The Health News – 21 January 2016

Overview:
• Chief Minister Adam Giles announced a new five-year contract with St John Ambulance which is worth $149 million over five years. A new injection of funding which will mean more staff and vehicles for the organisation.

• Chiropractors around the country have been making claims they can prevent caesarean births, treat diabetes, cure cancer and even fight the flu. Medical professionals are worried the practice could be potentially dangerous for patients.

• The Cancer Relief Society in PNG says many Papua New Guinean women living in remote areas don’t recognise the warning signs of cervical cancer, and often blame symptoms on sorcery.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21st January 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-19/more-ambulances-and-staff-for-nt-service-funding-boost/7098900

The Northern Territory’s ambulance service has welcomed a new injection of funding which will mean more staff and vehicles for the organisation.

Chief Minister Adam Giles announced a new five-year contract with St John Ambulance which is worth $149 million over five years.

St John NT CEO Ross Coburn said the funding would allow the organisation to employ 55 new people – an increase of about 25 per cent – and buy seven new ambulances.

Two extra crews will be able to be rostered on in Darwin during peak times, and Alice Springs will have more non-emergency crews and additional paramedics.

Katherine will also gain another paramedic.

“There’ll be additional emergency paramedics and there’ll be additional non-emergency crews,” Mr Coburn said.

“It’s a fantastic result for us all.”

In the past, ambulance services in Darwin’s rural area have been poor, with crews having to travel from Casuarina in the city’s north during peak times.

Mr Coburn said the extra funding would help alleviate those problems.

He said it will also allow non-emergency crews to deal with lower risk patients, leaving emergency crews free for patients who need them most.

Mr Giles also said work was progressing on relocating the ambulance station in Katherine out of the flood zone.

He said plans for the $7.6 million facility were being finalised, and tenders would be put out soon.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-20/abc-obtains-list-of-chiropractors-accused-of-misleading-claims/7099412

Chiropractors around the country have been making claims they can prevent caesarean births, treat diabetes, cure cancer and even fight the flu.

More details have emerged about the nature of marketing material chiropractors across Australia have been publishing on their websites.

Medical professionals are worried the practice could be potentially dangerous for patients.

The ABC has obtained a list of the 10 chiropractic clinics which were the subject of complaints to the regulator by public health expert Dr Ken Harvey.

Dr Harvey, of Monash University, on Monday published an article in the Medical Journal of Australia calling for the Chiropractic Board of Australia to be sacked because its failure to deal with complaints and enforce advertising laws.

He said the board’s “educative” approach was not working and some chiropractors continued to break laws by spruiking misleading claims.

The board and the regulator, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, maintain most clinicians change their marketing when errors are brought to their attention.

Dr Harvey made the complaints after identifying more than 200 websites where chiropractors made unsubstantiated and potentially dangerous claims.

The 10 were a sample to reflect widespread behaviour in the profession.

Following the complaints, many have amended their websites or toned down their claims, however some websites still contain promotions Dr Harvey said were not evidence-based.

Barham Chiropractic in Queensland claims it is “a good idea to get your newborn checked as early as possible for any spinal health problems” and that “signs of spinal distress in babies can include, but not be limited to, colic, unusual crying, poor appetite or erratic sleeping habits”.

For pregnant mothers it claims chiropractic care can resolve breech babies “reducing the need for a caesarean birth”.

KingsWilliam Chiropractic in NSW suggested adjustments could help people fight off winter colds and flu. Its owners declined to comment.

Care Clinic in NSW initially stated on its website its “holistic healing” could cure cancer, heart disease and diabetes but removed the post after the complaint.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-20/png-govt-urged-to-dispel-myths-by-funding-cancer/7100684

The Cancer Relief Society in PNG says many Papua New Guinean women living in remote areas don’t recognise the warning signs of cervical cancer, and often blame symptoms on sorcery.

During a week long awareness program, researchers spoke to more than 1600 people in 13 Morobe province villages, and CRS coordinator Grace Ruddaka, says it’s clear some women are putting themselves at serious risk because of their misguided beliefs.

 

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