Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Tasmanian police encourage drink driving
Tasmanian police have been left red-faced by a signage mishap on random breath-testing vans which encourages people to drink drive.
The vans have been emblazoned with the message: "Real mates don't let mates drink drive."
The slogan painted on the sides of vans used throughout the state shortens to "Real mates drink drive" when the sliding doors are open.
The signage was part of a major road safety campaign by police and included links to a website and social media page.
The Police Department has told officers to remove the slogans by the end of the week.
The department is yet to comment on the bungle.
It is not known how much the repainting will cost the cash-strapped department.
Another public hospital shocker: Baby born in Hospital carpark
THE birth of Paula and Scott Bailey's longed-for daughter should have been a time of joy.
But now all Mrs Bailey can think about is her harrowing birth in Nepean Hospital's carpark and the alleged attitudes of hospital staff who saw her.
The Dean Park couple had struggled to conceive for five years before their precious daughter Madison arrived on February 5 about 3am, weighing 3.08kg.
Mr and Mrs Bailey said they arrived at the hospital about 10pm but were sent home at 1am, without a proper medical assessment.
Mrs Bailey claimed a nurse told her: "That's pregnancy love, suck it up princess. You don't know what pain is but you will when the baby comes."
Shortly after arriving home, Mrs Bailey's waters broke and they drove back to the hospital, only to be ignored by emergency staff.
Madison was born in the hospital's carpark at 3am and it was only once her head was showing that staff came to the couple's aid.
Mrs Bailey said she was struggling to cope and that she was made to feel ashamed and embarrassed by the ordeal: "It is eating away at me and I keep hearing the (nurse's) voice in my head, but I'm trying my best to stay strong."
Mr Bailey said he was upset at what he claimed was the nurse's arrogance and lack of empathy.
"It was because of her actions that a beautiful experience was turned into this nightmare," he said.
"I am absolutely disgusted and appalled by the way we were treated by the staff at this hospital, and the lack of care and professionalism given by the staff."
They have lodged an official complaint with the hospital but said they had been "brushed aside".
Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District chief executive Kay Hyman told the Penrith Press the hospital was investigating the birthing incident.
"We are currently in contact with the family discussing their concerns," she said, but didn't comment on specific aspects of the complaint, such as the alleged comments made to Mrs Bailey at the hospital.
Their son Jacob, 9, was born at Nepean Hospital.
10PM: Mrs Bailey left her home at Dean Park for Nepean Hospital, having experienced contractions since 2pm.
1AM: Despite having regular contractions Mrs Bailey was sent home without a check-up.
1.45AM: Her waters broke at home and the couple again drove to the hospital. Upon arrival in the carpark Mrs Bailey was in considerable pain. Twice emergency staff came to see what was happening, only to walk away.
3AM: Madison was born in the carpark, and only once her head was showing did staff arrive to help, pushing aside Mr Bailey who consequently missed the birth.
6.20AM: Mrs Bailey was seen by a doctor after being left in a room sitting in blood since the birth.
Union grouchy over privatised hospital
PLANS to outsource to the private sector public health delivery at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital have been slammed by a key union as an attack on accountability.
Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg, who will deliver his much-anticipated health blueprint on Wednesday, has made it clear the Newman Government is keen to work more with the private and not-for-profit sectors to deliver public health care.
The model would be similar to Queensland Health's partnership with Mater Health Services which is paid by the taxpayer to care for public patients.
"If anyone's got a problem, look at the Mater Health Services, look at Mater Mothers', look at the Mater Children's, look at the great job they already do," Mr Springborg said. "We've been partnering with Mater Health Services since 1911 to deliver free public health services."
But Queensland Nurses Union secretary Beth Mohle said outsourcing more services would make the "health system less accountable".
"They're not subject to Right to Information. If there are concerns now about the level of accountability for health services, this is just going to make it even worse," Ms Mohle said.
Mater Health Services does not report to the same level as other public hospitals, providing no details on the QH website about patients' waiting time for an appointment at a specialist outpatient clinic, the so-called "waiting list to get on the waiting list".
But Mr Springborg said he was keen to ensure that when public health services were provided by private operators under new contract arrangements, they would be open to the same scrutiny as Queensland Health-run facilities.
Meanwhile, Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie said he was confident Sunshine Coast University Hospital would remain a training hospital despite the University of Queensland withdrawing its agreement to provide medical school services at the $60.8 million health training centre.
UQ formed a partnership two years ago with the university and TAFE Sunshine Coast to establish a Skills, Academic and Research Centre at the new hospital.
Key climate change body loses Government funding
Amid much weeping and wailing and garnishing of teeth
A key research body charged with preparing Australia to handle the impacts of global warming is running out of money.
The National Climate Change Adaptation Research facility [NCCARF] has been running for five years but the Federal Government has decided not to extend its funding.
It means that from June the facility, which develops knowledge used by decision-makers from both the Commonwealth and industry, is expected to be wound up.
With more than 100 researchers set to be affected by the funding cut, Professor Jean Palutikof, director at the facility, says she is saddened and concerned that critical work may not being followed through.
"We've built up a lot of knowledge through our research programs that have really placed Australia in a very good position to deal with the challenge," she said.
"There are a lot of people out there now who know a lot about climate change and those people were not in that position five years ago.
"We might be seen an organisation that perhaps is meeting a future challenge rather than a current challenge although I have to say looking out of the window here in Queensland it looks to me like the challenge is pretty much here now.
"The bottom line is the activities of government in that respect of the present time are totally inadequate.
"Therefore we are also going to have to prepare ourselves to respond to the impacts of climate change that will inevitably happen because we haven't really managed that successfully on the mitigation front.
"When I say we haven't managed that successfully, I'm really talking about the global effort, not the effort of Australia individually."
Chief executive officer at the Investor Group on Climate Change, Nathan Fabian, says NCCARF has played an integral role in keeping the nation and industry up-to-date on what is proving an important global issue.
"Business is largely still working out what it knows and what it doesn't know about the physical impacts of climate change and to us," he said.
"NCCARF has played an important interpretive role between the science of climate change and its impacts on regions and resources and in some cases the assets that we invest in, so there is still an important role to be played."