Oil steadies after hitting 2-yr high as demand hopes face supply growth


NEW YORK: Oil prices ended mostly unchanged on Monday, after hitting their highest levels in more than two years, as growing U.S. crude production and Britain’s delayed COVID-19 reopening dampened expectations for fuel demand growth and tighter supplies.

The market reacted negatively to a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecast that shale oil output, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. production, was expected to rise by about 38,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July to about 7.8 million bpd.

“We started off strong on expectations that the demand situation was building momentum as COVID vaccinations were high,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “Then the EIA report took the winds out of the sail.”

Brent settled up 17 cents at US$72.86 a barrel. Earlier in the session, it reached US$73.64 a barrel, its highest since April 2019.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate fell 3 cents to settle at US$70.88 a barrel, after earlier touching US$71.78 a barrel, its highest since October 2018.

The International Energy Agency said on Friday that it expected global demand to return to pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2022, more quickly than previously anticipated.

The IEA urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, to increase output to meet demand.

OPEC+ has been restraining production to support prices after the pandemic wiped out demand in 2020, maintaining strong compliance with agreed targets in May.

Motor vehicle traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels in North America and much of Europe, and more planes are in the air as anti-coronavirus lockdowns and other restrictions are being eased.

However, Britain late Monday delayed plans to lift most remaining COVID-19 restrictions by a month, because of the rapid spread of the more infectious Delta variant.

Heavy maintenance seasons in Canada and the North Sea also have helped prices, said Rystad Energy analyst Louise Dickson. The firm estimates about 330,000 bpd of oil and condensate supply is offline at Canada oil sands projects, along with another 370,000 bpd offline in the North Sea.

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York; additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin and Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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Airstrikes may have stopped in Gaza, but now aid workers are struggling to cope with demand



Half of Gaza’s population was already living below the poverty line before the latest escalation between Hamas and Israel. Now humanitarian workers say a bad situation has become even worse.

After 11 days of airstrikes and rocket fire, the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas came to an abrupt halt last month after a ceasefire was reached in the middle of the night.

But humanitarian workers say repairing the widespread damage will be no quick task.

“I think people are exhausted more than before, more than any other round of escalation, because now most people say ‘we are rebuilding’, knowing it will be destroyed again,” says Oxfam’s Laila Barhoum, speaking to SBS News from the charity’s base in Gaza.

“It could be in a week, it could be in a year, it could be in six years like in 2014.” 

Gaza’s Housing Ministry says about 16,800 housing units were destroyed in the recent escalation.
AP

More than 77,000 Palestinians in Gaza were displaced during the airstrikes. Many have since been able to return home, but for some, there is no home to return to.

Gaza’s Works and Housing Ministry says 16,800 housing units were damaged in the escalation. About 1,000 were destroyed completely, and another 1,800 are now unfit for living in.

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People survey the damage after an Israeli air strike demolishes a high-rise building that had housed international media offices in the Gaza Strip.

A ceasefire has ended the latest deadly Gaza conflict. Will it last for long?

It has placed the cost of rebuilding homes alone at $193 million, on top of the $257 million still needed to rebuild another 2,000 homes destroyed in previous escalations.

More than half the territory’s water network was damaged or destroyed in the bombing, and electricity blackouts are now lasting up to 16 hours per day.

But, even before the escalation, 80 per cent of Gaza’s two million residents were already reliant on humanitarian aid.

Palestinians who were displaced by the bombing sought shelter in UN-run schools.

Palestinians displaced by the bombing sought shelter in UN-run schools.
Anadolu

Ms Barhoum says returning to the status quo is not the goal.

“Even when people come and seek assistance from us, they don’t always talk about having food assistance or cash assistance, they talk about ‘we want to work, we want jobs, we want to be living in dignity,’” she says.

“What we are really focusing on now, more than before, is to ensure there is full access and free movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza.

“As long as there is any level of restrictions, we’ll be talking about a partial state of recovery that never continues.” 

Aid blockades

Israel says 13 Israelis were killed and at least 324 were injured in the 11-day conflict. 

Gaza’s Health Ministry says 253 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,900 were injured

Humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says many will need ongoing care, but accessing medical supplies is a constant challenge.

Médecins Sans Frontières doctors treat an injured Palestinian man during the conflict.

Médecins Sans Frontières doctors treat an injured Palestinian man during the conflict.
Médecins Sans Frontières

Gaza has been under an Israeli-imposed blockade since 2007, with the movement of people and goods heavily restricted.

“Only the daily or weekly required supplies for most basic needs – and this includes medical supplies – comes in,” says Gaza-based MSF psychiatrist Juan Paris.

“Luckily, the aggression lasted – I don’t want to say only 11 days, because it was 11 days too long – but it didn’t last any longer, so stocks could be replenished.” 

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict explained

The United Nations has released $29 million for aid in Gaza and has launched an appeal for another $122 million over the next three months.

Qatar and Egypt have both pledged $643 million to help rebuild Gaza, while the US is promising $145 million for Palestinian aid more broadly. 

Charities overwhelmed

In Australia, the charity Olive Kids has already raised about $100,000 through a recent emergency appeal.

While it cannot send supplies directly into Gaza, it is are partnering with aid workers on the ground to help fund their relief efforts.

“To be very honest with you, it is overwhelming,” Olive Kids’ board member Amin Abbas says.

“No matter where you look, especially in Gaza, there’s a need, and we’re overwhelmed with requests for support and help.”

“Our focus has been on providing medical supplies to one of the hospitals in Gaza, the medical centres, provide some urgent fuel for the generators because of the electricity cuts, in addition to providing food packages and health packages.”

Workers unload boxes of Egyptian aid after arriving at Rafah border between Egypt and Gaza Strip.

Workers unload boxes of Egyptian aid.
EPA

Mr Abbas says his team is also urgently trying to arrange sponsorship for some 180 Palestinian children who lost either one or both parents in the conflict.

“We’re not talking about just the infrastructure that was destroyed, it’s also the human suffering and the psychological effect on the children,” he says.

Mental health toll

In Gaza, MSF has also been ramping up its psychological support services.

“What we see after the injuries and after they go through surgery, behind it, there’s a lot of psychological and emotional suffering,” Dr Paris says.

“It’s not only the impact of having been shot at, or the traumatic event, it’s the fact that at home, we’re a huge extended family that live cramped in a house, most of us don’t have solid employment, there’s no certainty of where the income will come from, there’s no certainty of accessing food and water, the electricity goes on and off.

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Residents inspect the rubble of a destroyed building that was hit by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City.

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Gaza. Here’s how you can help those affected by the conflict

“We can do fantastic surgeries, but if the person is not fit to recover, they will not recover well.” 

Aid organisations agree the psychological impact on children is of particular concern.

A typical 14-year-old child in Gaza has now lived through four escalations between Hamas and Israel. 

The Norweigan Refugee Council runs trauma counselling sessions for Gaza's children to help them cope with the reality of life in a conflict zone.

The Norweigan Refugee Council runs trauma counselling sessions for Gaza’s children.
Norweigan Refugee Council

The Norwegian Refugee Council offers trauma counselling to Gaza’s children.

“We teach them how to change their situation, how to help themselves, how to be able to protect themselves, to control their feelings, to get rid of negative thoughts, also to control their bad attitude towards life,” says the council’s Gaza-based education officer Maysa Saleh.

Her team was devastated to learn 11 of the students they were working with died in the recent airstrikes. All of them were aged under 15.

“We were treating them to get rid of horrible, horrible nightmares resulting from past violent events,” she says.

“They were making good progress on their way to recovery. It was sad to hear some of them lost their lives.” 

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Shepparton Foodshare calls for support as demand spikes 70 per cent


A service providing food to Shepparton families in need is feeling the pressure, after a 70 per cent spike in demand over the past 12 months. 

Shepparton Foodshare, which operates with 22 volunteers, needs another 15 volunteers to keep up with the increased levels of need.

Operations coordinator Grace Grieves said it was the only food rescue agency in the local area, describing it as “a very, very important service”.

The service rescues food and receives donations which are sorted through and given to more than 110 welfare agencies, who then redistribute the goods to those most in need across the community.

Last year alone, 380 tonnes of food was distributed across the community — most of which would have gone to landfill if it hadn’t been rescued.

The impacts of the pandemic are being felt across the region with more and more in need of assistance when it comes to food.

Ms Grieves is now calling for more volunteers to help Shepparton Foodshare meet community demand. 

The service is also considering extending its operating hours from four to six days a week.

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Pandemic puppies selling for exorbitant prices as demand soars in lockdown-hit Victoria


Barb Traeger knows just how hard it has become to get a dog.

When she retired in June, she decided it was the perfect time to get a puppy.

She had owned dogs previously, she had space at her Langwarrin home in Melbourne’s outer south-east and she knew she would have the time to spend with a pet.

Ms Traeger initially looked for a Jack Russell puppy online but the cheapest puppy she could find was selling for $5,000.

It took many applications, but Ms Traeger was able to adopt a dog instead.

She has been enjoying training her dog Allie during Melbourne’s extended lockdowns, saying it has given her something positive to focus on.

For teacher Kate Ellis, it was a case of just in time, when she purchased her puppy.

She organised to buy a dog before COVID-19 for her 40th birthday, but by the time she was able to pick up her Airedale puppy, Melbourne was in its first lockdown.

“It was incredible timing, I was living on my own at the time and I got this incredibly vivacious, very hilarious dog,” she said.

She said her puppy brought a lot of fun to her life during a difficult time.

Data from Melbourne councils show just how strong demand for dogs has been.

In Maribyrnong City Council in Melbourne’s west, more than 1,000 more dogs have been registered this year, compared to the same time period last year.

Hume City Council in Melbourne’s north has seen nearly 700 more dogs registered since lockdown started this year compared to the same time period last year, while the City of Stonnington in the city’s south has seen a rise of nearly 200 extra dogs being registered.

The RSPCA’s Tegan McPherson said the organisation had seen a significant increase in applications for pets this year.

“We have seen in excess of 26,000 online applications to adopt a pet since the start of the pandemic,” she said.

She said the RSPCA has had hundreds of applications for some dogs.

“It has been really difficult for the staff as well, because obviously people are disappointed or become a bit frustrated (if they miss out on a dog) and unfortunately it is just the nature of the demand we are seeing at the moment,” she said.

Border Collie breeder Jacqui from Gippsland said demand for her puppies had gone through the roof since lockdowns started, with a lot of enquiries coming from Melbourne.

But she said some people were not thinking through how big a decision it was to get a dog.

Jacqui is worried the state will see more dogs in shelters after lockdowns end.

A small brown and white dog stands close to the camera, looking attentively ahead.

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Chip shortage hits car output, as asset write-off tax break fuels demand for work vehicles


Luke Kyriakides is waiting for his dream work truck to be delivered, and he is counting himself lucky.

When his ute broke down beyond repair, the carpenter was faced with wait times of up to six months to get a new vehicle, even with a broker helping him search.

He had become a casualty of the global supply disruptions that have coincided with a surge in demand for new vehicles in Australia.

But when another would-be buyer cancelled their order for a new truck at late notice, Mr Kyriakides moved up in the queue.

“That was a big relief once I knew that I was off the wait-list and I had a truck coming,” he told the ABC.

It meant he knew the end date for the rental costs he’s been racking up on the van he’s been using to transport his tools, which were higher than he’d expected.

It’s just one symptom of the tight car market at the moment.

Another is used car prices — which have been surging for months as frustrated buyers have shifted into the used car market.

The federal government’s decision to extend temporary full expensing scheme — which allows businesses to tax deduct all the cost of asset purchases upfront — has also fuelled the demand.

And a global shortage of microchips (semiconductors) used in modern car engines has become the latest setback for vehicle manufacturers, putting even more pressure on supply chains.

Demand for new cars turned a corner late last year, according to monthly sales figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

Sales began rising, in comparison to the same time a year earlier, in November.

Prior to that, they had fallen for 31 consecutive months, the longest slump in the new car market since the global financial crisis. 

“We’ve seen people sort of shy away from public transport … we’ve also seen a lot of people unable to holiday overseas and have sort of made peace with the fact that they’d be doing a driving holiday,” James Voortman, head of the Australian Automotive Dealer Association, said.

“More recently, we’ve seen this incredible surge in house prices add to the wealth effect.

At the same time, there have been months-long supply shortages, with some dealers saying they’re receiving up to 40 per cent less stock from global car manufacturers than they normally would.

But the latest shock to hit the system is the global shortage of semiconductors.

Fitch Ratings agency published a report this week predicting recent chip shortages would cost global automakers 3.8 million units in lost production, or 5 per cent of estimated sales this year.

“The chip shortages are likely to last longer and their impact will be greater than anticipated by the market, exacerbated by a fire at the Renesas factory in Japan in March,” the report warned.

“Automakers’ responses to offset the impact include a focus on the most profitable models and building models that require few chips, such as units without navigation systems or digital displays.

“Some manufacturers are building and storing partially assembled vehicles with a plan to add necessary chips later.”

It’s yet another element putting local car dealers and customers in a supply and demand squeeze.

Economists say while we are seeing severe shortages in car markets, the federal government’s decision to extend the instant asset write-off through to June 2023 should encourage businesses to invest in other things besides vehicles.

Sarah Hunter, BIS Oxford Economics chief economist, said there had been a large increase in machinery and equipment investment towards the end of last year, and the extension of the instant asset write-off would give businesses more time to buy the perfect equipment.

“It’s certainly helped and it’s very welcome in terms of increasing the economy’s productive capacity,” she said.

However, she also said businesses in some industries that were struggling may not be able to take advantage of the tax break.

“Some business may not have the cashflow to take advantage of this now,” she said.

“Equally, you could make the argument that some businesses, maybe they had a lot of cash, they didn’t necessarily need the extra support.

Brisbane print and packaging business owner Walter Kuhn says many in his industry are not feeling confident to make long-term investments.

“The instant tax write-off, it’s a great initiative. Unfortunately, you need to have the correct environment to be able to utilise it,” Mr Kuhn, the president of the Print and Visual Communication Association, told the ABC.

Many of the print industry’s customers are concentrated in tourism, hospitality and retail — some of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, as well as recent short lockdowns in some states.

Mr Kuhn would have preferred to see the federal budget put more money towards ramping up the vaccine rollout and quarantine facilities.

“The industry, once they’ve got some sort of assurances that we’re not going to be shut down, we’ll start investing heavily back into machinery and equipment,” he said.

“It’s a constantly evolving change of technology … and it’s not cheap to invest into it.”

Luke Kyriakides said he was happy about the instant asset write-off.

“It’s definitely an incentive,” he said.

But he was also wary of supply shortages in other industries.

“The next thing will be the timber shortages at the moment, which have already sort of impacted us in a little way,” he said.

“So hopefully that doesn’t last too long.”

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Covid international travel traffic light rules ‘farce’ as holiday firms demand answers


THE TRAFFIC light policy for foreign holidays has been accused of descending into “farce” with the government and companies issuing conflicting advice about where travellers can take a holiday.

The consumer organisation Which? has demanded clarity from government on its traffic light system for travel, while trade bodies accused the government of mixed messages and “moving the goalposts” on travel to amber destinations.

International travel restrictions for British holidaymakers were eased on Monday with 12 countries or territories have been given a green rating, meaning you can travel to them for tourism.

But many tourist hotspots, such as France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Croatia, are amber countries.

Scotland followed England in allowing international travel to 12 green-list destinations from this week.

The traffic light system is guidance rather than a legal requirement, and some travel companies have opted to still offer holidays to amber destinations if the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has not advised against all but essential travel.

But when you return from an amber country you have to self isolate at home for 10 days and take Covid-19 PCR tests on day two and day eight.

The row emerged after George Eustice first suggested trips to amber list countries to see friends and family was acceptable.

But then hours later Boris Johnson over-ruled his Environment Secretary by insisting such travel was not allowed.

And despite the presence of a green list comprising 12 countries and territories, health minister Lord Bethell told peers he considers all foreign travel to be “dangerous” and urged Britons to holiday at home this summer.

It comes after news that some holiday companies are refusing refunds to amber list destinations.

Meanwhile EU ambassadors backed plans to allow vaccinated UK holidaymakers to visit the bloc this summer.

They recommended at a meeting on Wednesday that rules should be changed to allow non-essential visits into the EU by people who have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, a spokeswoman for the Portuguese presidency of the EU Council said.

The policy will need to be signed off by ministers of member states.

UK holidaymakers are currently prohibited from visiting several EU countries, including Spain, due to its ban on inbound leisure visits from outside the EU and Schengen Area.

The criticism came amid reports thousands of people had headed for destinations such as France, Greece, Spain and the United States – none of which are on the green list – with more than 150 flights reported to have departed on Monday when travel rules were relaxed in Britain as part of a further phase of lockdown easing.

Rory Boland of Which said: “The reopening of international travel is at risk of descending into farce with the government and companies issuing contradictory advice about where travellers can take a holiday. “The government is telling people not to travel to amber list destinations, but with many holiday firms selling trips to those countries regardless, people will assume they can. Those who feel they can not go on holiday against government advice, including those with bookings from last year, are also likely to struggle to get their money back, with most travel companies refusing refunds unless the holiday is cancelled.

“It would be completely unacceptable to see a repeat of last year’s disastrous situation where millions of holidaymakers were forced to foot the bill for travel chaos caused by Covid. This year there really is no excuse – the government and holiday firms must provide clarity over what travel is safe and permitted, and ensure that people who don’t want to travel against government advice are entitled to a refund.”

The Association of British Travel Agents, the trade association for UK tour operators said the advice from ministers in recent days not to travel to amber list destinations did not tally with government’s “sensible” traffic light system which allowed for international travel to restart from May 17.

“It doesn’t make sense for the government to tell people they shouldn’t travel to amber destinations when the government itself has put a plan in place that allows them to do this in a risk managed way, with mitigations such as testing and quarantine,”

“The recent comments and mixed messages from ministers undermine the government’s own system for international travel and further erode consumer confidence.”

It added: “While we understand that public health is the priority, the government has moved the goalposts on the return to international travel.

“International travel is now legal again and the traffic light system needs to be allowed to work as originally intended.”

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said of the government’s statements: “These comments are simply not correct and will cause real anger amongst the hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on international travel, and confusion amongst families who have booked travel under the Government’s own restart policy, now less than 48 hours old.

“People should not travel to red countries we know that, but to generalise against perfectly legal travel even to green countries is deeply unhelpful.”



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German 30-yr green bond bucks market selloff with record demand



FILE PHOTO: A picture illustration of euro banknotes, April 25, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

May 11, 2021

By Yoruk Bahceli

(Reuters) -Germany received a record 39 billion euros of demand on Tuesday for a 30-year green bond, extending its yield curve for environmentally focused debt and drawing strong investor interest despite a selloff across euro debt markets.

The bond, which raised 6 billion euros, is Germany’s first green issuance of the year and follows an inaugural 10-year green bond last September and a five-year in November.

Investors hope the growing German curve will serve as a reference point for other borrowers in Europe, where governments have generally focused on a single maturity for green issuance.

The 30-year bond priced for a yield of 0.391%, 2 basis points below its conventional twin, according to two lead managers, the biggest green premium Germany has so far secured at issuance, according to Climate Bonds Initiative data.

Germany’s green bonds are all twinned with an otherwise identical conventional bond, allowing investors to switch between the two to mitigate liquidity concerns.

Green bonds, with their limited supply, usually trade with a lower yield. Germany’s twin structure offers a clearer gauge of the green premium, which can be hard to estimate.

Jens Peter Sorensen, chief strategist at Danske Bank, said premiums tend to be higher on longer-dated green bonds given they are rare and are mostly issued by governments rather than companies.

“These are being bought by life insurance and pension funds and there are few alternatives,” Sorensen said.

Germany will raise another 6 billion euros from green bonds this year, through a new 10-year issue to be auctioned in September and re-opened in October.

U.S. INFLATION EYED

Demand for the deal topped the 33 billion-euro order book seen at last year’s 10-year green bond and was the highest ever for a syndicated German government bond.

The bumper orders came despite a broader debt market selloff that sent Germany’s benchmark 10-year yield up 6 bps to the highest since March 2020 at -0.152%.

Italian yields also rose sharply, with the 10-year touching the highest since last September at 0.951%.

Bonds sold off alongside equities ahead of Wednesday’s U.S. inflation reading, which investors will gauge for a possible change of stance from the Federal Reserve.

A market gauge of long-term euro zone inflation expectations, the five-year, five-year forward, rose above 1.60%, its highest since December 2018 after a German investor morale survey far exceeded expectations.

“I think it is half supply-related and half macro-related. Given the magnitude of the move and broad consensus for higher Bund yields I would venture that this morning’s move has served as the sell signal everyone was waiting for,” said Antoine Bouvet, senior rates strategist at ING.

A $58 billion auction of three-year U.S. Treasuries follows later on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Yoruk BahceliEditing by Rachel Armstrong and John Stonestreet)



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U.S. regulators should demand banks to hold more cash for climate risks -think tank



FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board building is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

May 11, 2021

By Pete Schroeder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Federal Reserve and other bank regulators should force banks to hold more cash to guard against potential losses due to climate change and possible steps to fight it, one of Washington’s top liberal think tanks said on Tuesday.

The plan https://www.americanprogress.org/?p=498976, published by the Center for American Progress and seen first by Reuters, is likely to inform a looming debate about exactly how far bank regulators should go in policing climate change as the Biden administration looks to tackle the issue on all fronts.

The paper argues that regulators could move quickly to bolster banks’ capital cushions by establishing several new safeguards, including a new capital surcharge directly tied to how much pollution banks directly finance and heightened stress tests of big banks that incorporate climate risks.

Several of the changes are likely to be strongly opposed by Wall Street, and regulators, led by the Fed, have taken a much more deliberate approach to climate than sought by progressive Democrats.

After lagging European counterparts on climate change under the Trump administration, the Fed has ramped up efforts in recent months, including devoting new staff specifically to exploring how climate change could affect the economy and the financial system.

But the Fed has yet to adopt any new policies in response to climate change, which some argue are already overdue.

“It’s positive they at least have acknowledged the severity or potential severity of these risks,” said Gregg Gelzinis, a senior policy analyst who wrote the paper. “I give them credit for that, but it’s not going to provide a lot of comfort if we don’t see action.”

The paper argues regulators should move quickly, directing banks to hold more capital if they are exposed to more heavily polluting industries, saying they could lose value as the world moves toward cleaner industries.

It adds the Fed should go farther with the largest banks, imposing a new capital surcharge directly tied to how much carbon they finance with their activities.

The report also called on the Fed to create a new exercise to test banks’ resilience to climate change over the long term, as well as integrate near-term climate risk into the existing annual stress test of bank finances.

(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by David Gregorio and Steve Orlofsky)



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Cairns Hospital in code yellow again as demand for emergency care pushes clinicians to the limit


Cairns Hospital has declared a code yellow emergency for the third time this year, in response to increased pressure on services.

The internal emergency was called yesterday and ended at midday today, as latest performance figures confirmed the hospital had its busiest month ever in elective and trauma surgery in March.

Anaesthetist and Together union senior vice president Dr Sandy Donald is calling for building works at Cairns Hospital to be expedited, to create space and ease pressure on the system.

Cairns Hospital emergency department experienced its busiest day ever in February.

The hospital’s director of intensive care, women’s and perioperative, Susan Henderson, said they had experienced a significant increase of demand on services, which had led to the most recent internal emergency.

“When we move into our code yellows, we do have to look at how we manage our elective work,” Ms Henderson said.

“Patients would be aware we do cancel some of our less urgent surgery.

“We have seen an increase in presentations at Cairns Hospital and with that has come an increase in emergency and trauma.”

Ms Henderson said over the March quarter, elective surgeries had risen 7 per cent on the previous quarter and that the long waiting list had been cut to 78 per cent.

“There’s been a total of over 1,300 procedures done through the operating suite, that included elective surgery and also our emergency surgeries.”

Dr Donald said pressure on the system had been growing since the peak of the pandemic, and that it had led to delays.

“Ramping — it is just gradually getting worse again, that’s inevitable due to steadily escalating demand, and facilities that just have never kept pace with it,” he said.

“I don’t think we currently have the beds and facilities we need for the population that we treat.

“What we know is when there are patients ramped and there are 10 or 15 patients who should be in a ward but can’t go there.

“That’s a sign of a problem within the entire health service.”

In February, 61-year-old Cairns school bus driver Margaret Leggerini was choking due to a respiratory infection and needed an ambulance to her Bayview Heights home.

“[I was] gasping, absolutely gasping for breath.

“Every breath I took hurt. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to take another breath,” Ms Leggerini said.

Advanced care paramedics attended her home, but she said she was told ramping at the hospital meant she would wait a long time to be treated.

“I just felt sad, it’s the first time I’ve ever had to have the ambulance called for me, and I couldn’t get the help … I couldn’t go to the hospital where I would feel secure,” she said.

Ms Leggerini was treated by paramedics at home and taken to her GP.

“The hospital advised them that if I could go to my GP … that would be a better situation as there was a six-hour wait at the hospital.”

Ms Leggerini said she while the paramedics very helpful, the system needed to be fixed.

“I really feel for them and their workload, and what they have to go through just to try and do their job,” she said.

“I think about if someone was having attack or a stroke or something like that, they probably wouldn’t be here … especially on that day.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the state government was moving quickly to expand bed capacity in Cairns. 

She said an announcement is imminent on the proposed medical research area outside the hospital. 

“In the next couple of weeks I believe we’ll have the work that’s been done, due diligence work being done on identifying sites’ innovation, research and education centre,” she said.

“Why that education centre is important is because currently all of that research and education is currently happening inside the hospital so once we establish the land and build the centre and move those services out … we’re going to immediately be able to create extra bed capacity.”

She also said work is progressing on an expansion of mental health facilities at the hospital.

“We’re moving very quickly on the enhancement that we’re making at Cairns Hospital, the land is already there for construction to start on the mental health unit.

“I think it’s around an extra 30-bed capacity through the education centre and around another 70 through the mental health, so about 100 extra beds.

“We’re moving as quickly as we can.”

Thank you for stopping by to visit My Local Pages and seeing this news article about “News & What’s On in Brisbane” called “Cairns Hospital in code yellow again as demand for emergency care pushes clinicians to the limit”. This news release was posted by MyLocalPages as part of our QLD events and what’s on local news services.

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Demand grows for fresh Aussie vegetables




Thank you for visiting My Local Pages and reading this story on “What’s On in Canberra” titled ”
Demand grows for fresh Aussie vegetables
“. This article was shared by My Local Pages as part of our holiday events and news aggregator services.

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