The Health News – 20 November 2015

Overview:
• The head of Bendigo Community Health Services is encouraging the sector to tackle preventable chronic diseases using a similar tactics to anti-smoking campaigns.

• South Australia is trailing the national average for emergency department (ED) waiting times, new hospital figures have revealed. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found 66 per cent of the state’s emergency patients are seen on time, compared with 74 per cent nationally.

• Indonesia’s health ministry has apologised after a printing error led to posters being put up claiming that HIV can be transmitted through mosquito bites, swimming and sneezing, as well as human saliva and sweat.

News on Health Professional Radio.  Today is the 20th November 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.  Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-19/health-committee-reviewing-chronic-illness-meets-in-bendigo/6953940

The head of Bendigo Community Health Services is encouraging the sector to tackle preventable chronic diseases using a similar tactics to anti-smoking campaigns.

A parliamentary committee [recently] visited Bendigo … for a public hearing into how Australia manages chronic illness.

Bendigo Community Health’s chief executive, Kim Sykes, said a change in lifestyle could prevent diseases such as diabetes.

“So there are certainly issues around what best practice says in terms of, for example, the number of education, the hours of education you should receive when you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, that doesn’t match up to our current funding models,” she said.

“So we’ve made some recommendations in terms of that.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-19/sa-trailing-national-average-for-ed-waiting-times/6953996

South Australia is trailing the national average for emergency department (ED) waiting times, new hospital figures have revealed.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found 66 per cent of the state’s emergency patients are seen on time, compared with 74 per cent nationally.

The Institute’s George Bodilsen said only 64 per cent of South Australian patients completed their ED visit within the targeted four-hour timeframe.

He said there was a decline for South Australia between 2013-14 and 2014-15.

“In terms of the proportions seen on time, 100 per cent of resuscitation patients were seen on time, 69 per cent of ermergency patients were seen on time, and 89 per cent of non-urgent patients were seen on time,” Mr Bodilsen said.

Mr Bodilsen said the figures were based on 7.4 million presentations to EDs across Australia.

“The benchmarks around being seen on time are related to your triage category, for example resuscitation patients,” he said.

“Those are patients requiring treatment immediately, [while] emergency patients require treatment within 10 minutes and non-emergency require treatment within two hours.”

SA Health Department chief executive David Swan said the Government was working hard to streamline services as part of its Transforming Health scheme.

“We’ve got to make sure that we link up patients to the right emergency departments,” he said.

“Sometimes they go to the emergency department assess and need to be moved, so Transforming Health is all about trying to improve that direct access and all our hospitals, again, working on improving the availability of beds which will in turn improve people leaving within a reasonable time.”

Some metropolitan hospitals have been having to undertake ramping (treating patients in ambulances parked outside), due to EDs operating above patient capacity.

Earlier this year the Royal Adelaide Hospital re-opened a ward to help it find space for patients.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-18/indonesia-sorry-over-hiv-sneezing-link-posters/6952932

Indonesia’s health ministry has apologised after a printing error led to posters being put up claiming that HIV can be transmitted through mosquito bites, swimming and sneezing.

Social media was flooded with angry comments after the ministry’s attempt to launch a campaign to debunk myths about HIV backfired badly in a country where people with the virus are much stigmatised.

The controversy came as the virus hit the headlines globally after US actor Charlie Sheen revealed he was HIV-positive — and had paid millions of dollars in hush money to people who knew about his infection to keep them quiet.

The Indonesian plan involved putting up posters on commuter trains in the capital Jakarta stating that HIV could not be transmitted through mosquito bites, swimming and sneezing, as well as human saliva and sweat.

But the printing company managed to miss out the word “not” from the posters and then failed to get final approval from officials, meaning the banners reinforced the very beliefs they were meant to challenge.

Hundreds of posters were plastered on trains at the weekend, but have now been removed following an outcry.

“The ministry has to carry out a massive and systematic awareness campaign to undo this blunder,” Indonesia AIDS Coalition activist Aditya Wardhana said.

Senior health ministry official Muhammad Subuh admitted the mistake was due to a “printing error”.

“We have made a public apology and now the banners are being removed and will be replaced with the correct ones,” he said.

“They omitted the word ‘not’, it was an honest mistake.”

Mr Subuh said the printing company failed to show the ministry the final version of the posters before issuing them as they were supposed to.

The company has also apologised for the error.

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