Wednesday, October 17, 2012



Thank you, scum Gillard:  Wounded troops warning as health cuts hit Aussie soldiers

A small cut in Greenie nonsense would easily finance proper care

ABOUT 80,000 military personnel will receive lower standards of care, delays in treatment and won't be able to choose their preferred doctor under sweeping changes to defence health care.

Medicos have warned wounded troops could be forced to take out private insurance to avoid the impact of the contracts those who treat soldiers, sailors and air force staff are being forced to sign.

Surgeons and other specialists will be hit by a "not negotiable" 40 to 50 per cent drop in fees to treat military personnel at bases around Australia under government-imposed budget cuts.

The new military fees are well below Australian Medical Association rates.

All personnel, including those wounded in action or hurt on base or at home, are covered for full medical and dental care.

The latest assault on military entitlements, part of a $154 million 10-year budget cut to defence health services, follows an aborted attempt by top brass to remove family reunion travel from members over the age of 21.

Specialists are refusing to sign so-called garrison health services contracts with Medibank Health Solutions after the government-owned firm won a new $1.3 billion four-year contract in June.

"I urge the decision makers to look at the potentially destructive effect these contract changes will have on morale by limiting access to quality medical care for injuries they suffer in the service of their country," one orthopaedic surgeon said.

Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons national co-ordinator Stephen Milgate said members were very concerned about the trend towards US-style managed healthcare and many senior surgeons would refuse to sign the contract.

MHS spokesman Dr Ian Boyd said: "Our goal is to provide the best healthcare options for every eligible ADF member, but we also have to be responsible and cost-effective with the program's delivery."

"They either take a lower fee or they don't get the work," Mr Brown said.

A top orthopaedic surgeon, who asked not to be named, said he would not sign despite working with the military for the past 11 years.  "Cheapest price is unlikely to provide best practice outcomes for the personnel that should be valued by Defence," the surgeon said.

Opposition defence spokesman David Johnston said he was concerned that Defence Budget cuts were impacting directly upon the men and women in service.

"These are the very people we ask to put their bodies and lives on the line to defend our country and yet the Gillard government is resorting to a cut price solution to their medical care," Senator Johnston said.

 SOURCE






Being straight no longer normal, students taught

STUDENTS at 12 NSW high schools are being taught it is wrong and "heterosexist" to regard heterosexuality as the norm for human relationships.

The "Proud Schools" pilot program, implemented in 12 government schools in Sydney and the Hunter, is designed to stamp out "homophobia, transphobia (fear of transsexuals) and heterosexism".

Teachers are given professional development to learn to identify and stamp out any instances of "heterosexist" language in the playground, such as "that's so gay".

But at least 10 Liberal MPs are "extremely concerned" about the program, and will complain to Education Minister Adrian Piccoli this week.

The program defines "heterosexism" as the practice of "positioning heterosexuality as the norm for human relationship," according to the Proud Schools Consultation Report.

"It involves ignoring, making invisible or discriminating against non-heterosexual people, their relationships and their interests. Heterosexism feeds homophobia."

The program should "focus on the dominance of heterosexism rather than on homophobia," according to the minutes from the Proud Schools steering committee on March 22, 2011.

The $250,000 pilot program was initiated by the Labor government but Mr Piccoli has overseen its implementation in terms three and four this year at six high schools in Sydney and six in the Hunter.

"It is envisaged that this program will be made available to non-government schools as well," he said last year.

Upper house MP Fred Nile yesterday attacked the program, calling it "propaganda" and promised to raise the issue in parliament.

"I'm totally opposed to the brainwashing of high school students, especially when they are going through puberty," Mr Nile said.

"Homosexuals at most make up 2 per cent of the population - I don't know why the education department would give priority to promoting this (program).

"We will have more confused teenagers than ever ... children should be allowed to develop themselves."

In June, Mr Piccoli pledged the government's ongoing support of the pilot.

But last night his spokesman distanced the Coalition from the project, saying it was launched by his Labor predecessor Verity Firth in 2010.

"Minister Piccoli has continued to support the initiative. Professional learning is being developed to assist schools provide a safe and supportive environment for all students. All schools encourage their students to speak to each other and treat each other in a respectful manner."

He said any material prepared by a "third party" would not be approved for use in NSW.

The pilot drew on a similar program in Victoria, the "Safe Schools Coalition" to "support sexual diversity" in schools, which holds that gender and sexuality are not fixed but fluid concepts. In Victoria, each participating school is advised to erect a noticeboard specifically for gay, lesbian, transgender and "gender-questioning" young people.

Mr Piccoli's spokesman said Proud Schools was not based on the Victorian model, and noticeboards would not be required in NSW.

A Proud Schools consultation report also recommended that schools review existing PDHPE programs from Year 7 to "incorporate learning about same-sex attraction and sexual diversity".

The program was based on LaTrobe University research that schools are the "primary site of homophobic abuse".

SOURCE






Health concerns over sustainable fuel

BIODIESEL made from soy and canola produces compounds that can cause serious respiratory disease, researchers say.

A team from the Queensland University of Technology says the discovery could lead to restrictions on the use of biodiesel as an alternative to fossil fuel.

The team looked at a range of biologists made from soy, tallow and canola.

They found that burning diesel fuels with a high percentage of biodiesel - up to 80 per cent - produced higher emissions of compounds linked to respiratory disease.

The compounds, called reactive oxygen species, form on surface of small soot particles in exhaust emissions.

Reactive oxygen species can lead to the cell damage called oxidative stress which, over long periods of time, can progress to serious respiratory disease.

Postdoctoral fellow Dr Nicholas Psoriasis says care must be taken to guard against respiratory illness that could result from new fuels.

"Now we've identified a component of the emissions that causes the problem we can start to look for solutions," Dr Psoriasis said in a statement on Wednesday.

The team is now trying to understand the way the reactive oxygen species in the emissions are generated, and how to remove them.

Their work is aimed at providing the transport industry with fuels that have a favourable environmental impact and are acceptable from a human health perspective.

SOURCE






Constipated bureaucracy dealing with medical negligence

Nothing out of them for two years

THE parents of a young boy who died before he could see a doctor at a regional hospital have been heartened by a promise from Premier Campbell Newman to speed up an investigation into the tragedy.

Andrew and Trudy Olive, of Mooloolah on the Sunshine Coast, lost four-year-old Tom at Nambour Hospital on August 25, 2010.

In a 30-minute emergency department ordeal, a student nurse tended their son with faulty equipment and Mr Olive had to begin CPR when medical staff failed to notice Tom's heart had stopped.

They have since discovered that a rare, muscle-destroying condition caused their son's death, but say they will always be left wondering whether he could have been saved with different care.

With an investigation by the Health Quality and Complaints Commission yet to be finalised after two years, the family recently wrote to the Premier and Health Minister Lawrence Springborg asking why it was taking so long.

The Premier has responded, saying he was "deeply saddened" by the loss of Tom.

"My heart goes out to you and your wife. As a parent, I can appreciate how painful it must be to lose a child and I am sorry you are yet to receive the answers you need," Mr Newman wrote.

Mr Newman has written to the Health Minister and asked him to personally find out why the investigation was taking so long.

He said he had asked the minister to let him know if there were any reasons for the delay.

Mr Olive said it was a step forward. He said he and Trudy wanted to make sure other families did not have to go through what they did.

"We are dealing with our third health minister since that day and we are still waiting for the HQCC to complete interviews of staff," Mr Olive said.

"The community expects far more."

Mr Olive said Tom's condition did not have to be fatal and they had learned that with proper observation, death can be avoided.

The Olives said a coronial inquest could not be conducted until the HQCC investigation had been completed.

They have set up the Shine for Thomas Foundation to raise awareness of the illness.

SOURCE

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