- The Assistant Minister for Health says the operational detail of the new Primary Health Networks will be announced ‘shortly’.
- Adelaide’s hospital emergency departments are failing to meet a national target to ensure patients leave within four hours, new figures from SA Health show.
- A Darwin man who allegedly worked as a nurse in Queensland despite having no qualifications also worked in the Northern Territory health system.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th April 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
The Assistant Minister for Health says the operational detail of the new Primary Health Networks will be announced ‘shortly’.
Primary Health Networks are replacing Medicare Locals from July 1, with the New England, Hunter and Central Coast Medicare Local areas combined to make one Primary Health Network.
The Chief Executive of the New England Medicare Local, Graeme Kershaw, was expecting the announcement of the successful applicant to be made by the end of March.
The three Medicare Locals have submitted a consortium bid to run the Primary Health Network.
Senator Fiona Nash said an announcement on the PHN’s is imminent.
“The way it will operate will be announced shortly, but I think it’s really important that we recognise some Medicare Locals were doing well, and some were not,” Senator Nash said.
“This system will make sure that we get those services to the areas of need, so we haven’t got duplication, and we get those services out in rural and regional communities where we need them.”
Adelaide’s hospital emergency departments are failing to meet a national target to ensure patients leave within four hours, new figures from SA Health show.
Figures showed about half of all patients who present to an emergency department in Adelaide have a stay of four hours or less, short of a national target of 90 per cent.
The figures also showed Adelaide’s northern hospitals have worsened over the past three years.
Modbury Hospital was treating 70 per cent of patients within four hours, but figures show that has dropped down to just 50 per cent.
By contrast, in most country hospitals almost all patients leave within four hours.
Australian Medical Association South Australian president Dr Patricia Montanaro said the reason for long waits was obvious.
“The hospital emergency departments are absolutely overcrowded, but all hospitals are also over capacity, especially in acute mental health beds and the areas where we need to get people out of hospital quicker,” she said.
Dr Montanaro said getting people out of hospital earlier, or stepping them down into cheaper facilities would help alleviate the problem of overcrowding.
State Opposition health spokesman Stephen Wade said the figures showed Adelaide’s emergency departments were struggling to cope, and believed the situation would only worsen under the State Government’s Transforming Health plan.
Under the State Government’s Transforming Health plan the new Royal Adelaide Hospital will become the major multi-trauma hospitals, and the Flinders and Lyell McEwin hospitals will be considered a “super site” for major emergencies and the priority locations for responding ambulances.
Mr Wade said the Government should not be trialling “untested methods” when the health system is already at crisis point.
But SA Health chief executive officer David Swan said Transforming Health would help reduce overcrowding at Adelaide’s major hospitals by increasing bed capacity and rostering staff on a 24-hour-a-day basis.
Mr Swan said SA Health is working towards implementing elements of the Transforming Health plan now.
A Darwin man who allegedly worked as a nurse in Queensland despite having no qualifications also worked in the Northern Territory health system.
The man was charged on Monday with fraud after allegedly posing as a nurse for six weeks in a Queensland hospital, but now NT Health Minister John Elferink has confirmed he also worked in the NT health system.
The 30-year-old man was accused of using someone else’s employee registration number at the Aurukun Primary Health Centre on Cape York during February and March.
Mr Elferink said a review of nurse registrations had found the man had also allegedly worked as a nurse in the Top End.
“The person worked with a specialist employment agency and was allocated shifts within the health service on five separate occasions between 21 June 2014 and 28 June 2014,” he said.
Mr Elferink said his department was reviewing the placements of the man in the health service in light of the allegations.
“A review of processes for establishing credentials of employed, casual and agency employees has commenced and the public can be confident that measures are in place to ensure this does not happen again,” he said.
“This was an agency placement and the situation is unacceptable.
“The department will now insist on a more robust credentialing check on all agency placements.”
The man is due to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court on April 24.
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