Armadale powers on
Armadale hospital has been flat-strap and with all the increased activity, the hospital has gone $4m over budget. The ED is open but overworked, while the LSCS rate is increasing, averaging 1-2 per day, mostly by day, which is fortunate for obstetrics services but it does put pressure on elective theatres. This pressure should reduce when the operating theatre at the old Galliers is re-opened for obstetrics soon, with new nursing staff allocated. The hospital is not cutting back on elective surgery, with rumours of increased funding to meet demand, and more nurses recruited in recent times has eased concern in theatres. Of course, winter activity often means elective surgery beds go to general medical admissions. One growing development is academic appointments to meet the required growth in training places – two recent appointments from UWA may herald the hospital as a teaching hospital, with interest in creating nearby teaching facilities.
WorkCover Releases Code
The Queensland floods and other catastrophies have put insurers $4b in the red, making everyone risk averse, and the growing mining FIFO workforce fatigue is ripe for increasing Workers’ Comp claims. Timely then that WorkCover WA and the National Insurance Brokers Association have released their Insurance Brokers’ Code of Practice – a key recommendation from a 2009 review of the WC Act 1981. Brokers are critical to the WC scheme and this maps how they can meet their professional obligations when policies are being discussed. Copies of the Code of Practice are at the WorkCover WA website.
The Fighting Fund
The Australian Doctors Fund (est 1989), chaired by fiercely independent surgeon Bruce Shepherd AM, is still operating to influence health policy. Its latest newsletter suggested we do nothing with PCEHR until all is revealed by the government; remove the July 2013 sunset clause from the AHPRA ‘Public Interest, Occasional Practice’ registration to prevent 1800 doctors being wiped from the profession (see http://www.asada.net.au/); halt medical school expansions while intern post pressures exist; stop AHPRA funding the Independent Health Advisory Service for doctors; and block prescribing by non-doctors. See www.adf.com.au
Volunteers Draw Success
Cancer Council told us that funds raised from their Daffodil Day was $5,246,367, $4m shy of its $9.2m target with more than 10,000 volunteers taking part. We understand there were more than 30 NFPs involved in cancer awareness about eight years ago and one group involved with brain cancer used acquired donations to supplement the use of drugs not normally available to patients. Cancer Council CEO said that during the GFC, donations dropped from individuals but people still got behind campaigns making their big three – Daffodil Day, Big Morning Tea, Pink Ribbon Day – all successful, thanks partly to high volunteer involvement.
Stroke For Stroke
Every now and again press releases appear to be beat-ups trying to break through the medical noise out there. Take “Australia’s Biggest Health Problem is We Don’t Care About – Stroke”, which is the conclusion drawn by the CEO of National Stroke Foundation because only 6% of 1000 people surveyed said stroke was a health concern. This indicated a “dangerous level of ignorance about the realities and prevalence of stroke”, apparently. Stroke isn’t getting enough program-funding even though 20% of strokes happen under the age of 55. Meanwhile, HDWA had no interest for its invitation (DOHROI02) to NFPs to develop, deliver and monitor self-management programs for people with chronic conditions (from Gascoyne to the South West). It was part of implementing the WA Chronic Condition Self-Management Strategic Framework 2011-2016.