The Health News – 10 March 2016

Overview:
• AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, will discuss the human cost of the Federal Government’s cuts to public hospital funding in the 2014 Budget, and the urgent need for a massive injection of Commonwealth funding in the May Budget to allow the States and Territories to manage public hospitals to meet growing community and patient need.

• The New South Wales Health Department has confirmed Four people are in hospital after being infected with legionnaires’
disease. It is thought the men contracted the bacterial lung infection by contaminated water, vapour or dust in the Town Hall area of the CBD.

• South Australia’s new Ambus ambulance bus been used for the first time this week to transport patients from Adelaide to Berri in the Riverland. The bus can transport six to 10 patients and has been outfitted with six stretchers and six seats. It will transport regional patients needing scheduled treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy in Adelaide hospitals.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th of March 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

https://ama.com.au/media/human-cost-commonwealth-cuts-public-hospital-funding

[Today] AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, will … discuss the human cost of the Federal Government’s cuts to public hospital funding in the 2014 Budget, and the urgent need for a massive injection of Commonwealth funding in the May Budget to allow the States and Territories to manage public hospitals to meet growing community and patient need.

Professor Owler said … that public hospitals, doctors, other health workers, and patients are under increasing pressure as a result of reduced capacity – and things will only get worse unless public hospitals receive significant new long-term funding in the May Budget.

“A short-term pre-election fix will not be enough – long-term funding and planning is needed,” Professor Owler said.

According to the Treasury, in the 2014 Federal Budget the Government stripped $57 billion of public hospital funding to the States and Territories for the period 2017-18 to 2024-25.

Professor Owler will [today] provide practical examples of how patient care is and will be affected, and show data illustrating the shortfall in Commonwealth funding for public hospitals.

[The] AMA Public Hospital Funding Media Conference

Time:               10.30am

Date:               Thursday, 10 March 2016

Venue:             AMA NSW Conference Centre

                        Ground Floor

                        69 Christie Street

                        ST LEONARDS  NSW

9 March 2016

CONTACT:        John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-09/nsw-health-investigates-cbd-legionnaires-link/7234270

Four people are in hospital after being infected with legionnaires’ disease, the New South Wales Health Department has confirmed.

It is thought the men contracted the bacterial lung infection by contaminated water, vapour or dust in the Town Hall area of the CBD.

NSW Health is asking anyone who has been in the Town Hall area who experiences symptoms of the disease to go to their GP.

Symptoms include fever, chills, a cough and shortness of breath, NSW Health’s director of communicable diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said.

The department has begun inspections of cooling towers in the CBD.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-09/new-sa-ambulance-bus-makes-inaugural-trip/7233516

South Australia’s new Ambus ambulance bus been used for the first time this week to transport patients from Adelaide to Berri in the Riverland.

The 12 metre bus is a first for SA Ambulance and was unveiled in January.

It slipped into operation with a trip to the Riverland on Tuesday to transport two patients.

“It went incredibly well, it was a really successful first outing for the bus,” SA Ambulance operations manager for patient transport, Rob Elliott, said.

“The patients were very happy, they were quite chuffed to be on the bus for the first time.”

The bus can transport six to 10 patients and has been outfitted with six stretchers and six seats.

It will transport regional patients needing scheduled treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy in Adelaide hospitals.

It will also provide a static treatment centre at large events and could be used for large, unscheduled patient transfers such as the evacuation of a nursing home during a bushfire.

Mr Elliott said the Riverland trip helped staff gauge how patients coped with the long bus trip and being in an open area.

The inaugural trip identified the need for a communication system between the Ambus driver and passengers.

“We want to have some way for the people in the back of the bus to communicate with the driver without leaving their seats and removing their seatbelts,” he said.

Mr Elliott said the Ambus would reduce pressure on regional staff.

The Ambus will be brought into full service in the second half of the year.