- A proposal to downscale the emergency departments of three Adelaide hospitals could increase the problem of violence against staff, a South Australian MP has warned.
- More than a billion young people are at risk of losing their hearing because of listening to loud music, a new World Health Organisation (WHO) report warns.
- The largest ever study into mental health services in Australia has found government programs are failing to give people in poor and remote areas equal access to help.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 3rd March 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
A proposal to downscale the emergency departments of three Adelaide hospitals could increase the problem of violence against staff, a South Australian MP has warned.
There were more than 8,000 “code black” incidents with aggressive patients at the metropolitan hospitals last financial year, an 11 per cent increase on the previous year, according to figures obtained by Family First under freedom of information (FOI).
Hospital staff call a code black when they feel unsafe or want help to deal with violent or aggressive patients.
Family First MP Robert Brokenshire said health spending for security at South Australian hospitals had escalated to $56 million over the past five years.
Mr Brokenshire said he was concerned the problem would escalate under the Government’s Transforming Health Plan.
It was released by Health Minister Jack Snelling last month and would see the downscaling of emergency departments at Noarlunga, Modbury and the Queen Elizabeth hospitals, and housing a super emergency department at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.
It would cater for multiple traumas, with senior staff available around the clock, and similar departments would be built at Flinders Medical Centre and the Lyell McEwin Hospital.
Mr Snelling said the Government’s major shake up of the health system would in no way reduce safety in Adelaide’s hospitals.
Mr Snelling said Government reforms could not be blamed for the actions of violent patients.
“We’ve massively increased the penalties for acts of violence against our emergency workers, including our doctors and nurses,” Mr Snelling said.
“But at the end of the day there is such a thing as personal responsibility and people do need to take responsibility for their own actions, there’s only so much the Government can do.”
More than a billion young people are at risk of losing their hearing because of listening to loud music, a new World Health Organisation (WHO) report warns.
The WHO study found that among people aged 12 to 35, nearly half were at risk of hearing damage because of loud music, be it at live venues or on personal devices.
The report recommends that the 1.1 billion young people affected should turn the volume down or limit their listening to 15 minutes a day.
Dr Shelly Chadha, an expert in hearing loss prevention for the WHO in Geneva, led the study, which analysed data from high and middle-income countries.
It found any more than 15 minutes of daily exposure to music louder than 85 decibels could cause serious problems in a relatively short period of time.
Rock stars including The Who’s Pete Townshend and Neil Young suffer form hearing problems because of years of playing live.
But now experts are warning that new technology such as MP3 players and in-ear earphones is making it easier for music fans to blow out their eardrums.
The largest ever study into mental health services in Australia has found government programs are failing to give people in poor and remote areas equal access to help.
The Monash University study looked at Medicare data relating to 25 million mental health items billed between 2007 and 2011.
It found people who lived in disadvantaged parts of metropolitan areas, rural and remote areas accessed the least number of services despite needing them the most.
In some cases, the top fifth of Australian society had about three times better access to some psychological services than the bottom fifth.
In disadvantaged areas, people were more likely to be treated for mental health issues by their general practitioner or a general psychologist than a specialist like a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.
What treatment they did receive involved fewer visits than in advantaged areas.
The number of mental health items that GPs billed for every 1,000 people in a one-year period was 79 in major cities, 25 in remote areas and eight in rural areas.
The rate of clinical psychologist consultations was 68 for every 1,000 people in the highest socioeconomic status areas compared to 40 and 23 in the middle and lowest status areas.
Researchers used freedom of information laws to gain access to the data.
The results, published today in the Medical Journal of Australia, come as industry advocates wait for the much-anticipated release of the Federal Government’s review of mental health services.
The researchers said they hoped their findings stimulated debate on mental health reform.
Lead research Professor Graham Meadows said they found the Government’s Better Access scheme had increased access overall to mental health services.
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