• The Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia has described being hit by a double whammy after finding out about
a 50 per cent state budget cut to Indigenous programs.
• Legionella bacteria has been found in the water supply at the Hervey Bay Hospital. A Queensland Government
spokesman said patients are being given bottled water and sponge baths as a precaution.
• The Federal Government has refused to say how much it paid for its “hard-hitting new advertising campaign” video warning of the dangers of the drug ice, which is a scene-for-scene remake of a 2007 ad.
Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21st May 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
The Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia has described being hit by a double whammy after finding out about a 50 per cent state budget cut to Indigenous programs.
Budget papers show that funding for Aboriginal-run medical services has halved from more than $30 million to less than $16 million.
The council’s chair Michelle Nelson-Cox said the cut came as a shock.
Ms Nelson-Cox said services were being forced to make changes, including remodelling the way in which people were treated.
Ms Nelson-Cox said the council did not want primary health care provision to be affected.
Ms Nelson-Cox also said workers were concerned about job security, and whether the needs of clients could be met.
She said the sector had already been trying to deal with changes in funding brought in by the Federal Government.
State Health Minister Kim Hames has confirmed there has been an effective 50 per cent cut to the allocation for Aboriginal health services.
But he has told Parliament the state budget does not really reflect what the final funding figure is likely to be.
Dr Hames said the detail of what would be cut had not been finalised.
The Aboriginal Health Council has welcomed the idea of the funding being topped up from elsewhere but has expressed concern about where the money might come from.
The council said the current primary healthcare funding was needed to employ doctors and nurses in 20 clinics around the state and it was worried about a potential exercise of “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.
Legionella bacteria has been found in the water supply at the Hervey Bay Hospital.
A Queensland Government spokesman said patients are being given bottled water and sponge baths as a precaution.
The water testing was prompted by the death of a patient who tested positive to the bacteria on April 20.
The Government said the extent of the problem is not known at this stage.
Queensland Health said legionella bacteria grows inside plumbing fixtures and pipes, where warm temperatures and the build-up of nutrients and microorganisms on surfaces provide an ideal environment.
When people inhale the microscopic droplets of the contaminated water, they can contract legionnaires’ disease.
Although not all cases of legionnaires’ disease are severe, up to 10 per cent of cases can be fatal.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service had been contacted for comment.
The Federal Government has refused to say how much it paid for its “hard-hitting new advertising campaign” video warning of the dangers of the drug ice, which is a scene-for-scene remake of a 2007 ad.
A new TV commercial released on May 9 as part of an $11 million spend to warn people of the dangers of ice, or crystal methamphetamine, is an almost identical remake of an ad produced in 2007, both opening with a doctor explaining the harmful effects of the drug.
When the ads are played side by side, the narration and action on screen mirror each other identically on a number of occasions.
Scenes of glass shattering after being hit by a thrown object, concerned relatives being assaulted and falling to the floor, attacks on emergency staff and a user scratching at their bloodied forearms, all happen simultaneously or seconds apart.
Despite the similarities, Assistant Minister For Health Fiona Nash launched the campaign on May 9, calling the new ad a “hard-hitting new advertising campaign aimed at educating families and the broader community about the dangers of the drug ice, or crystal methamphetamine”.
A spokeswoman for the Health Department acknowledged the latest advertisement, produced by Brisbane agency BCM Partnership, was “modelled” on the 2007 production, which was made by a different agency.
When contacted by the ABC, BCM Partnership refused to divulge how much they had been paid and directed enquiries to the Health Department.
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.