The Health News – 12 August 2015

Overview:

• More than 50 non-urgent elective surgeries have now been cancelled in South Australia and four patients have been moved from metropolitan to country hospitals, as part of the State Government’s winter demand management plan.

• The complexity of diagnosing and treating rare diseases in Western Australia means they cost the state a disproportionately large amount of money, a study has found.

• Three mates from northern Australia are currently competing in the Mongol Rally from London to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia and have raised over $12,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
[7:17:20 AM] Dianne Grace: thank you


The Health news on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th Aug 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-11/surgeries-cancelled-in-adelaide-public-hospitals-in-winter-peak/6687424

More than 50 non-urgent elective surgeries have now been cancelled in South Australia and four patients have been moved from metropolitan to country hospitals, as part of the State Government’s winter demand management plan.

South Australia’s public hospitals experienced their busiest day so far this year last Tuesday, forcing the State Government to implement the plan to try to free up hospital beds and ease pressure on emergency departments during the winter peak.

Another eight elective surgeries scheduled …(yesterday) were cancelled, bringing the total number of cancelled elective surgeries to 54.

South Australia Health’s acting chief executive Jenny Richter said it was too early to tell how long it would take for patients to be given a new date for surgery.

“It’s difficult … to be precise because each day is being assessed for how busy the hospitals are and because each hospital is planning the rescheduling of those procedures on an individual basis,” she said.

As part of the plan, where appropriate, some patients will be relocated to hospitals at Gawler, Mount Barker and Victor Harbor to free up beds in Adelaide.

Health Minister Jack Snelling has previously said cancellations and moving patients to outer hospitals was likely to continue for up to six weeks.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-11/wa-study-to-establish-cost-of-rare-diseases/6687042

The complexity of diagnosing and treating rare diseases in Western Australia means they cost the state a disproportionately large amount of money, a study has found.

Lead author Dr Caroline Graham said it was hoped the ongoing study by the Health Department would give a better insight into diseases that affect one in 2,000 people or fewer.

“One of the main aims of this study was to try to get an estimate of the number of people living with rare diseases in WA,” she said.

With minimal data on rare diseases available both nationally and internationally, their impact on global health systems is little-known.

“Once we know roughly the number of people, we can start to work out the impact they have on the health system and the services that they may require,” she said.

Dr Graham and her team collected 10 years worth of data from public hospitals in WA.

It revealed sufferers of rare diseases were admitted to hospital 10 times more often than those without, and their length of stay was almost double.

Diseases classified as “rare” include muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, early-onset Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and early onset Alzheimer’s.

The study found that though they were only represented in 2.5 per cent of hospitalisations, they accounted for 5.4 per cent of admission costs.
But Dr Graham said in reality, that figure was probably much larger, due to the amount of rare diseases going unrecognised or undiagnosed.

Dr Graham said the cost analysis was just one aspect of research made available by the decade of data.
She said she hoped it would continue to reveal more about the little-known world of rare diseases so that sufferers may have increased access to timelier diagnosis and treatment.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-11/mongol-rally-to-raise-money-for-royal-flying-doctor-service/6686546

Three mates from northern Australia are currently competing in the Mongol Rally and have raised over $12,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

The Mongol Rally from London to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia has three simple rules:
1. You can only take a farcically small vehicle
2. You’re completely on your own
3. You’ve got to raise $1,000 for charity

Taking on the challenge under the team name ‘Dropbears’ are Sam Chisholm from Napperby Station near Alice Springs (NT), James Thomas from Legune Station on the WA/NT border and Patrick Kenny from …WA.
When speaking to ABC Rural, the Dropbears were keen to get back on the road after a tough run through Kazakhstan.0:00        

The three mates and their small car, nicknamed Black Betty, are hoping to arrive in Mongolia later this week.

You can follow the Dropbears’ adventures via their facebook page and donate money to the RFDS …[by clicking on this link.]
“Having all grown up in remote parts of northern Australia, the Dropbears know firsthand how vital the RFDS is to rural communities.” they said.

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