Archive for the ‘Ambulance Services’ Category

I know this is not about health as such but, i just went and did my tax and for the first time i have to pay the ATO, this is because Greater Southern health and BCS have not taken enough tax out durning the financial year.   Apparently i’m not the first to be stung and stung hard.


Editer’s Grip


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Outback marks 80 year of Flying Doctors

Celebrations are being held to mark 80 years since the first flight of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Known as “Flynn of the Inland,” the Reverend John Flynn revolutionised medical care to people in the bush.

In 1928 he established the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The very first base was in the small north-west Queensland town of Cloncurry.

Two days after the base was operational the first flying doctor call-out was made from a property in Julia Creek.

Since then, the service has continued to grow as the need to service the outback increased.

There are now 20 flying doctor bases around Australia, and the service has branched out into preventative medicine and child health services.

Celebrations are being held at bases around the country this weekend.

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Online response times to highlight need for paramedics

Posted Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:46pm AEST

The union for ambulance workers says publishing response times online will pressure the Queensland Government to employ more paramedics.

From July, the Queensland Ambulance Service will publish information for each region so performance can be measured.

The Union says paramedics try to respond to all emergencies within 10 minutes.

Union spokesman Steve Crow says he expects response times to highlight the need for additional resources.

“Our view is that we still require more employees, more paramedics out there to be able to provide the right service to patients,” he said.

“I don’t think we’ve got that at the moment and I think by publishing the sorts of response times will actually start to show and will start to validate the sorts of things we’ve been saying.”

Mr Crow says when the public finds out how the service is performing the Government will be forced to provide more resources.

“Some areas we’re particularly short and shifts aren’t being filled at times and still carrying vacancies and it’s difficult to fill places,” he said.

“You are going to see an obvious increase in response times which means that has to place pressure on the Government so the Government does start to listen to our lobby and listen to the public’s lobby about acquiring more paramedics.”

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AMA to release damning ‘ice’ report

AMA President Dr Rosanna Capolingua

Ice report out today: AMA president Rosanna Capolingua (AAP: Mark Graham)

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The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says it will lobby state and federal governments for new funding to overhaul the way the health system deals with methamphetamine users.

A paper to be released by the AMA today reveals that more than three quarters of methamphetamine users suffer from mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and aggression.

AMA president Rosanna Capolingua says drugs like speed and ice are putting a huge strain on the nation’s emergency departments, and she has called for increased funding for both the prevention and treatment of methamphetamine use.

“These people present with violence and aggression so that if they are brought into an emergency department they are very difficult to manage,” she said.

“They’re threatening to the staff in the hospital that’s trying to look after them and very threatening to other people in the hospital, other patients that are there.

“The AMA very much wants to deal with supporting and providing infrastructure and funding for services to treat those patients and people that are already methamphetamine dependant.

“At the same time we have to have community program awareness, prevention, so that we don’t have the continuing take-up of methamphetamine use.

“This is serious and it has an impact on the individual and those trying to manage or look after them.”

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Opposition wants to retain St John

Royal Perth Hospital with ambulance

Opposition health spokesman Kim Hames says he’s strongly opposed to stripping control of the ambulance service from St John. (ABC: Graeme Powell)

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The State Opposition says it is strongly opposed to stripping control of Western Australia’s ambulance services from the not-for-profit organisation, St John.

The Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union says because St John Ambulance depends on patient transfer fees, employees are under pressure to make thousands of unnecessary trips to emergency departments.

It says this is leading to overcrowding in hospitals and it is urging the Government to take control of the service.

The Health Minister Jim McGinty says he will consider the proposal, but says any change should be based on the best interests of patients.

The Opposition’s health spokesman Kim Hames says the proposal has not worked in other states and should not be introduced in Western Australia.

“My understanding is that it’s been far less than successful, that other states have ended up with services that are less efficient but cost a lot more,” he said.

Dr Hames says he is concerned any change would result in a less efficient and more expensive service.

“The problem is not St John’s ambulance service but Jim McGinty and his mismanagement of emergency departments, so that ambulances are ramped for hours at a time.”

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St John disputes inefficiency claims

Royal Perth Hospital with ambulance

St John Ambulance has dismissed union claims that the organisation does not run an efficient service and should be taken over by the State Government. (ABC: Graeme Powell)

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The union representing the state’s paramedics claims St John Ambulance is instructing its employees to take people to hospital emergency departments, for financial reasons.

The Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union says St John Ambulance depends on income from transferring patients to emergency departments and that is leading to hospital over crowding.

It wants the state government to take control of the not-for-profit organisation because it says that would increase the service’s accountability and efficiency.

The Union’s Dave Kelly says if changes are not made, the public will be left with a second rate ambulance service.

“Emergency departments are under immense pressure at the moment,” he said.

“There’s not sufficient capacity within them and also we have members of the public coming into emergency departments who really don’t need emergency care.

“One issue that has not really been highlighted is the role that the ambulance service plays in clogging up our emergency departments.”

Tony Ahern from St John Ambulance says the claims are not true.

He says an increasing number of patients need to be transported to emergency departments because they are finding it difficult to get appointments with general practitioners.

“There’s certainly no pressure ever been put on people, on paramedics to take patients to emergency departments.”

Mr Ahern says it is no coincidence that the union’s claims have emerged while a new pay deal for ambulance officers is being negotiated.

“They’ve taken what I think is an easy path and that is let’s just try and attack the organisation and try to you know undermine public confidence in the organisation.”

The Health Minister Jim McGinty says any changes to ambulance delivery service will be based on the best interests of patients.

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Overworked’ ambos leaving in droves: survey

The New South Wales Opposition says a leaked document shows ambulance drivers are stressed and overworked.

The Ambulance Service survey has found 70 per cent of staff feel overworked, while 80 per cent do not think the service deals effectively with stress.

NSW Opposition health spokeswoman Jillian Skinner says figures also show the number of ambulance officers who have resigned has doubled in the past six years.

Ms Skinner says low morale is the reason ambulance officers are leaving the service in droves.

“Many of them feel they are very unfairly treated,” she said.

“For example, they’re blamed for delays in responding to other urgent calls because they are stuck outside hospital emergency departments because they can’t off-load their patients because there aren’t enough hospital beds to take those patients that need to be admitted.”

She says the level of dissatisfaction is similar to a survey done in 2002, meaning the Ambulance Service is failing to address the concerns of its staff.

“This survey confirms what many ambulance officers are telling me when they contact me – they are stressed, they feel overworked, they feel undervalued,” she said.

“The revelation that fewer of them participated in this survey than they did in years past tells us that they don’t think the Government listens and they certainly don’t act on their concerns.”

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