The Health News – 12 February 2016

Overview:
• The IKO Creative Prosthetic System, created by Colombian designer Carlos Torres, is compatible with Lego parts and can be customised with different shapes, colours and accessories, won the grand prize at a digital technology forum in Paris.

• Thirty doctors at Modbury Hospital, in Adelaide’s north-east, have written an open letter to the Health Minister and SA Health, warning the State Government’s Transforming Health plans for the facility will lead to treatment delays and higher risks for patients.

• The Latrobe Regional Hospital board has welcomed a report’s recommendation that the Victorian Government create a multimillion dollar special health zone for the Latrobe Valley.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th February 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-11/lego-arm-for-disabled-kids-wins-digital-innovation-prize/7160870

A prosthetic arm made of Lego, which children can customise to their own needs, has won the grand prize at a digital technology forum in Paris.

The IKO Creative Prosthetic System, created by Colombian designer Carlos Torres, is compatible with Lego parts and can be customised with different shapes, colours and accessories.

“Torres wanted to help children with malformed or injured arms feel less isolated by making their disability feel less of a burden or a stigma,” organisers of the Netexplo forum said.

“As well as technology, imagination can help children overcome a handicap.”

The winner was chosen from entries from around the world, including an app that can translate the 11 official languages of South Africa and a Japanese robot that achieved high enough grades in school exams to go to the University of Tokyo.

The Netexplo forum, put on by the observatory of the same name for the ninth year, explores innovation in digital technology via a network of 20 universities spread across 15 countries.

Event co-founder Thierry Happe said the Netexplo Observatory had identified some 2,175 digital inventions this year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-11/doctors-oppose-modbury-hospital-changes/7160582

Thirty doctors at Modbury Hospital, in Adelaide’s north-east, have written an open letter to the Health Minister and SA Health, warning the State Government’s Transforming Health plans for the facility will lead to treatment delays and higher risks for patients.

Under the plans, which include a $32 million upgrade, Modbury Hospital’s emergency department will remain open, but it will have a reduced role.

The hospital’s rehabilitation service will be expanded but some complicated surgeries will be shifted to other hospitals.

The 30 doctors, who are part of the Modbury Hospital Consultant Medical Specialist Group, said they could not agree to the planned changes because of the financial, medical, social and emotional costs to the community.

The letter said the hospital’s reconfiguration would “deliver poorer patient and health system outcomes” and it was “impossible” for the doctors to support the changes.

Health Minister Jack Snelling told State Parliament he had not seen the letter but he had already addressed discontent at Modbury Hospital.

He suggested in Parliament the doctors were motivated by “snobbery” as they were reluctant to visit patients who would end up at a hospital in the northern suburbs.

The doctors warned that patient transfers to the larger Lyell McEwin Hospital in Elizabeth would cost up to $15 million per year, when most of those patients were currently able to be treated at Modbury.

But Mr Snelling said patient transfers to the Lyell McEwin would be minimal.

A spokesman for the doctors declined to comment further as the doctors were awaiting a response from the Health Minister.

The Opposition’s health spokesman, Stephen Wade, said the doctors’ concerns were not being addressed.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-11/hospital-board-backs-push-for-latrobe-valley-health-zone/7158698

The Latrobe Regional Hospital board has welcomed a report’s recommendation that the Victorian Government create a multimillion dollar special health zone for the Latrobe Valley.

The second Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry analysed the health of the region beyond the 2014 mine fire.

It has made 12 recommendations to improve the overall health of the area, to reduce high rates of smoking, chronic disease and family violence.

However, the Government said it would not formally respond until the inquiry’s final report was released next month.

Hospital board member Kellie O’Callaghan said the report presented a rare opportunity.

“There will be some good things coming out of this,” she said.

“There will be opportunities to underpin those who are well and encourage them to stay well and those who are unwell to have a much clearer and easily defined pathway to the services and requirements that they need.”

She said there were opportunities for the region if the Government backed the report’s findings.

“A lot of us have been waiting for this report and it is solid and there are some very good recommendations in it,” she said.

The Nationals’ Member for Morwell, Russell Northe, is also hopeful the Government will implement the recommendations.

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