The Health News – 13 October 2015

Overview:
• A Newspoll study last year found more than 80 per cent of Canberrans supported the so called Scores on Doors program. But the Government today announced the proposal had been dumped after consultation with stakeholders. Health Minister Simon Corbell said the decision comes after a “dramatic improvement” in health safety standards in the ACT.

•  Carers chief executive officer Rosemary Warmington said the demand for carers was higher than ever but extra layers of complexity, such as a planned national carers digital gateway, might be unnecessary hurdles in what could already be a complex and stressful system to navigate.

•  A Coalition MP has called on the Federal Government to help states fund the cost of drug testing drivers. Currently it costs up to $600 to return a positive drug test, compared to a positive random breath test which costs just $1. State governments pick up the tab for drug testing and police in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia have significantly increased their testing regimes.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 13th October 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-12/scores-for-doors-plans-scrapped-in-act/6846250

The ACT Government has defended the scrapping of plans to display food hygiene ratings on …doors of restaurants.

A Newspoll study last year found more than 80 per cent of Canberrans supported the so called Scores on Doors program.

But the Government today announced the proposal had been dumped after consultation with stakeholders.

Health Minister Simon Corbell said the decision comes after a “dramatic improvement” in health safety standards in the ACT.

In last year’s study, 54 per cent of Canberrans strongly supported the planned Scores on Doors system, while 27 per cent somewhat supported it.

Despite this, Mr Corbell said he believed the public would not be disappointed with the Government decision.

He said the naming and shaming project would have been costly and would have “penalised some business[es] even though they were meeting safety standards”.

In the NSW, a voluntary food hygiene rating system is in place, where businesses can chose to display their health safety certificates.

Australian Hotels Association general manager Brad Watts praised the Government’s decision, saying it was a “positive outcome for the whole hospitality industry”.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-12/carers-struggle-with-technology-demands-low-incomes-survey-finds/6845752

A carers’ support group has warned against relying too heavily on technology to deliver aged care, disability and mental health services.

Carers SA said a range of changes at both state and federal levels could be making it harder rather than easier for people to get the support services they needed.

Carers chief executive officer Rosemary Warmington said the demand for carers was higher than ever but extra layers of complexity, such as a planned national carers digital gateway, might be unnecessary hurdles in what could already be a complex and stressful system to navigate.

The organisation said its recent annual survey showed nearly three-quarters of eligible carers did not have confidence in the development and management of care plans through the National

Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

It said 77 per cent of people caring for the elderly reported they had not used the My Aged Care website.

Ms Warmington said it was the first time the issue of the NDIS’s effectiveness had been added to the annual survey of carers.

“We found 77 per cent were not confident in negotiating a care plan,” she said.

“This is because it’s a new system of course … I think there is a lot of work to be done there to ensure that families really can negotiate the system.

“Governments, at federal and state levels, are making changes to systems to make it easier but in doing so it can become more complicated for some of the families in working out how to negotiate it.”

Ms Warmington said the survey highlighted what carers often gave up to help meet the needs of others.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-12/federal-government-should-help-fund-drug-driving-tests-chester/6845232

A Coalition MP has called on the Federal Government to help states fund the cost of drug testing drivers.

Currently it costs up to $600 to return a positive drug test, compared to a positive random breath test which costs just $1.

State governments pick up the tab for drug testing and police in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia have significantly increased their testing regimes.

In Victoria, police carry out 4 million breath tests each year and have funding to test 100,000 people for drugs.

Nationals MP Darren Chester is concerned the high cost is an “inhibitor” to police doing their job.

“Under the national ice strategy we’re looking at a whole range of strategies to control this menace in our community,” Mr Chester said.

“So it may well be that we can come out with a recommendation from the ice strategy for extra resources to assist in that regard.”

He said drug-driving is a growing problem in his regional Victorian electorate of Gippsland, particularly among young men.


Police have said most fatalities involving drug-driving occur in country areas, most likely due to higher speed roads and the longer distances driven.

Inspector Martin Boorman from Victoria Police said drug-testing was expensive because the technology was still being developed.

This has been the news on Health Professional Radio. For more information on today’s items head to hpr.fm/news and subscribe to our podcast on itunes.

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!