- The Opposition has accused the South Australian Government of failing in its commitment to deliver improvements to the mental health system.
- Ten school students selected for a two-year training stint with far west New South Wales health services have started their training this week.
- Two French families whose babies were switched at birth more than 20 years ago have won nearly $3 million in compensation.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th February 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
The Opposition has accused the South Australian Government of failing in its commitment to deliver improvements to the mental health system.
Opposition Health Spokesman Stephen Wade said nine months ago the Government used its opening speech to Parliament to promise it would create a new independent Mental Health Commission.
But with Parliament opening for another year, he said there was still no sign of action.
“Last time the Parliament opened the Government told us their top priority was to deal with mental health,” Mr Wade said.
“Now nine months later the commitment they made to establish a Mental Health Commission, to have a plan for 2015 going forward none of that has come to fruition.”
Mr Wade said South Australians with mental health issues had been “let down” by the Government.
He said the Government’s new Transforming Health consultation paper, released last week, demonstrated a lack of commitment to mental health.
It outlined suggested savings in the health system across metropolitan Adelaide, but it did not include plans for mental health patients.
But Health Minister Jack Snelling said a Mental Health Commission would be created in the current term of Government.
He said his first priority, however, was to make sure mental health patients did not have to wait up to five days to get access to emergency care.
Ten school students selected for a two-year training stint with far west New South Wales health services have started their training this week.
The School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships program gives year 11 and 12 students a chance to gain industry qualifications by working in their local health service.
The 10 students chosen for the course were doing orientation activities this week before joining their respective working teams in the far west.
Tearra Charles moved interstate to train with the Balranald Health Service.
She said she was eager to get hands-on training at her local health facility.
“I moved from Melbourne to Balranald for the traineeship and redone year 11,” she said.
“It’s definitely been a big huge change but it’s well worth it.”
Broken Hill High School student Liam Farquhar was equally enthusiastic about the time ahead.
“So far so good, I’ve just got to meet our area manager and hopefully it’ll be a good thing,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ll keep a job here and stay here for a while.”
It was the first time the program would be run in the region.
Two French families whose babies were switched at birth more than 20 years ago have won nearly $3 million in compensation.
A court in the southern town of Grasse ordered the clinic at the centre of the mix-up in the French Riviera city of Cannes to pay 1.88 million euros ($2.7 million), six times less than what the families had called for.
The clinic was ordered to pay $581,000 to each of the swapped babies — who are now adult women — along with $436,000 to the three parents concerned and $87,000 to three siblings.
However, the court threw out a suit against doctors and obstetricians also brought by the family.
Speaking on French television, a lawyer for one of the families said they were “completely satisfied with the decision” and “relieved that the court had recognised the clinic was responsible”.
There was no question of the families appealing the decision, the lawyer said.
The story began on July 4, 1994, when Sophie Serrano — now 38 — gave birth to Manon at a clinic in Cannes.
The baby suffered from jaundice and doctors put her in an incubator equipped with lights to treat the problem along with another affected newborn girl.
An auxiliary nurse unwittingly switched them and although both mothers immediately expressed doubt about the babies, pointing to their different hair lengths, they were sent home anyway.
Ten years later, troubled by the fact his daughter bore no resemblance to him with her darker skin, Manon’s father did a paternity test that revealed he was not her biological parent.
Sophie Serrano then discovered she was not Manon’s mother either, prompting a probe to try and find the other family who had been handed their biological daughter.
The investigation revealed that at the time of the births in 1994, three newborns suffered from jaundice — the two girls and a boy — and the clinic only had two incubators with the special lights.
The girls were therefore put together in one incubator.
The two sets of parents met their biological daughters for the first time when they were both 10 years old, but did not ask that they be switched back.
The two families have distanced themselves from each other since the meeting 10 years ago.
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