The Health News – 9 March 2014

Overview

  • In Sydney, a forum convened yesterday to mark International Women’s Day and discuss many of the global issues women face.
  • In NSW, Calvary Health care are rallying to build the Riverina’s first private rehabilitation facility, as well as a palliative care unit. The bid will be decided on in April.
  • In Victoria, firefighters deployed to the fire at the Hazelwood open cut coal mine in the state’s East are said to have been exposed to dangerous levels of E-Coli bacteria in water used to fight the fire.

Health News on HPR.

Concerns for female refugees’ access to health care – by Sarah Sedghi
In Sydney, a forum convened yesterday to mark International Women’s Day and discuss many of the global issues women face. Dr Tane Luna of Doctors Without Borders attended the meeting and said a key issue was that too many women in developing and war-torn countries are dying because of a lack of access to healthcare. She said “The facilities and the operating theatres are overwhelmed by all the wounded and then they don’t – I don’t want to say that they don’t care, but women are second steps and they may die, they will die but their deaths will count less than the wounded. The people live in very remote settings so it’s very complicated to link them with a health facility.” Dr Luna points out that women with pregnancy complications may die without access to immediate help. She continued “So they will stay at home, deliver at home because they’re not allowed to go to the facility. They may be scared, they don’t have money so usually the husbands don’t leave them money when they’re alone in the house. So they will be scared or they will be afraid of the price of going to facility and not being able to pay for it.” Dr Luna also noted that in parts of the world women are not allowed to travel without being accompanied by men, adding to the difficulty. The forum was a joint venture of Sydney University and Doctors Without Borders to address the obstacles female refugees face in accessing health care of all kinds. Sydney University’s associate professor Lyndal Trevena, who attended the forum, works mainly with women who have come to Australia from countries where they were faced with inadequate health care. She said of the women “They are often fleeing very violent situations in their home country, they may come with children and they are often very, very unwell and stressed. Most of the time women are quite frightened. It takes a long time for them to feel that they can trust anyone, even a health care provider.”

Calvary Hospital palliative care and rehabilitation ward project to be decided next month – no author listed
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-07/calvary-palliative/5304984

In NSW, Calvary Healthcare are rallying to build the Riverina’s first private rehabilitation facility, as well as a palliative care unit. The bid will be decided on in April. The proposed $7m project includes an 8-bed palliative care ward at Calvary Hospital, two beds of which are for the Murrumbidgee Local Health District. Riverina local Tim Kurylowicz is heading a petition appealing for more palliative care beds, claiming the Calvary hospital facilities are not enough. Calvary CEO Joanne Williams said the need for a rehabilitation centre has also been a pressing issue. She said “We’ll have 14 rehabilitation beds and day rehab places. We’ve lobbied for some time about private rehab beds. There aren’t any currently available in the Riverina, so that’s a service that’s long been awaited by local residents.”

The proposal will be heard by the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel on the 11th April.

Toxic water infects Hazelwood coal mine firefighter – by Emma Alberici
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2014/s3959425.htm

In Victoria, firefighters deployed to the fire at the Hazelwood open cut coal mine in the state’s East are said to have been exposed to dangerous levels of Ecoli bacteria in water used to fight the fire. A spokesperson from the United Firefighters Union said one member had a serious reaction to the bacteria which led to a chronic infection in his hand. Tests of the water used to fight the 3-week-strong fire shows it contains very high levels of the E-coli bacteria. The state’s firefighting administration is taking the claims seriously, and Craig Lapsley, commissioner of the VICTORIAN FIRE SERVICES said “It’s very serious for that individual but we think and we hope it’s an isolated instance.
We’ve got significant testing of water and air in the mine that’s done jointly with the United Firefighters Union and EPA. We’re happy with the test regime, but we also will revisit that today.” Security at the mine and power station are under continuing review after police said the fire was deliberately lit.