The Health News – 03 July 2015

Overview:

• State Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian will not be drawn on whether Maitland’s new hospital will be funded under a Public Private Partnership or PPP.

• The Queensland coroner has reopened an investigation into the death of Timothy Oldham a 22-year-old Brisbane man who committed suicide just days after starting medication to quit smoking.

• Mental health patients in rural and regional areas could wait months to see psychologists because of problems with the Government’s new Primary Health Networks (PHNs), former employees claim.

Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the3rd July 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-02/treasurer-won27t-be-drawn-on-funding-model-for-maitland-hospit/6590728

State Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian will not be drawn on whether Maitland’s new hospital will be funded under a public private partnership or PPP.

Around $400 million will be spent on the new hospital at Metford, with $10 million allocated in this year’s budget for ongoing planning.
During a visit to Newcastle, Ms Berejiklian said she doubts that anyone would complain about a PPP, but stresses it is not for her to comment on funding arrangements for the facility.

During her visit, Ms Berejikilan was also asked about the Newcastle urban renewal project.
She gave repeated assurances that Newcastle’s urban renewal won’t be set back, by the so called re-profiling of 400 million dollars into another project.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-02/anti-smoking-drug-caused-22-year-old-mans-suicide-family/6589834

The Queensland coroner has reopened an investigation into the death of a 22-year-old Brisbane man who committed suicide just days after starting medication to quit smoking.

Timothy Oldham left a box of anti-smoking drug Champix next to his suicide tape recording when he died in 2013.
He began taking the drug just eight days prior to taking his life.
As part of an investigation, the Queensland coroner has now begun reviewing all suicides in Australia where the person had taken Champix.
Oldham’s mother, Phoebe Morwood-Oldham, launched a campaign for warnings to be included on packets which highlight its link to suicide and other psychiatric problems.
Ms Morwood-Oldham started a Change.org petition which at the time of writing had more than 19,000 signatures advocating a so-called “black box” warning on Champix.

She said her son’s behaviour became strange when, four days into the treatment, he asked her to tape up his bedroom door because he thought people were out to get him.
She said the following night was even worse.

Timothy had been a strong school student and champion tennis player, but had suffered anxiety after two difficult incidents in 2006: the family’s house burned down and then he was beaten up in a shopping centre.
But Ms Morwood-Oldham said what happened to him after taking Champix was something entirely different.
“If I can make an analogy with numbers, his behaviour of his anxiety disorder would be 10 per cent, his behaviour with Champix went to 100 per cent and ended his life.”
Ms Morwood-Oldham said her son had never mentioned or attempted suicide before.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-02/mental-health-patients-in-rural-areas-face-long-waits/6589866

Mental health patients in rural and regional areas could wait months to see psychologists because of problems with the Government’s new Primary Health Networks (PHNs), former employees claim.

Several former staff from Medicare Locals have … said patients in rural and regional areas are being told they will have to wait months to see psychologists, because service contracts for the new organisations have not been signed.
The Federal Government dismantled 61 Medicare Locals and replaced them with 31 new PHNs at a cost of nearly $900 million.
PHNs provide a link between GPs and other health providers with hospitals to improve community health.
But a former worker at the Hume Medicare Local in regional NSW, …said staff had not been able to make appointments for patients or take referrals because contracts that expired at the end of June had not been resigned.


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