- Complaints made by a victim of sexual abuse at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (RCHM) were rejected and regarded as a “prank”, a royal commission has heard.
- Monthly figures show there has been a fall in the number of Australian organ donors over the last two years. Despite programs to encourage more donors, there has been a decline in the rate of donation across the country…
- A dairy farm south of Adelaide has been prosecuted for selling unpasteurised milk, a magistrate ruling farmers Mark and Helen Tyler breached food standards by setting up a “cow share” scheme.
This is the news on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 13th May 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
Complaints made by a victim of sexual abuse at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (RCHM) were rejected and regarded as a “prank”, a royal commission has heard.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is inquiring into the handling of allegations of child abuse at health facilities, including Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital and the RCHM, and complaints made to the Health Care Complaints Commission.
AWI was 12 years old and hospitalised for asthma over a period of five months in 1981 when she was abused by volunteer Harry Pueschel and another young male volunteer known as AWK.
The commission heard Mr Pueschel molested AWI multiple times a week in the hospital’s playroom.
AWI told commissioners that she started to fake illnesses in an attempt to stay out of the playroom.
The commission heard AWI tried reporting the matter but her calls were rejected by a receptionist.
“[She] said words to the effect ‘don’t you realise we have caller ID and are able to track all phone calls? It’s illegal or a crime to make prank calls like this. You’re wasting time and resources of the hospital by making up stories’.”
In 1997, 16 years after the abuse, AWI emailed the hospital’s former chief executive, John De Campo, detailing her abuse.
AWI said Dr De Campo suggested to her the allegations could not be proven.
Mr Pueschel was stood down, but Dr De Campo did not make references to child sexual abuse allegations in Mr Pueschel’s termination letter.
Dr De Campo said Mr Pueschel was able to access the hospital 12 months later, despite being terminated.
The commission is exploring whether relevant information was passed between Victoria Police, RCHM and AWI.
Monthly figures show there has been a fall in the number of Australian organ donors over the last two years.
Despite programs to encourage more donors, there has been a decline in the rate of donation across the country, according to the advocacy group ShareLife.
In April, there were 20 deceased donors in Australia – the usual April average is about 26 donors per month.
Data from the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry shows the number of donors has fallen since April 2013.
Brian Myerson, the director of the organ donation advocacy group ShareLife said the figures were tragic for people waiting for an organ.
“Two years now we [have] declined to 367. That is an 11.3 per cent decline,” he said.
“This is at a time where we’ve spent a lot of money and the figures should be going up and instead they’re going down. And this is extremely distressing.”
Mr Myerson said he was concerned the donor rate appeared to be going backwards.
He blamed the low rate on inconsistent processes in Australian public hospitals.
He said doctors and medical staff should be identifying more potential donors.
A dairy farm south of Adelaide has been prosecuted for selling unpasteurised milk, a magistrate ruling farmers Mark and Helen Tyler breached food standards by setting up a “cow share” scheme.
The Tylers distributed raw milk from 50 or so cows at their Willunga Hill property to shareholders who paid $30 plus a fortnightly boarding fee, then picked up their milk regularly from the farm.
The farmers could face a fine of up to $50,000 for breaching food regulations.
Raw milk sales are illegal and the South Australian Government argued the couple’s “cow share” arrangement constituted a sale under the Food Act.
The Tylers countered it was not illegal for someone to drink milk from their own cow.
But Magistrate John Fahey ruled the state had proved its case.
Mr Tyler was adamant his farm’s milk was safe to drink.
“We’ve got over 2,000 people drinking it every day, really no one’s having an issue,” he said.
“There’s virtually no proven cases of raw milk causing illness in people.”
There has been a push by legislators to crack down on raw milk sales across Australia since a three-year-old Victorian boy died last year.
His death was linked with consumption of raw milk which had been labelled as cosmetic bath milk.
After the death, producers in Victoria were forced to add a flavouring agent to ensure the milk had a bitter taste.
A recent Australia and New Zealand ministerial forum on food regulation recommended a crackdown on sales of raw milk.
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