Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Innocent man held, given dangerous drugs and nearly killed at West Australian nuthouse
This could be you. It is a revelation about how lax police ID procedures are. Anybody heard of fingerprints, for instance? He presumably contested the identification so why was that totally ignored? And there is absolutely no excuse for the hospital staff either over the ID or the adminstration of dangerous drugs to a healthy person
The Minister for Mental Health has called for those responsible for detaining and drugging a man wrongly identified as a Graylands escapee to be held accountable.
The man was picked up by police on December 16 because he fitted the description of an involuntary patient at the mental health centre Graylands, who had left without permission.
The wrongly identified man was taken to the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, where he was held overnight and given a strong antipsychotic drug that caused him to become ill.
It was not until the real patient returned to Graylands on December 18 that the mistake was realised.
Critics have described the incident as yet another example of WA's poor mental health system.
Greens spokeswoman for mental health issues Alison Xamon has called for an inquiry.
Minister for Mental Health Helen Morton apologised for the mistake and said it would be reviewed but she stopped short of supporting a broader inquiry. "I am shocked and appalled this could happen to anyone in WA," Ms Morton said. "I am very sorry for the distress and hurt that the misidentified man has endured.
"I find it hard to imagine that if proper processes were followed, there is any excuse for such a terrible mistake to be made. "I will await the outcome of the clinical review, however people must be held accountable for this dreadful mistake and to ensure that it never happens again."
The state opposition's John Quigley said the wrongly detained man deserved compensation.
Australia' conservatives claim latest boat arrivals bring number of asylum-seekers to 25,000 under current Leftist Government
TWO more boats have arrived in Australian waters, which the opposition claims brings the number of asylum-seekers travelling to Australia by sea under the government's watch to 25,000.
HMAS Melville and HMAS Albany were called to help a suspected irregular entry vessel near Christmas Island on Sunday.
It is believed 87 passengers and three crew were on board. They will be transferred to Christmas Island for the usual security, health and identity checks.
A separate vessel with 35 people on board sailed into Australian waters north-west of Cocos Island on Friday.
Coalition border protection spokesman Michael Keenan said this meant 25,000 people had now travelled to Australia by boat during the Gillard government's watch.
"One of the main excuses Julia Gillard had for outing former prime minister Kevin Rudd was his failure to protect Australia's borders," he said in a statement on Monday night.
"Given that over 25,000 people on more than 400 boats have arrived under her leadership, then by her own measure she has categorically failed to restore any control to Australia's borders and stop the boats from coming."
He called for more funding and personnel for frontline border protection agencies.
"The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has been spread so thin that merchant vessels, Australian Navy ships and Customs vessels are being used as water taxis because our patrol vessels are so overworked and rundown that they are literally cracking under the pressure," he said.
Sick hit by parking fees and fines from Melbourne hospitals
HOSPITALS are draining the pockets of the ill and their distressed families, gouging more than $55 million a year from them in parking fees and fines.
The state's 10 biggest hospitals pocketed an extra $5.3 million, or 11 per cent, from parking in 2011-12 and have out-galloped inflation by 22 percentage points in the past two years.
Melbourne's hospital car parks are so expensive a single hour now costs between double and triple what it does at London's biggest hospitals.
Chronic Illness Alliance executive officer Christine Walker said parking fees and transport were such a concern the alliance planned to survey members of its 48 member organisations.
"Carparking is being used to replace government budgets, which is one of the reasons it's so high - a bit more privatisation by stealth," she said.
Ms Walker said patient parking woes were likely to worsen when the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre relocates alongside the Melbourne, Women's and Children's hospitals.
The Victorian Healthcare Association, which represents public hospitals, said successive budget cuts had forced hospitals to find other ways to meet costs.
VHA chief executive Trevor Carr said the latest federal cuts would strip $67 million from the city's 10 largest hospitals, putting them under more pressure.
"If you've got less revenue coming from one source you've got to back it up from another," he said.
Mr Carr said parking was now a significant source of discretionary hospital revenue, but he said most offered discounts to regular attendees, pensioners and health-card holders.
Monash's parking profits top the state, hitting $11.3 million.
The hospital, which collected less than $1 million in parking revenue eight years ago, almost doubled its parking take in the past two years due to its soaring fees and a new multi-storey car park.