- The New South Wales North Coast is shaping up as a key battleground in the state election and the grey vote will be pivotal to the outcome.
- An interim report on Victoria’s ambulance service shows response-time performance has fallen steadily over the past six years.
- A doctor who has been working at the Australian-managed Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone will undergo a 21-day observation period for Ebola in the United Kingdom, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 16th March 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
The New South Wales North Coast is shaping up as a key battleground in the state election and the grey vote will be pivotal to the outcome.
From Taree to Tweed Heads, the North Coast has become a haven for sea changers and retirees.
The North Coast has one of the oldest regional populations in Australia, according to Rafal Chomik from the University of New South Wales Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research.
Mr Chomik said the North Coast population was getting close to Japan’s average — a country with the world’s oldest average population.
The number of older people living on the North Coast means there is more demand for quality health [care] and aged care services.
Older people are driving the demand for community care services on the North Coast, with around 8 per cent of North Coast residents reporting they need daily care compared to 2.4 per cent in Sydney.
It is an ageing time bomb that was highlighted by Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey in the 2015 Intergenerational Report.
Both sides of state politics are tapping into these concerns as they make their pitch to voters on the North Coast.
Labor has set its sights on the four far-north coast seats of Tweed, Lismore, Ballina, and Clarence in a bid to steal them away from the Nationals.
ALP leader Luke Foley committed more than $315 million in new funds to upgrade the Tweed, Lismore, Grafton, and Ballina hospitals when he launched Labor’s North Coast campaign earlier this month.
It is clear both sides need to win the grey vote if they are to succeed.
An interim report on Victoria’s ambulance service shows response-time performance has fallen steadily over the past six years.
The report, which was promised before the election, found Ambulance Victoria consistently failed to meet its performance measure of responding to at least 85 per cent of code one cases within 15 minutes.
In 2008-09, 82.4 per cent of code one cases were seen to within 15 minutes, but that dropped to 77.1 per cent in 2010-11, and 73.7 per cent in 2013-14.
Premier Daniel Andrews said that was not good enough, and that “we can’t settle for these response times getting worse and worse because minutes matter to Victorians’ lives”.
He said the Government would continue to consult with paramedics, doctors and others in the health system, before the full report is released by the end of the year.
The report also found about 60 per cent of all incidents categorised as code one were classified wrongly.
He said having more clinically-trained paramedics in the 000 call centre could help change that.
The report [also] found paramedics were suffering from low morale and unacceptable injury and violence.
Twenty-eight per cent of paramedics surveyed said they had experienced bullying at work.
A doctor who has been working at the Australian-managed Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone will undergo a 21-day observation period for Ebola in the United Kingdom, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.
Ms Bishop said the doctor was transferred to the UK following a clinical incident.
She said the doctor has not been diagnosed with Ebola and was not exhibiting any symptoms of the disease.
Ms Bishop also confirmed a New Zealand national, who recently returned to New Zealand after working at the centre, has developed gastroenteritis symptoms and is being managed as a potential Ebola case.
A full investigation into the incident is being conducted. To date, 118 patients have been discharged from the centre, with 36 patients having recovered from Ebola.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said almost 500 health workers had died from Ebola in the three worst affected countries – Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
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