The Health News – 03 November 2015

Overview:
• Veterans opposed to the closure of the Repatriation General Hospital have accused the State Government of a double-cross over plans to shift a post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) unit to Glenside. In August the Government announced a $15 million veterans mental health precinct at the inner-city suburb, including a Centre for Excellence for PTSD to replace the Repat’s Ward 17 at Daw Park.

• The Queensland Brain Bank has conducted research into Alzheimer’s, brain damage and brain structure, and holds 600 brains and tissue from donors. The facility, based at the University of Queensland (UQ), had been relying on research grants from Australia and the United States.

• The Australian Medical Association has accused Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley of “unprecedented” politicisation of a review that shows doctors were ordered to repay more than $4 million worth of benefits claimed in the 2014-15 financial year.

News on Health Professional Radio.  Today is the 3rd November 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.  Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-02/sa-government-accused-of-double-cross-over-precinct/6906186

Veterans opposed to the closure of the Repatriation General Hospital have accused the State Government of a double-cross over plans to shift a post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) unit to Glenside.

In August the Government announced a $15 million veterans mental health precinct at the inner-city suburb, including a Centre for Excellence for PTSD to replace the Repat’s Ward 17 at Daw Park.

Opposition health spokesperson Stephen Wade said he understood the facility would be brand new but on Friday it was revealed an existing building at Glenside would be renovated and extended instead.

“They promised they would have a new purpose built facility for PTSD at Glenside and they’ve broken that promise,” he said.

“What the Government is talking about is retro-fitting a sub-acute facility into an acute facility in a very specialised area.”

Save the Repat protestor Augustinus Krikke said his group never supported the shift of Ward 17 to Glenside and is furious about the altered building plans.

The facility to be refurbished is currently known as the Glenside Intermediate Care Centre facility, which has 15 sub-acute beds.

Those beds plus six new ones are being changed into hospital acute beds in a bid to stop mental health patients languishing in overrun emergency departments.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the care centre was always going to be incorporated into the new PTSD unit to replace Ward 17.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-02/brisbane-brain-bank-to-close/6905616

A leading brain research program in Queensland, which has been run by volunteers since March this year, will close its doors due to funding cuts.

The Queensland Brain Bank has conducted research into Alzheimer’s, brain damage and brain structure, and holds 600 brains and tissue from donors.

The facility, based at the University of Queensland (UQ), had been relying on research grants from Australia and the United States.

Queensland Brain Bank director Dr Peter Dodd said funding ceased earlier this year.

“That was terminated at the end of last year and the consequence of that is we haven’t had sufficient funds to be able to continue our operations from March of this year,” he told 612 ABC Brisbane’s Steve Austin.

Dr Dodd said many staff worked voluntarily for months to keep the facility going.

Currently the donor brains and tissues are being stored in freezers at UQ.

Dr Dodd has been assured by UQ that while he continues to work at the university the brains and tissue will remain to be stored.

He said the process has been distressing for people hoping to donate too.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-02/ama-accuses-sussan-ley-of-review-politicisation/6905144

The Australian Medical Association has accused Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley of “unprecedented” politicisation of a review that shows doctors were ordered to repay more than $4 million worth of benefits claimed in the 2014-15 financial year.

The Independent Professional Services Review (PSR) … shows of the matters referred for investigation, 70 per cent resulted in further action being taken, including the repayment of Medicare benefits for wrongly prescribed chronic disease management plans.

Ms Ley said the report raised growing concerns around the exploitation of “grey areas” and ambiguities in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) that are allowing Chronic Disease Management (CDM) items to be misused, after they featured in about half of all compliance cases in 2014-15.

She acknowledged the instances of non-compliance are very small.

“However, for patients who are not getting the benefit of the treatment they’re supposed to, the outcome for them is poor, and for the taxpayers footing the bill, the outcome is unacceptable,” Ms Ley said

The release of the annual report comes as the Government pushes its plans for a review into the more than 5,000 items on the MBS.

Dr Owler said Ms Ley and the Government should take responsibility for some of the problems because of the freeze they have imposed on Medicare rebates.

He called on Ms Ley to stop painting the medical profession as people doing the wrong thing in a bid to find more savings in the budget.

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