- The helipad at the Royal Melbourne Hospital has been closed for weeks due to concerns that a nearby crane on a construction site is intruding airspace.
- The Country Labor Party candidate for the Northern Tablelands has welcomed the Coalition’s promise of funds for Armidale and Inverell hospital, but says she’s got doubts about the certainty of the funding.
- Children in the ACT cannot escape junk food marketing and messages about healthy foods are being “completely drowned out”, according to the Heart Foundation.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th March 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
The helipad at the Royal Melbourne Hospital has been closed for weeks due to concerns that a nearby crane on a construction site is intruding airspace.
Helicopters have been bypassing the hospital, one of Melbourne’s busiest trauma hospitals, since mid-February.
Patients are either being sent to the Alfred Hospital or transferred by road after the choppers land at the nearby Royal Children’s Hospital.
Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said an official investigation would be launched into the matter.
She said says there should not be any unnecessary delays to getting seriously ill patients to hospital.
“The Department of Health and Human Services are currently doing some work on making sure that when it comes to things like high-rise development, that the appropriate design and development overlays are in place to ensure that things like flight paths are not affected,” Ms Hennessy said.
“The department tells me they are working as quickly as possible to get an alternate flight path in.
“The safety of patients and paramedics has to be our top priority. If it’s not safe, an alternative needs to be found.”
Ms Hennessy said it was not uncommon for helipads to be closed in the short term, and some hospitals had been forced to move their helipads due to construction and renovations of their own buildings.
The head of the ambulance union, Steve McGhie, said he was seeking answers about whether patient care was being compromised.
The Country Labor Party candidate for the Northern Tablelands has welcomed the Coalition’s promise of funds for Armidale and Inverell hospital, but says she’s got doubts about the certainty of the funding.
Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall yesterday announced a total of $90 million for the region’s hospitals.
It’s made up of $60 million for Armidale Hospital and $30 million for Inverell Hospital.
The funding is contingent on the Coalition Government being re-elected on March 28.
Both the Deputy Premier and Mr Marshall said the funding is not contingent on the long-term lease of the poles and wires, but Debra O’Brien said she still has doubts.
“We’re just wondering where the money is coming from and why the money wasn’t put on the table before and not two weeks before the election,” she said.
“I’m curious that this isn’t contingent on the sale of electricity assets, and I would hate to see Armidale people hear another announcement without substance.
“We need to see the funding in the forward estimates.”
Debra O’Brien said the Labor Party hasn’t been able to find funding for such upgrades, but it will invest in regional health infrastructure.
“We’ve got a fully-costed infrastructure announcement we made a few weeks ago, that $3 billion extra, on top of capital expenditure, would go to health and education in rural areas alone,” she said.
“But we would have to do this over a period of time, we certainly don’t have that level of funds that we know of anywhere that could suddenly upgrade the hospitals like this.”
Children in the ACT cannot escape junk food marketing and messages about healthy foods are being “completely drowned out”, according to the Heart Foundation.
The foundation’s comment came as an audit of food and beverage marketing in Canberra revealed that 78 per cent of food marketed to children in the ACT was unhealthy.
The audit was conducted by the Heart Foundation in 2013 at the request of the ACT Government and covered 61sites including shopping centres, supermarkets and sporting events.
In total, 940 instances of food and beverage marketing were found, with 735 items flagged as unhealthy under the Department of Health’s National Healthy School Canteens Guidelines.
The report found that 86 per cent of marketing at audited sporting venues was classified as unhealthy food, with 80 per cent of items being unhealthy at audited shopping centres and 77 per cent at audited supermarkets.
Heart Foundation ACT’s chief officer Tony Stubbs said the findings were shocking.
“This audit clearly shows that messages about healthier foods and drinks are being completely drowned out by marketing for unhealthy items such as confectionery, fried foods and sugary drinks,” he said.
“Even when children join their local sports organisations or go to sports venues, they cannot escape it.”
Mr Stubbs said having eight out of 10 products that are marketed to children being unhealthy was not the way encourage children in Canberra to eat healthily.
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