The Health News – 9 September 2015

Overview:

• The New South Wales Country Women’s Association is stepping up its efforts to help support domestic violence victims living in the bush. The organisation is supporting the 1800-RESPECT hotline, run by the Rape and Domestic Violence Service Australia

• A team from the ACON health organisation will use a clinical bus borrowed from Broken Hill’s Maari Ma Aboriginal Health Corporation to offer the tests at the festival’s Saturday night street party.The festival is a celebration of the Priscilla Queen of the Desert film, shot in Broken Hill, and Australia’s LGBTI culture.

• Ambulance Employees Association secretary Phil Palmer said he was advised at an industrial liaison meeting on Monday that the Treasury Department needed to find $7.9 million in savings from the SA Ambulance Service.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th September 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-08/country-womene28099s-association-raising-money-for-bush-dome/6759288

So far today police in Australia would have dealt with on average 462 domestic violence matters.

The New South Wales Country Women’s Association is stepping up its efforts to help support domestic violence victims living in the bush.

The organisation is supporting the 1800-RESPECT hotline, run by the Rape and Domestic Violence Service Australia

The hotline says it received 55,000 incoming calls for help last year, but that 18,000 went unanswered because of a lack of funds.

The CWA is raising money for the service this week, and is also hoping to fund development courses for frontline support workers in some regional areas.

The CWA’s New South Wales president Tanya Cameron said the confidential service is particularly important in the bush, where there are fewer services but higher rates of domestic violence.

“If [other options] exist, sometimes the counsellor or the person that a victim might go to is known in the community, or knows the perpetrator,” Ms Cameron said.

“So the statistics are higher, the access to services is lower.”

She says the association is using its prominence to highlight the issue.

“I think by not doing anything, we’re condoning it,” she said.

“It’s about making the perpetrators aware that there are lots of people looking over their shoulders if you like, that don’t condone the behaviour that’s going on.

“The more we talk about it, the less acceptable that behaviour will be.”

The 24-hour crisis hotline for anyone experiencing sexual assault or domestic violence is 1800 RESPECT, or 1800 737 732.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-08/sexual-health-27pop-up27-bus-for-hiv-testing-at-broken-heel-f/6758150

An LGBTI health service will roll in to Broken Hill this week to offer free, rapid HIV testing during the Broken Heel Festival.

A team from the ACON health organisation will use a clinical bus borrowed from Broken Hill’s Maari Ma Aboriginal Health Corporation to offer the tests at the festival’s Saturday night street party.

The festival is a celebration of the Priscilla Queen of the Desert film, shot in Broken Hill, and Australia’s LGBTI culture.

Teddy Cook from ACON says an estimated 1 in 10 Australians with HIV are unaware they have the condition.

Mr Cook says ACON’s found that pop-up testing at gay-friendly events and festivals helps more people feel comfortable in getting checked.

“What we want to do is normalise testing and to bring it out into the public to say ‘looking after our sexual health is as normal and regular and everyday as going to the doctor for any other check up,'” he said.

Mr Cook said that the ACON team works to offer strong peer support to people diagnosed with HIV, but also said that it was important for people to know that the illness can be managed.

“Generally speaking, someone will leave a long, healthy, fruitful, connected life, just as they would in a similar way to if they weren’t HIV positive,” he said.

“With any chronic illness there is the issue of taking medication every day, and that is a life-long journey [but] medication and HIV treatment is getting better and better and better every year.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-08/sa-ambulance-officers-threaten-industrial-action/6757618

South Australian ambulance officers are threatening industrial action after the union was told the State Government has plans to cut almost $8 million from the service.

Ambulance Employees Association secretary Phil Palmer said he was advised at an industrial liaison meeting on Monday that the Treasury Department needed to find $7.9 million in savings from the SA Ambulance Service.

He described the concept as “quite bizarre” and that the union would “resist with vigour”.

“Yesterday at one of our regular liaison meetings with the ambulance service we were advised that there was a total of about $7.9 [million in] budget cuts or savings that Treasury are seeking from the ambulance service,” he said.

“We know full well the ambulance service needs to expand and not contract.

“Our members’ ability to look after the community will be compromised with those sorts of cuts.

“There’s no way we can assist in (the Government’s) Transforming Health (policy) if we can’t even do the job we are doing now before it occurs so we will resist the figure.”

Health Minister Jack Snelling said the Government was always looking at ways to make the system more efficient but the service’s overall budget would increase by 6 per cent.

“The SA Ambulance Service Budget will grow by $14 million this year,” he said.

“We are putting on more paramedics as part of Transforming Health and we are in the process of building three new ambulance stations.”

“As with all parts of Government, we are always looking at ways to make our system work better be more efficient, but the overall Budget for our Ambulance Service is actually increasing by more than 6 per cent.”

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