The Health News – 29 July 2015

Overview:

• West Australian health support workers are taking industrial action across the state’s public hospitals, claiming the Barnett Government is planning to privatise their jobs.

• South Korea has declared it is effectively out of danger from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), more than two months after the first case was reported and began spreading.

• The Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall, has announced the timeline is between 12 and 18 months but the 18 month timeframe is definitely the maximum time it will take for the upgrade of the Inverell Hospital in northern New South Wales.

Health news on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 29th July 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-28/industrial-action-at-royal-perth-hospital-over-privatisation/6654080

West Australian health support workers are taking industrial action across the state’s public hospitals, claiming the Barnett Government is planning to privatise their jobs.

The cleaners, orderlies, catering and sterilisation staff are today refusing to dispose of rubbish, wash dishes or collect bed linen at Royal Perth Hospital.

The action will move to other hospitals throughout the week and will also affect the movement of patients to surgeries, the cleaning of wards and meal deliveries.

The support workers’ enterprise bargaining negotiations with the Department of Health have stalled over three key issues.

Their union, United Voice, said they wanted better job security for casual employees and a $50-a-week wage increase, to keep up with the high cost of living in Western Australia.

Union state secretary Carolyn Smith claimed the main concern was the Government wanted to remove a clause guaranteeing no privatisation of services in established hospitals.

Ms Smith said privatisation of services had been a “disaster” at Fiona Stanley Hospital and should not be repeated.
“Whether it’s now or whether it’s after the next election, I think we’re going to see more of Serco, more of big contracting companies running services in Government hospitals,” she said.

Premier Colin Barnett said the industrial action was disruptive and unnecessary.
He said he was disappointed in the workers taking part.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-28/south-korean-declares-it-is-effectively-out-of-mers-danger/6653834

South Korea has declared it is effectively out of danger from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), more than two months after the first case was reported and began spreading.

The outbreak grew to become the largest outside Saudi Arabia, killing 26 people, infecting 186, and at its peak putting nearly 17,000 in quarantine.
It was traced to a man who returned from a business trip to the Middle East in May.

No new cases have been reported since July 4, while health experts say the virus has an incubation period of about two weeks.
Mr Hwang added that although it was early to declare the outbreak completely over, he urged the public to return to normal daily life.
Twelve people remain hospitalised in South Korea and under treatment for MERS, although only one is still testing positive for the MERS virus, the Health Ministry said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-28/planning-starts-for-inverell-hospital/6653524

The Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall, has announced the timeline for the upgrade of the Inverell Hospital in northern New South Wales.
There’ll be up to 18 months of work before the start of construction and Mr Marshall said Hunter New England Health has already started work on the clinical services plan.

The plan will map out the services needed in Inverell for the next 20 to 30 years, including a new renal dialysis unit, Emergency Department and operating theatres.
Inverell Shire Council, local clinicians and residents will be involved in the planning process.
“The timeframe is between 12 and 18 months but the 18 month timeframe is definitely the maximum time it will take,” Mr Marshall said.

Under the timeline laid out, construction of the Hospital isn’t likely until 2017 but Adam Marshall said it’s important the plans aren’t rushed.

Work will also start soon to develop a clinical services plan for the future health needs at Moree District Hospital.
Mr Marshall is pushing for an upgrade of the renal dialysis and chemotherapy units, as well as the operating theatres.

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