The News – 06 March 2015

Overview

  • Queensland Health have announced that the influenza shot will be delayed by a month due to a change in the vaccine.
  • The New South Wales Opposition will spend $7.3 million upgrading Ballina Hospital on the state’s far north coast if it wins this month’s election.
  • Life Education has raised concerns about the growing ice epidemic in New South Wales, particularly in regional and remote communities.



News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 6th March 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-05/queenslanders-to-recieve-the-flu-shot-a-month-later/6282400

Queensland Health have announced that the influenza shot will be delayed by a month due to a change in the vaccine.

The vaccine will now be rolled out in Queensland during April, with the official vaccination season to begin on April 20.
Queensland Health’s Communicable Disease Unit director Sonya Bennett [stated]… that it would be four weeks later than previous years.
“The vaccine is delayed as two of the strains of the vaccine have had to be changed from previous vaccines,” Dr Bennett said.
“The vaccine is assessed each year and the World Health Organisation looks at the influenza season and determines if the vaccine currently available needs to be changed.
“This year two of the strains were recommended to be changed; whilst one strain may change, two is unusual.”

The vaccine funded by the Commonwealth and distributed by Queensland Health would be available on April 20, while the private market in pharmacies would have access before then.

Dr Bennett said the Northern Hemisphere often dictated what Queenslanders should expect for their flu season.


Although most people fall sick during winter, Dr Bennett warned the flu could occur all year round.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-05/nsw-labor-promises-to-upgrade-ballina-hospital-if-elected/6283046

The New South Wales Opposition will spend $7.3 million upgrading Ballina Hospital on the state’s far north coast if it wins this month’s election.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley said a Labor government would build a new operating theatre and upgrade the hospital’s emergency department.
He made the announcement while on a two-day blitz of north coast seats his party hopes to snatch from the Nationals.
Mr Foley said Ballina Hospital catered to an ageing population but its operating theatre did not meet national standards.
“At the moment it’s 25 square metres, the size of two car parking spaces,” he said.
“The national benchmark is 55 square metres.
“The money Labor’s putting on the table, combined with the federal commitment, will allow us to get the operating theatre here to the national benchmark.”
The NSW election is on March 28.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-05/happy-healthy-harold-says-8-year-olds-are-using-ice-in-rural-nsw/6282436

Life Education has raised concerns about the growing ice epidemic in New South Wales, particularly in regional and remote communities.
The group’s iconic yellow giraffe ‘Happy Healthy Harold’ has been teaching students about health and wellbeing for the past 35 years.
NSW CEO, Jay Bacik is concerned about chilling reports of young ice users in rural and remote communities.
“Yesterday someone talked to me about an incident where children 8, 9 and 10 being on ice, methamphetamine,” he said.
The health education program is rolled out to 300,000 students each year across the country in more than 1500 schools.
He says drug education is shifting to raise awareness of the harm ice inflicts on communities.

Life Education is … pushing for more government funding to continue outreach services in rural and remote areas.
The group is urging the incoming state government to take immediate action and spend more money on drug education in schools.
Mr Bacik says the program costs $20 a year for each child, with parents contributing $10, but some children are missing out.

Investing in preventative children’s health has also been flagged as a way to manage the rising cost of the health budget.
Mr Bacik fears if government funding is not increased rural outreach programs could be compromised.
“Every dollar invested in prevention is worth $10 later in life for the government to save on health and social issues,” he said.
“But for us to be able to extend into rural areas, where we go like Moree, Walgett, Bourke, Cobar, Broken Hill becomes an expensive issue, especially where there’s drought issues.”

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