ryan said the prize increased much-needed attention for mental health work.