Monday, June 28, 2010

Good news about Julia for friends of Israel

The ousting of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd by his deputy Julia Gillard was a dramatic event. A year ago Rudd was still highly popular but his abrupt policy reversal on global climate and the environment began a decline, which climaxed when he stunned the business world by abruptly imposing a tax on mining companies engaged in mineral and energy sales to China and India. The Australian Labor Party, which holds the reins of government, was undoubtedly strongly motivated by Rudd's plummeting standing in the polls which if sustained would probably result in a resounding defeat at the elections scheduled for next year.

The 120,000-strong Jewish community, which other than Israel has the highest proportion of Shoa survivors in the world, is recognized as one of the most Zionist communities in the Diaspora.

Jewish leaders have established a long tradition of strong public advocacy on behalf of Israel, and they can take much of the credit for the fact that successive governments have maintained a strong bi partisan support for Israel, with only one exception.

Rudd's predecessor, John Howard, who was Prime Minister for over 10 years, was regarded as one of Israel's greatest friends on the global scene and highly appreciated by the Jewish community.

The Rudd government initially maintained its support for Israel, but over recent months there were growing concerns that it was tilting the scales against Israel. The votes at the UN tended to increasingly identify with the Europeans, prompting the former Foreign Minister Downer to suggest that Rudd was distancing Australia from Israel in order to solicit Arab votes at the UN to support Australia's candidacy for the Security Council.

More recently, the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat in the wake of the passport imbroglio, distressed the Jewish community. On the other hand, if Israel was involved in this issue, many found it difficult to comprehend why they used Australian passports and ignored understandings previously made, thus embarrassing one of their best friends.

Only a few weeks ago Rudd met with the Australian Jewish leadership, who left reasonably satisfied that the relationship seemed to be back on track.

The Jewish community will certainly welcome the fact that that Julia Gillard will now be leading the country.

She is a long standing proven friend of Israel, having visited the country in 2005 and again last year in May. She headed a high level, 40 strong delegation of Australians who participated in an Australia-Israel Cultural Exchange mission, which took place at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

During the Gaza war in January 2009, when she was Acting Prime Minister, she strongly supported Israel's position, frequently making reference to Sderot which she had visited and stressed Israel's right to defend its civilian population from missile attacks.

The Jewish community will certainly welcome the fact that that she will now be leading the country, and will also be reassured that the long standing bi-partisan policy to Israel will be maintained.


False claim of Port Melbourne rape

Such a thing never happens, according to feminists. It Britain it seems to happen every other week

A WOMAN is facing charges of making a false complaint to police after claiming she was raped in Port Melbourne last month. The 22-year-old's story prompted a man-hunt for the alleged offender and a significant police investigation, costing thousands of dollars in time and resources.

On May 28, Victoria Police contacted the Sunday Herald Sun with the story in a bid to alert the public and appeal for help to find the alleged offender. When contacted on Friday by the Sunday Herald Sun, the woman, who is receiving counselling, said she was sorry for lying. "I haven't meant to upset anyone," she said.

The woman claimed she was still the victim of a sexual assault, which occurred "somewhere else".

Police from the Moorabbin sexual offences unit said the woman had made "full admissions" on Thursday night that she had lied to police. Detective Sgt Paul Toogood said a brief of evidence was being compiled to determine whether the woman would be charged with making a false report.

Sgt Toogood said the Port Melbourne community needed to be informed the rapist did not exist. "The offence reported on that date did not occur. There is no reason for the people of Port Melbourne to be apprehensive going about their business," he said.

The woman claimed she had been grabbed by the throat from behind and dragged into an alcove on the St Joseph's Church grounds on Rouse St, where she was raped between 8pm and 8.30pm on May 25.

Police said they hoped the false report would not discourage victims from coming forward for help. Detective Sen-Constable Mark Feehan said: "Victoria Police encourages all victims of sexual assault to come forward so police can provide support, investigate and prosecute offenders."

Centre Against Sexual Assault spokeswoman Carolyn Worth said false reports, while rare, were a "tricky issue". "It makes everybody slightly wary when there is a similar allegation, which we cannot afford," she said. "We've spent a long time trying to get people to take sexual assault seriously."


Another victim of ambulance delay in Victoria

A VICTORIAN family who had to switch off a mother and wife's life support says it has lost faith in the ambulance service and blames the Brumby Government for her death.

Beechworth grandmother Margaret Edwards suffered a stroke and died after ambulance service bungles, including delays getting her to hospital and going to the wrong home. Her family said long delays in treating her included a one hour and 17 minute wait for MICA services.

Mrs Edwards' husband, Eric, son Paul and daughter Meg have lodged a complaint with Ambulance Victoria, citing no confidence in the service.

Almost two months after the Sunday Herald Sun launched a campaign for action on severe delays, understaffing and a lack of MICA units, the Government has still to announce any improvements. But it's believed a major funding boost is being planned, particularly for rural emergency services.

Mr Edwards said his family's faith in the state's ambulance service had been shattered by the tragedy. "Every time I hear sirens and see ambulances I think to myself, 'Poor buggers, what's going to happen to them?'," he said. "We always thought that if anything happened we're provided for, but obviously we're not."

Mr Edwards called 000 when his wife collapsed on their bathroom floor at 6.21am in late January. Ambulance Victoria said a crew was treating her by 6.38am, left the house at 7.18am and met a MICA unit en route to the hospital at 7.38am.

But the family swore an ambulance did not arrive before 7am after it had placed another call for help and flagged down the crew after it went to the wrong house in the street.

Mr Edwards said paramedics then failed to ask for his wife's name or date of birth and left without the ambulance lights and sirens going. Five minutes later, paramedics returned after realising they had forgotten a medication list given to them by the family and their clip board containing details of the job.

Ms Edwards, who held her mother as they waited for the ambulance, described the ordeal as "a complete cock-up". "They were completely useless," Ms Edwards said. "They arrived with no lights and sirens and they left with no lights and sirens, like they were out on a Sunday drive."

Mrs Edwards' son pleaded with Premier John Brumby to act urgently on ambulance problems. "He needs to spend some more money on Ambulance Victoria and get more staff. It's just not good enough," he said. "If I had it over again I would have got her up into the car and taken her to the hospital myself."

In a letter to the Sunday Herald Sun, the family wrote: "As a family we believe the way our mother was treated was nothing short of appalling. Following this experience we no longer have confidence in the Victorian ambulance service. We hope nobody else has to go through the trauma we have just endured."

Ambulance Victoria spokesman James Howe said the first available crew was sent to Mrs Edwards' aid. "We understand the stress the family will be going through; we're happy to meet with them and explain the situation," he said. "But we stand by the figures. The response time was within our guidelines, the paramedics' response was prompt and they did everything they possibly could to assist this woman."

Mrs Edwards' death is the latest in a string of recent controversies to grip the ambulance service. This month, a 70-year-old woman died in Avoca after an ambulance - sent 55km from Ararat - took 34 minutes to arrive. A source said the Maryborough ambulance station, about 25km away, had two crews on duty at the time, but they were not dispatched.

In mid-April, a Bacchus Marsh woman, 37, suffered a severe asthma attack and died at home before paramedics arrived. A MICA crew took almost 45 minutes to attend, even though an intensive care officer is believed to have been available at Gisborne, 18 minutes away. The Melbourne communications team made no call to check.

State Government spokesman Michael Sinclair said Ambulance Victoria would contact the Edwards family. "Ambulance Victoria logs indicate paramedics were on scene quickly and did everything possible to care for the patient," he said.


Half of doctors banned or disciplined are foreign

What earthly reason is there why Australia cannot train its own doctors? Why do we have to import poorly-trained doctors from India and the Middle East? Why not fire a few of the army of health "administrators" and spend the money on more places in medical schools instead? Administrators never cured anyone of anything

HALF the doctors disciplined or banned for negligence in WA are trained overseas. But more foreign doctors will have to be recruited as the state's GP shortage nears crisis point.

Latest figures, compiled by the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service, show that in some parts of WA doctors are forced to care for more than 2000 patients each. Even in Perth the ratio of patients to doctors is well over the recommended benchmark of 1100 a GP.

More foreign doctors are needed, but an investigation by The Sunday Times has revealed 12 of the 25 doctors disciplined by the WA Medical Board since January 2009 obtained their primary medical degree overseas. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners said 50 per cent of rural GPs were not locally trained - a figure that would only rise with the increasing doctor shortage. "At the moment, we would be beyond crisis if it wasn't for all the overseas-trained doctors working in rural areas," state chairman Peter Maguire said.

Australian Medical Association GP spokesman Steve Wilson said WA had been relying on overseas doctors for too long. He said approvals allowing them to work in WA had to become more robust.

"If overseas-trained doctors are over-represented in those people who end up before disciplinary hearings then we clearly need to sharpen things up," Dr Wilson said. "It's incumbent upon every medical practitioner to conduct themselves clinically, professionally and behaviourally in the highest manner."

Dr Maguire said the GP shortage was critical in rural WA. "There are a number of towns in the Wheatbelt that don't have a single doctor," he said. "People are expected to travel hundreds of kilometres to see a GP."

The WA Medical Board would not comment on its approval processes for overseas trained doctors.


No comments: