The Health News Australia January 15 2018

  • According to official data, NSW is on the verge of a nursing crisis, with south-west Sydney set to face a “catastrophic” shortage of staff.  Alarming figures predict that the state’s pool of about 70,000 full-time staff will soon be unable to meet patient demand. And over the next decade, the shortfall will only intensify. By 2030, the modelling suggests while 82,000 full-time registered nurses and midwives will be needed, only 74,000 will be available — a gap of 8,000 workers.
  • Australian researchers have concluded the forgetfulness reported by many pregnant women, often called “baby brain”, is real. According to Australian researchers have discovered that ‘baby brain’ does indeed exist and particularly affects women during the third trimester of pregnancy.  The study shows ‘baby brain’ is a significant phenomenon that mainly manifests as minor memory lapses such as forgetting appointments.
  • Some Australian parents are paying 1,000% more out of their own pockets to have a baby than they would have done 25 years ago. New research from James Cook University analysed data from the Medicare Benefits Schedule from 1992-3 to 2016-17, revealing how out-of-pocket costs have changed for care both in and out of hospital.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 15th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-12/nsw-set-for-major-shortage-of-nurses-and-midwives/9321464

According to official data, New South Wales is on the verge of a nursing crisis, with south-west Sydney set to face a “catastrophic” shortage of staff.  Alarming figures predict that the state’s pool of about seventy thousand full-time staff will soon be unable to meet patient demand.
And over the next decade, the shortfall will only intensify. By two thousand thirty, the modelling suggests while eighty two thousand full-time registered nurses and midwives will be needed, only seventy four thousand will be available — a gap of eight thousand workers.

For hospitals and aged-care centres who rely on enrolled nurses — the less-qualified workers who provide vital one-on-one care — the situation looks particularly dire, according to documents released through a long-running Freedom of Information application. This year alone, New South Wales will need to find two thousand full-time enrolled nurses to meet demand, and on current trends, the shortage will continue to grow. The current workforce of nine thousand full-time staff will plummet to seven thousand five hundred by two thousand thirty, while at the same time demand will sky-rocket to about thirteen.

Stewart James, an executive manager with Hammond Care, is not surprised by the data and says his hospitals and aged-care networks across Sydney will soon face a real struggle to hire and retain new staff.

A spokesperson for Health Minister Brad Hazzard told the ABC the NSW nursing workforce grew by five point six percent over the past two years. He added: “For nursing, this includes actions such as the employment of more than two thousand four hundred nursing and midwifery graduates in two thousand eighteen to ensure New South Wales has a healthy supply of nurse graduates to meet future demand.”

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/midwifery/38/news/aap/australian-study-shows-baby-brain-does-exist/3113/

Australian researchers have concluded the forgetfulness reported by many pregnant women, often called “baby brain”, is real. According to Australian researchers have discovered that ‘baby brain’ does indeed exist and particularly affects women during the third trimester of pregnancy.
The study shows ‘baby brain’ is a significant phenomenon that mainly manifests as minor memory lapses such as forgetting appointments.

Deakin University researchers analysed twenty studies, finding overall cognitive functioning was poorer in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women. They concluded that the general cognitive functioning, memory and executive functioning performance of pregnant women is significantly lower than in non-pregnant women, both overall and particularly during the third trimester.
….
The study published in the Medical Journal of Australia found memory performance declined during the early stages of pregnancy, but the decline either slowed or stopped from mid-pregnancy. The magnitude of changes in overall cognition and memory during the third trimester is not only statistically but also clinically significant, the authors said.

The study authors say more research is needed to determine the impact of ‘baby brain’ on the quality of life and everyday functioning of pregnant women.
….
Doctor Melissa Hayden said the small reductions in performance across their pregnancy will be noticeable to the women themselves and perhaps those close to them.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-12/out-of-pocket-costs-for-having-babies-skyrocket/9321906

Some Australian parents are paying one thousand percent more out of their own pockets to have a baby than they would have done twenty five years ago. New research from James Cook University analysed data from the Medicare Benefits Schedule from nineteen ninety two and nineteen ninety three to two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen, revealing how out-of-pocket costs have changed for care both in and out of hospital. Researcher Emily Callander said obstetric care had the highest out-of-pocket costs of any service covered by Medicare.

She added: “Out-of-pocket costs for obstetric care in-hospital rose by seventy seven percent.”
After adjusting for inflation, the nineteen ninety two and nineteen ninety three out-of-pocket charge for out-of-hospital obstetric services was twenty three dollars and thirty five cents. In two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen, the average cost had risen to two hundred sixty five dollars.

The nineteen ninety two and nineteen ninety three in-hospital charge was four hundred forty two dollars, rising to about seven hundred eighty two dollars in two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen. Researchers found that out-of-pocket costs increased in all locations, but the charges were consistently above the national average in major cities. The research, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, calls for greater transparency when it comes to costs for patients.
….
But consumer groups say the increase in out-of-pocket costs should be a wake-up call to doctors and the Government. Chief executive of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said high out-of-pocket medical costs would drive people away from private treatment, creating pressures for both the public and private health systems.

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