- The Government has announced it is planning to bring in laws which would prohibit adults giving alcohol to children without the permission of parents.
- Doctors and nurses from across Australia have been training in Darwin to ensure they are prepared should there an Ebola outbreak in the Asia-Pacific region.
- The Victorian Government says it will allocate $127 million to deal with the rising rates of obesity and chronic illnesses if it is re-elected later this month.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th November 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News
The Western Australian Government has revealed it will not introduce legislation covering secondary supply of alcohol until next year.
The Government has announced it is planning to bring in laws which would prohibit adults giving alcohol to children without the permission of parents.
But Labor has criticised the Government over the time it has taken to get the legislation ready.
The Opposition brought in a bill in the middle of last year, which was voted down.
Labor spokesman Roger Cook said the Government should have supported Labor’s legislation covering the issue, instead of taking a year to develop its own.
“The introduction of secondary supply laws is obviously well overdue,” he said.
“We’ve had schoolies in 2013, we’re going to miss the boat on schoolies in 2014.
“The Government’s response on liquor reform has been totally inadequate and we see more opportunities go by the wayside for actually tightening up our liquor laws because we know the damage that it does to our kids and we know the damage it’s doing in our community.”
But Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron said Labor’s bill was well intentioned, but rushed.
He said the Government’s bill had yet to be drafted.
“We’ll start drafting legislation, and we’re looking to introduce into Parliament in the first half of next year,” he said.
“It’s my intention this week to table the Government’s response to the full recommendations of the liquor review committee this week.”
Doctors and nurses from across Australia have been training in Darwin to ensure they are prepared should there an Ebola outbreak in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) are likely to be the nation’s responders if Ebola emerges in a neighbouring country.
AUSMAT is run by the Darwin-based National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre.
The centre’s executive director, Dr Nicholas Coatsworth, said the exercise involved 27 AUSMAT trained doctors and nurses learning how to configure a field facility for an Ebola epidemic.
“This is as authentic as we can make it in Australia, based on the experience of organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières,” he said.
But Dr Coatsworth stressed it was unlikely AUSMAT members would be needed in the region.
“The likelihood of Ebola in our region is low, the likelihood of Ebola in Australia is even lower.
“But the importance of regional preparedness is critical.”
The most important part of the training was learning how to get in and out of protective suits properly, Dr Coatsworth said.
“Doing that correctly and with a trained observer is the most critical part to actually avoiding getting the Ebola virus when you’re treating these patients who are in great need.
“What we’re replicating here is not what happens in Australian hospitals, this is what happens in a real life field situation where you have an Ebola epidemic.”
AUSMAT is prepared to deploy to the Asia-Pacific but has not been asked by the Federal Government to head to West Africa.
Instead the Abbott Government has given $20 million to a private health company to set up a clinic in Sierra Leone.
Dr Coatsworth said the training would be useful to any AUSMAT members who wanted to help with that response.
“This training will prepare them and familiarise them sufficiently to go over with organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross,” he said.
The Centre will run at least three more courses until 100 people are trained in treating Ebola.
The Victorian Government says it will allocate $127 million to deal with the rising rates of obesity and chronic illnesses if it is re-elected later this month.
The funding would cover a range of services and programs, including supporting people at risk of developing chronic conditions and include $20 million to expand the Healthy Together website.
It has also allocated $30 million to boost to the Government’s anti-smoking initiatives and $5 million to reduce diabetes.
The latest Victorian Health Survey found the number of people with type two diabetes has risen from close to 14 per cent in 2003 to just over 17 per cent.
Premier Denis Napthine said the Coalition was committed to improving the health and well being of Victorians.
“It’s…concerning in terms of the cost to the Victorian community, in terms of lost productivity through the lifestyles of people are choosing,” he said.
“It’s also the additional health costs because of these lifestyle conditions.
“We know that having an unhealthy lifestyle impacts on longevity, quality of life and cost to the system and the figures show that obesity already costs Victoria somewhere between $400 and $800 million a year.”
Health Minister David Davis said the costs to the system showed how important health prevention is.
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