The Health News – 15 October 2015

Overview:
• The privatisation of non-medical services at Perth’s Fiona Stanley Hospital is working well, a Parliamentary committee investigating serious problems at the hospital has been told. Health Minister Kim Hames defended the decision to privatise non-clinical services at the hospital when he appeared before the committee flanked by Health Department director general David Russell-Weisz and senior health executives.

• Maddie Riewoldt, 26, died in February from aplastic anaemia, a disorder in which the body’s bone marrow is unable to create enough new blood cells. Organisers of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision said $750,000 had been raised in just 16 weeks and they had been overwhelmed by the generosity of Australians. Nick Riewoldt pledged $750,000 towards research into the rare disease.

• The Hazelwood mine fire inquiry’s board has been told there is a need for an independent health advocate in the Latrobe Valley. Gippsland Multicultural Services director, Lisa Simha, told the inquiry, the whole region needed to be engaged in a conversation about health improvement.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 15th October 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-14/privatisation-of-fiona-stanley-services-working-minister-says/6853750

The privatisation of non-medical services at Perth’s Fiona Stanley Hospital is working well, a Parliamentary committee investigating serious problems at the hospital has been told.

The $4.3 billion contract with Serco covers a range of services, several of which have encountered problems since the hospital opened earlier this year.

The Government stripped Serco of its sterilisation responsibilities in April after complaints about supposedly sterilised medical equipment being contaminated with human body tissue.

Serco was also forced to employ more porters after problems emerged surrounding limitations on porters physically touching patients.

Health Minister Kim Hames defended the decision to privatise non-clinical services at the hospital when he appeared before the committee flanked by Health Department director general David Russell-Weisz and senior health executives.

Committee chair and Liberal MP Graham Jacobs quoted from a specially-commissioned review of clinical services released in June, which characterised the Serco contract as “challenging” and questioned whether it was cost-effective.

Dr Hames was asked by the committee if, in hindsight, he would have changed the Serco contract by excluding certain services.

“Would I have changed sterilisation and put us in charge?” he said.

“Probably not, because Serco should have been able to do the sterilisation. As it turned out they didn’t, and we had to take it off them.”

Dr Russell-Weisz said the review’s conclusions about the cost savings of privatisation were premature.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-14/madeleine-riewoldt-legacy-rare-bone-marrow-disease–research/6853802

A charity honouring the late sister of St Kilda football captain, Nick Riewoldt has pledged $750,000 towards research into the rare disease that claimed her life.

Maddie Riewoldt, 26, died in February from aplastic anaemia, a disorder in which the body’s bone marrow is unable to create enough new blood cells.

Organisers of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision said $750,000 had been raised in just 16 weeks and they had been overwhelmed by the generosity of Australians.

The inaugural “Maddie’s Match” between St Kilda and Richmond in July, featuring Nick Riewoldt and cousin Jack Riewoldt, raised $314,000 though a portion of ticket sales.

Nearly 46,000 fans dressed in purple to show their support for the #FightLikeMaddie campaign for research into bone marrow failure syndromes.

He said the whole family had felt “a sense of pride and love” from the support and donations that flooded in from around the country.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-14/hazelwood-mine-fire-inquiry-hears-call-for-new-health-advocate/6852566

The Hazelwood mine fire inquiry’s board has been told there is a need for an independent health advocate in the Latrobe Valley.

The inquiry …held community workshops on ways to improve the general health of the region.

Gippsland Multicultural Services director, Lisa Simha, told the inquiry, the whole region needed to be engaged in a conversation about health improvement.

“Dialogue rather than consultation matters and that people from authorities, decision makers and leaders, need to be able to go to consistently where groups are and where communities are rather than have one or two representatives come to them, that’s not going to be effective,” she said.

“Not relying on print on forms that are not going to be useful if you are not useful in English or it’s not your first language or you’re blind or have some other disability and need some other way of communicating.”

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