The News – 23 September 2014

Overview

  • Consumers can look forward to longer shopping hours, buying alcohol and pharmacy products at the supermarket and potentially cheaper road tolls if the Federal Government’s competition review panel gets its draft recommendations into law.
  • A three-day lockdown aimed at stemming the world’s worst ever Ebola epidemic has ended in Sierra Leone.
  • Baby girl born on side of Melbourne’s busy Westgate Freeway. Parents Courtesy Hove and Joshua Deen were driving along the Westgate Freeway about 9:00pm on Saturday when they realised they would not get to the hospital in time for the birth.


Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 23rd September 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/competition-review-recommends-longer-hours-lower-alcohol-pharma/5760556

Consumers can look forward to longer shopping hours, buying alcohol and pharmacy products at the supermarket and potentially cheaper road tolls if the Federal Government’s competition review panel gets its draft recommendations into law.

The landmark review into competition laws has handed down 52 recommendations, including abolishing trading hour restrictions, labelling them “anti-competitive.”

The only exceptions, it says, should be strictly limited to Christmas Day, Good Friday and the morning of Anzac Day.

The panel is calling on relevant regulators to address rules which are “restricting competition” and wants “particular priority given to regulations covering planning and zoning … taxis, pharmacy and parallel imports.”

It has not called for any greater controls on supermarkets, despite a large number of submissions relating to the power of Coles and Woolworths, which dominate the sector.

Instead the panel suggests changes to the existing “misuse of market power provisions” in the Competition and Consumer Act and the introduction of a more effective industry code.

The ACCC chairman Rod Sims, who has had Coles and Woolies in his sights several times this year, says he is very pleased with the recommendations.

The final report is due to be handed to the Government by March 2015.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/sierra-leone-ends-three-day-ebola-lockdown/5759500

A three-day lockdown aimed at stemming the world’s worst ever Ebola epidemic has ended in Sierra Leone.

Authorities said the controversial operation had identified dozens of new infections and located scores of bodies.

In the most extreme strategy employed by a nation since the epidemic began, Sierra Leone ordered its 6 million residents to stay indoors as volunteers circulated to educate households.

Authorities also isolated the sick and removed the dead.

In the early evening, even before the lockdown officially ended at midnight, residents in some parts of the capital Freetown emerged onto the streets to sing and dance.

Police in the western part of the city said they had made a number of arrests in an attempt to enforce the measure in its final hours.

Earlier in the day, head of the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) that leads the national Ebola response, Stephen Gaojia, said a few areas had still not been reached by the government’s teams.

Mr Gaojia said 92 bodies had been recovered across the country.

Some 123 people had contacted authorities during the drive, believing they might be infected.

Mr Gaojia said 56 tested positive, 31 negative and 36 were still awaiting results.

Ebola has infected at least 5,357 people in West Africa since March, mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, killing 2,630 of those, according to the World Health Organisation.

At least 562 have died in Sierra Leone.

The lockdown was intended to allow 30,000 health workers, volunteers and teachers to visit every household in the country.

Residents largely complied with the plan, with streets of the capital mostly deserted.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-21/baby-girl-born-on-side-of-busy-melbourne-freeway/5758524

A baby girl has entered the world in a hurry on the side of one of Melbourne’s busiest freeways.

Parents Courtesy Hove and Joshua Deen were driving along the Westgate Freeway about 9:00pm on Saturday when they realised they would not get to the hospital in time for the birth.

They pulled over near Altona North and Ms Hove gave birth as traffic flew by at 100 kilometres per hour.

“[My partner] was on the phone to triple-0 asking how far away they were but I was saying: ‘ask them how to deliver this baby, you’re going to have to do it’,” she said.

“He had to catch, I had to push it out.

“I think that’s every guy’s worst nightmare, the baby is coming and you’re going to have to deliver it.”

Mr Deen praised the paramedics who kept everyone calm as he delivered the baby.

Ms Hove said the situation left her in a state of shock.

The pair said they wrapped their newborn in a towel and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

Paramedic Jon Hinton was one of the first officers to arrive.

Mr Hinton said it was lucky paramedics arrived when they did.

Both mum and baby had a slightly calmer ride to hospital in an ambulance.

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