Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pickering Post

Scatological cartoonist Larry Pickering is really down on Julia Gillard and now has his own news site up.  There is a lot of commonsense on it.

Queensland homosexuals "bullied" by conservative State government

Because their taxpayer funding was cut off!

A RESPECTED physician has accused the Newman Government of mirroring "the actions of a homophobic schoolyard bully" and has quit the State's newly-formed HIV/AIDS advisory committee in protest.

Brisbane doctor Wendell Rosevear tendered his resignation on Wednesday as the nine-member ministerial advisory committee met for only the second time.

In his resignation letter, Dr Rosevear said the Government had delivered a "king hit" to the gay community by stripping peak body Queensland Association for Healthy Communities of funding with little consultation then effectively silencing other groups under new funding rules.

The rules forbid non-profits from agitating for state or federal law changes if their group receives half or more of its funding from Queensland Health and other state agencies.  The Government has argued the new rules ensure groups focus on "outcomes not advocacy".

A spokesman for Mr Springborg said the QAHC funding was axed because the group had "lost focus" on HIV and AIDS prevention while infection rates soared.

Dr Rosevear, who has worked with HIV/AIDS since 1985, accused Health Minister Lawrence Springborg of "acting to divide and silence" the affected community and then refusing to allow the committee to discuss the issue.

"His office are actually saying what can and can't be on the agenda but the committee's job is to give advice without the interference of the external body, the Minister's office," Dr Rosevear told The Courier-Mail.

Dr Rosevear also took aim at Queensland Health's new HIV prevention campaign, which prominently features the Grim Reaper of 1980s AIDS campaigns, as designed to engender only fear and guilt.

The committee had been asked to "rubber stamp" the campaign once it was already completed, he said.

"When you feed fear then some people don't want to test because they're scared of getting a diagnosis or facing death and so fear actually can be counterproductive for AIDS prevention," he said.


Man charged for something he didn't do

Charging him for what he MAY have done  -- failing to secure his shotgun -- was not provable so bogus charges were laid

MANSLAUGHTER charges have been laid against the father of a schizophrenic man who killed three people in a shooting spree at Hectorville last year.

Giuseppe Corbo allegedly failed to properly secure a shotgun which his son Donato used to fatally shoot Luc Mombers and his parents-in-law Kobus and Annetjie Snyman in April 2011.

He also tried to kill Mr Mombers' wife, Rika, and their son, Marcel, and wounded two police officers, Travis Emms and Brett Gibbons.

Corbo, 71, had earlier been charged with endangering life and four firearms charges and his lawyer was to have argued there was no case to answer in Adelaide Magistrates Court this afternoon.

Instead, prosecutor Laura Carrocci told Magistrate Sue O'Connor that the endangering life charges had been withdrawn and replaced with three counts of negligent manslaughter.

Corbo did not enter a plea to the new charges and was remanded on continuing bail to face court again in November.

Donato Corbo is detained at James Nash House for life after being found not guilty of the murders by reason of mental incompetence.


Attempted coverup of accident caused by speeding train

A RADIO message sent from Banyo train station to Queensland Rail's main control room will become the centre of a double investigation into what went wrong in Friday's train and truck crash on Brisbane's northside.

QR officials confirmed a staff member at Banyo tried to warn oncoming trains yesterday morning a semi-trailer had become stuck across the tracks on St Vincents Rd, but the driver of the ill-fated train did not receive the message.

The investigation will focus on how a train coming along a straight track in daylight could not stop in time to avoid hitting a stranded truck.

The crash between the semi-trailer and the Shorncliffe-bound train just before 6.30am resulted in the truck being ripped in two, its driver receiving severe leg and pelvic injuries, and morning and afternoon peak-hour services being suspended.

QR Chief Customer Officer Martin Ryan yesterday refused to comment on many aspects of the crash, including the speed of the train or how far away the train was before its emergency brakes were applied, but did confirm the radio call.

Mr Ryan recounted the train driver's initial report, despite many conflicts with police and witness accounts.

"A Shorncliffe train with 11 customers on board, a driver and a guard, has approached Banyo Station and as it has come around the bend has seen a low loader traversing St Vincents Rd crossing," Mr Ryan said.

"He applied the emergency brakes but unfortunately has hit the low loader and has caused significant damage to the train, the track and the truck."

Despite Mr Ryan's claim the train was coming around the bend, the train track runs straight for 1km between Bindha and Banyo stations.

Police Inspector Mark Laing also confirmed witness accounts the truck was stationary at the time of the crash and the truck driver was outside of the vehicle.

Banyo resident John Mahoney witnessed the breakdown of the truck and saw the truck driver, a Victorian, trying to fix the semi-trailer before the northbound train arrived.

"It came roaring in and just took out the semi," Mr Mahoney said. "We got off our train and all you could smell was the burn of the emergency brakes."

The truck driver is in a stable condition at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.



Australian public hospitals demonstrate almost daily why 40% of Australians buy private health insurance as an alternative.  Three current  articles below

Hunger and thirst blamed for 2000 patient deaths in Queensland public hospitals in 2011-12

HUNDREDS of patients are dying every year after becoming dehydrated or malnourished in Queensland public hospitals.

Hunger and thirst were either wholly or partly to blame for more than 2000 patient deaths last financial year and 10 per cent of those weren't malnourished or dehydrated when they were admitted, according to Queensland Health figures obtained by The Courier-Mail under Right to Information laws.

Most of the patients were elderly, prompting concerns they are being neglected because of staff shortages and a lack of supervision at meal times.

Stakeholders warn it's only going to get worse following State Budget cuts while others say the fault lay with under-resourced nursing homes where most of them come from or fasting patients who are continually bumped for surgery.

The Medical Error Action Group said it was a nationwide problem exacerbated by lack of supervision at meal times and the belief older patients were just "bed blockers" who would die anyway.

"It's neglect, just sheer neglect of the elderly in hospitals and they're not supervised in meal times," Medical Error Action Group spokeswoman Lorraine Long said.

“I think it's like if you're at a certain age in hospital, who cares, you're going to die."

Ms Long said for hygiene reasons, the food handlers couldn't unwrap or take lids off the food when it's delivered, but neither could many elderly patients.  “It's then up to the nurse on duty to come around to the patient to make sure they eat it, if they can," she said.

In the 2011-12 financial year, dehydration was either the principal or secondary cause of death for 1190 patients who died - up from 1178 in 2008-09. Of those, 218 were not dehydrated when admitted.

There were another 923 cases last financial year where malnutrition was either the principal or secondary cause of death - up from 676 in 2008-09. Of those, 43 were not malnourished when admitted.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the situation was "unacceptable".  "Without getting in and understanding each individual case, you would actually hope in a hospital environment, the issue of basic nutrition and hydration would be something pretty easy to control you would think," he said.

Mr Springborg said hospital staff should take the time to ensure the packaging was removed, particularly for patients who would struggle with it.

"The simple reality is a person who’s got a dexterity issue, should they actually be presented with a fruit juice in a foil covered thing where it hasn't been pulled back for them? That doesn't take a lot of time to do," Mr Springborg said.

"It's about getting the basic stuff right and that's what we've got to do...and I'm not going to accept shroud waving and excuses."

Queensland Nurses Union secretary Beth Mohle said the issue was complex and hospitals weren't necessarily to blame.

She said people could have medical conditions that affected their ability to swallow, such as stroke patients.

"The main issue is age. Older people do lose their appetite and it is really almost a full-time job to keep some older people interested in their food and fluid intake," she said.

"That's why it's important to have appropriate numbers and skill mix of people working in aged care facilities. If we haven't got appropriate staffing numbers and skill mix of people to understand that nutritional integrity is really important, then patients can easily deteriorate.”

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Alex Markwell said malnutrition was a common medical problem and patients with cancer and cystic fibrosis particularly struggled to maintain adequate nutrition levels.

"A lot of people in hospitals have some form of malnutrition but that's not because we're not trying to fix it," Dr Markwell said.

"Putting a feeding tube down, food supplements, all of those things help but they're not the same as if you were able to eat as much as your body needs through the normal way.”


A hospital Emergency department that is useless in an emegency

Two patients in severe danger left to wait until they give up and go elsewhere

THE parents of a Garibaldi food poisoning victim who required urgent medical attention say they waited eight hours at the Royal Adelaide Hospital before leaving without treatment - and finding a parking fine on their car.

Chilean migrant pensioners Juan and Nancy Fuentes say they took their adult son to the RAH emergency department on May 3 after he attempted to commit suicide.

The couple say they left the hospital after eight hours, without receiving treatment for their son, and found a parking ticket for $50 on their car, written 20 minutes after arrival around 7pm.

They ended up taking their son to a locum doctor and he was later admitted to Lyell McEwin Hospital, where he stayed for a month.  He is now receiving specialist mental health care in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, the couple disputed the parking fine and were sent a letter saying they faced a $424 court-ordered bill - although that has since been waived.  They say the hospital showed "no compassion" for their situation.

The Garibaldi epidemic began in early 1995 when Nikki Robinson, 4, died after eating the smallgoods company's metwurst.  She was among dozens rushed to the Women's and Children's Hospital with severe diarrhoea and abdominal pains caused by E coli and 23 children developed Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome.

Liberal health spokesman Martin Hamilton-Smith said victims of the Garibaldi food poisoning were "promised gold card-level priority care by the health system" and it was "a disgrace" the Fuentes family were left to wait so long.

"Here is another example of an overwhelmed ED just days after a damning national report which found SA to be the worst-performing state," he said.

Mr Hamilton-Smith said he had written to Health Minister John Hill about the issue of car parking at hospitals.  He suggested doctors and nurses be able to issue "pink slips" to patients who arrive "in crisis" which would waive the fee for parking in a restricted carpark in an emergency.

Mr Hill said he had received correspondence from Mr Hamilton-Smith today.  He said he understood the family waited for five hours, not eight, and that the son's injuries had been classified as category four. Category five is the lowest priority.

Mr Hill said patients involved in the Garibaldi poisoning were given a Health Department card which gave them "priority and free care" but not "an opportunity to use any of our health systems to get service ahead of anybody else who's got a higher medical need".

Mr Hill said the couple were issued with a parking fine because they parked in a spot reserved for an emergency department doctor.

The fine has since been waived but Mr Hill warned "you just can't park in doctors' car parks ... no matter how urgent you think it is because the doctors need those parking spots so they can get in to the emergency department to do their jobs".


Northern Territory public hospitals trump them all for waiting times

SOME patients are waiting more than 24 hours in Territory emergency departments, often because the rest of the hospital is so full there is nowhere else for them to go, a report shows.

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) found Territory waiting times have increased since last year and are among the worst in the country. The report used figures taken at 10am on Monday, September 3, which found about one-fifth of Territory patients had been in the emergency department for more than 24 hours.

Health Minister Dave Tollner said the figures were "unacceptable" but did not reveal how the CLP would improve the situation.

"Absolutely I'm concerned about it," he said.  "Until we know the financial context of the situation we find ourselves in, i.e. Labor's debt, we can't do a lot as far as identifying what programs we can afford to run."

Labor spokesman Kon Vatskalis said wait times across the board were bad, but had decreased for category one and two patients.

He said the problem was caused by a doctor shortage.

The national study compared figures for regional groups, one of which comprised seven emergency departments in the NT, SA and ACT

Researchers found there were 302 patients in emergency departments across the three jurisdictions, 46 of whom had experienced "dangerously long" wait times of more than 24 hours.

In contrast, Victorian and Tasmanian emergency departments treated twice as many patients but did not have one person with a 24-hour stay.

ACEM president Dr Sally McCarthy said things needed to change. She said hospitals could reduce emergency waiting times by ensuring inpatient resources catered to demand and introducing over-capacity protocols.



Paul said...

"A spokesman for Mr Springborg said the QAHC funding was axed because the group had "lost focus" on HIV and AIDS prevention while infection rates soared."

Money shot. More concerned about political correctness than they are about stopping a disease that could be stopped. Bring on more grim reaper.

Actually the subject of useless mouths whining about their funding being cut is really cooking just now. The contract & clipboard nurses are quaking in their boots. Newman and co. have a unique opportunity to force culture change here, and I hope they go for it while they can.

Paul said...

"When you feed fear then some people don't want to test because they're scared of getting a diagnosis or facing death and so fear actually can be counterproductive for AIDS prevention," he said.

I'm having trouble interpreting this without dropping my jaw. I thought fearing death was a pretty good mechanism for getting people to change the way they behave, thus preventing the spread of the disease. I think this twerp may have just demonstrated why they deserved to lose their funding.