Queensland Health’s high priority hospital and health services, including Metro North, Metro South, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Torres and Cape York and Cairns must be audited by April 19.
The state’s remaining hospital and health services will need to be audited by April 22.
The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) also recommended that if deficiencies were found, an action plan to fix them would need to be provided.
Queensland Health is due to report at a second conference on April 27.
In a statement, QNMU secretary Beth Mohle said she welcomed the commission’s assistance and looked forward to progress being made.
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The health union says changes to travel allowance payments to paramedics are leaving some remote Tasmanian ambulance stations unable to respond to call-outs for hours at a time, prompting warnings people may die waiting for help.
Changes to travel payments to paramedics in north-west Tasmania are leaving stations unstaffed for hours, the health union says
A paramedic fears people will not work in rural stations because there is no financial support to work away from home
Ambulance Tasmania says it will work with unions to ensure payments comply with award conditions
The Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) said paramedics used to be paid 46 cents a kilometre when they needed to work out of other stations to cover staffing shortages, but that would no longer be paid.
As a result, paramedics will travel to and from remote stations during their shift time, shaving hours off their shifts at either end and leaving stations with either reduced capacity or none at all.
Devonport-based paramedic James Watkins frequently travels to other stations and says people are not getting the ambulance services they deserve.
“Studies show that for every minute someone is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival drops by 9 per cent,” he said.
“That means for every minute a station’s not covered, or that an ambulance is further away than it should be, the chance of survival drops very significantly.
‘People will leave the force’
Mr Watkins said changes to the travel allowance would be “terrible” for the state’s West Coast as there was no longer any financial incentive for paramedics to work away from home.
“The West Coast is normally filled by people working away from home for a week at a time,” he said.
“Decisions are being made without consultation and people are becoming so demoralised they leave the force and go interstate … the workforce is feeling really undervalued.”
HACSU acting state secretary Robbie Moore said stations would now be unstaffed for hours.
“I’m aware of somebody in the Devonport station that had a shift in Smithton,” he said.
“That’s a long distance that you’d have to drive, and drive both ways, so it means for four or five hours the station doesn’t have a permanently based paramedic that’s able to respond to call-outs.
Payments ‘in line with award’
An Ambulance Tasmania spokesperson said there had been no changes to the award under which paramedics were paid.
“Ambulance Tasmania continues to pay paramedics in accordance with the relevant award, which includes allowances for travel in certain circumstances,” the spokesperson said.
“Ambulance Tasmania has a legal requirement as a government agency to ensure all payments comply with award conditions.
“We will be working with unions to ensure that claims for travel meet these conditions.”
Mr Moore rejected the idea that travel allowance payments were not part of the award.
“The best they’ll say is that it’s not an award entitlement, which is ridiculous because it’s been paid for many years,” he said.
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It said multiple ambulances from Sydney’s Northern Beaches responded, including from St Ives and Hornsby, but the closest crew based at Hawkesbury River station, just under 6 kilometres from the location in Brooklyn, was unable to attend because it was delayed at Gosford Hospital.
Instead, the APA said it was informed by several crews it took 25 minutes for paramedics to get to the scene of the explosion.
Ongoing issues in area
Paramedics from the small Hawkesbury River station at Mooney Mooney are tasked to cover significant road accidents on the M1 motorway and boat-only access jobs on the river, as well as look after the neighbouring communities of Mount White, Calga and Brooklyn.
But Mr Kastelan said the reality was very different.
“Most of the time they are tasked back up to the Central Coast area to make up for what is an ongoing concern with paramedic numbers and crew numbers due to workload, ageing populations, and delays getting crews back out on the road at some of the hospitals,” he said.
The association has long argued demand on local paramedics continued to increase, but the minimum number of officers for the Central Coast sector had not changed since 2010.
He said ambulance resources from Hawkesbury River, Hornsby, Sydney metro, as well as Newcastle and the Inner Hunter were routinely deployed to the Central Coast “to make up for what really appears to be inadequate resourcing”.
Extra officers making little difference, union says
The New South Wales Ambulance Service has played down the call for more local officers.
A spokesman said 42 additional paramedics had been deployed to the Central Coast over the past two years.
He said as part of the Statewide Workforce Enhancement Program an extra 12 officers were at Doyalson, 12 at Hamlyn Terrace, 12 at Ettalong, and five at Point Clare.
Mr Kastelan said the extra officers had made little difference because they had “been swallowed into existing gaps and holes in rosters, and also they’re the same paramedics stuck in bed block“.
“It really is a systemic approach needed to ensure members of the community get the care they pay for and legitimately expect,” he said.
The Central Coast Local Health District’s outgoing chief executive Dr Andrew Montague acknowledged emergency department delays at Gosford and Wyong Hospitals was “a long-term issue on the Central Coast”.
Dr Montague said strategies were in place and improvements had been made with the opening of a 10-bed short-stay unit at Gosford Hospital.
But he conceded bed block would always be a problem.
“And [it’s] going to be a constant challenge for people to try to solve.”
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“On this point, I have to say that, while this factor was important in the context we were working with, it was by no means the central element of the work given that, as we expressed in the project, British domination has historically extended across the five continents,” he said.
“In an ideal scenario 83 units would be collected, equivalent to just over 37 litres of blood, excluding those places that are uninhabited or inhabited only by [the] British military population.”
Sierra stressed that he did not expect to receive donations from every country or territory colonised by the British Empire, given he was also seeking as many as 20 donations from the Americas, 10 from Europe, 25 from Africa and 18 from Asia.
“In such a case, the country in question and the reason why it was impossible to obtain the sample would be mentioned,” he said.
He added that the blood-soaked flag was meant to encourage people to “reflect on the material on which states and empires are built” and show that “all blood is equally red and has the same consistency, regardless of the race or culture of the person supplying it”.
The artist also revealed he is working on a project that will submerge the national flag of Spain in blood donated from territories colonised by the Spanish Empire since 1785.
“This piece is part of a series of actions that will be carried out all over the world,” he said. “Similar actions can be carried out with reference to the British, Portuguese, French [and] American empires.”
The artwork and Dark Mofo’s response has divided opinion. Australian performance artist and Dark Mofo regular Mike Parr lashed the festival for its “cowardice and lack of leadership”.
The chair of Tasmania’s Aboriginal Land Council has also expressed disappointment that the artwork has been pulled. Others, including Terra Nullius author Claire Coleman, said using the blood of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people would be “abusing, colonising and re-traumatising”.
Professor Anita Heiss, a Wiradjuri woman, labelled the proposal “insensitive and ignorant”.
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Putin responds to Biden’s insinuation that’s he a ‘killer’: says US President is likely projecting, but ‘I wish him good health‘ — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union
18 Mar, 2021 11:47
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The high speed of 5G internet can now be experienced at over a dozen of the most well-known locations in Moscow, and the locals who spoke to RT didn’t seem to share the concerns of skeptics about the technology.
5G being available to the public is a “breakthrough” because “it is the only way we can make sure mobile networks keep developing,” Victor Belov, president for technology at Russian telecom giant MTS, which is behind the pilot project, told RT.
The new standard will allow mobile phone users to “watch videos in Ultra HD and even some newer formats.” The people “won’t have any trouble doing a live-stream from a packed venue during a concert, even if everyone around is doing that too,” he said.
A truly autonomous transport system, which includes self-driving cars and delivery drones, will also only be able to function property when 5G is widespread, Belov added.
RT’s Ilya Petrenko tested the network at Nikolskaya Street near the Kremlin, which became well-known around the globe after being chosen as the No.1 gathering spot by football fans during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The connection speed stood at almost 1,300 megabits per second, allowing him to download a two-gigabyte file onto his phone in an “impressive” 35 seconds.
When the introduction of the technology began internationally in 2019, it brought about numerous conspiracy theories alleging that it was harmful to human health. Some people, and even a handful of internet celebrities, went so far as to blame the tech for the outbreak and spread of Covid-19.
But the MTS representative brushed off those concerns, pointing to numerous studies that have proved the safety of the next-gen tech. And Muscovites mostly seem to agree with the scientists, with one girl telling RT that the conspiracy theories were just “nonsense.”
Other locals also didn’t mind having 5G transmitters set up above their heads, calling the new network standard a huge step forward for the whole IT sector. However, there was one woman who insisted that the health effects of the technology need to be studied further.
Also on rt.com China to build 30 ‘fully connected’ 5G factories by 2023
People also shouldn’t be concerned when more and more 5G masts pop up around them, Belov explained, adding that some think “it’s more dangerous… but the actual fact is the more transmitters there are – the lower the level of electromagnetic radiation each one of them emits.”
So far, the Russian capital has 5G transmitters erected in 14 locations, including the area around the Bolshoi Theatre, the Gorky Park, the observation deck at Sparrow Hills, and Zaryadye Park.
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However, the head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, Suren Thiru, said: “The significant slump in UK exports of goods to the EU, particularly compared to non-EU trade, provides an ominous indication of the damage being done to post-Brexit trade with the EU by the current border disruption.
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South Australian doctors are being directed by hospital administrators to discharge patients before they are clinically ready and data is being manipulated to make wait lists look better than they are, a parliamentary committee has been told.
SA Salaried Medical Officers Association chief industrial officer Bernadette Mulholland made the startling revelations this morning while giving evidence at a parliamentary committee on health services.
“The pressure to get people out of hospitals has become so great that we are now seeing administrators actually directing medical officers to discharge patients before they are ready to go,” she told the committee.
“That’s only happened in the most recent weeks and we’ve raised that on a couple of occasions.
“The focus is clear for the health administrators and for the board – it’s about finance, it’s not about championing the hospitals, it’s not about championing the clinicians and it’s not about championing the patients.”
Mulholland said it was a “terrible indictment at the moment on our health system”.
“We need clearly more funding in our health system and that’s not happening and we see a focus on cuts and limiting of care rather than working together to bring the most efficient, world-class standard of care that we would expect in country like Australia,” she said.
Mulholland also said there was “manipulation of data” of patient wait lists.
“So we see wait lists that our medical officers will say are a lot longer,” she said.
“There’s a lot of manipulation of the data to give an appearance that the health system is in a better way than it probably is.
“We’ll hear within the media that wait lists are down and wait lists are being addressed and then we’ll get calls from our doctors to say that wait lists are not down.”
Mulholland said there was “a great deal of burnout amongst our medical officers”.
“There are people or trained medical officers who are now leaving,” she said.
“I am aware of in the last four weeks in one particular local health network where we had five doctors actually resign.
“Their decision was to leave a system that was too difficult to be party to and wasn’t helping their patients or they couldn’t help their patients, so they determined to leave.”
Mulholland said the union was contacted by up to two doctors every week “incredibly fatigued and distressed, suicidal potentially and no longer want to work in the system”.
“And that’s a terrible indictment I think on where we’re at at the moment,” she said.
Mulholland said the pressure on junior doctors was particularly severe.
“Certainly the greatest impact is on our junior medical officers,” she said.
“They work extended hours which they are not paid for. They are on individual contracts which makes it difficult for them to actually raise concerns about behaviours or to challenge the fact that they are expected to work way beyond their hours.”
She said where junior doctors have challenged their work conditions “that hasn’t ended well for them”.
“They’ve been moved, they haven’t got a job in the following year, they have been replaced,” she said.
“The issues around bullying and harassment and fatigue have been an ongoing topic for as long as I’ve worked with the Salaried Medical Officers Association which is now 13 years.”
Mulholland claimed the case of a baby last week having “life-saving” surgery cancelled at the last minute at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital was because of “budgets”.
“My understanding was that… there wasn’t the nurse component to be able to staff those beds… it would have been devastating to those clinicians not to be able to provide that care at that time,” she said.
“That’s the sort of feedback that you get and the difficulties that arise is simply about budgets.”
SA Health has rejected that, saying the baby’s surgery was postponed not because of budgetary issues but rather because of higher priority emergency cases that presented.
Mulholland also raised concerns about paediatric services being “stretched”.
“We know of services in there that have one doctor to work 24/7 – it’s ridiculous,” she said.
“Certainly our paediatric services have not been looked at for an extensive period of time, they are poorly resourced.”
Mulholland said she was aware of one unit that had had a business case in with hospital management for 13 years for an extra consultant.
She said, however, the pressure was felt “across all of the units”.
“I know at the end of last year there were 14 business cases put in to the Women’s and Children’s executive to be escalated up to the department for extra staffing,” she said.
Concerns were also raised about a lack of planning for the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
She understood there was one less ICU bed planned for the new hospital.
“The treatment spaces were not developed in consultation with the doctors or indeed clinicians,” she said.
“What we are doing is building (the new hospital) too small, which is quite concerning really.
“Over the next five to ten years we’re going to see increasing delays of children being cared for in our hospitals because we are just not putting the funding into the development of it.”
Mulholland also said there was a lack of planning for the new hospital to adequately deal with a pandemic such as COVID.
“We now know that the accommodation and spaces need to accommodate a pandemic,” she said.
“The current way that the proposed treatment spaces are being designed does not provide for a safe environment in a pandemic situation.”
Mulholland also talked about the ramping “crisis” that paramedics have been raising for years and in particular in the past few weeks.
“Oh, there’s an absolute crisis in our adult system on ramping and bed-block in emergency departments,” she said.
“It’s distressing and it flows right through the hospital. Ramping shouldn’t be normal.”
Mulholland said a lack of mental health services across the state was partly to blame.
“One of the comments that was made to me is ‘mental health is probably the worst I’ve seen it at this time’,” she said.
Mulholland said the problem was so severe that hospital executives – not just doctors – had even raised concerns with her about a lack of community mental health services across the state.
“My understanding is it’s because they’re not getting the budget allocation from the department who probably don’t understand what’s happening in those hospitals on a daily basis and at worst don’t care what’s happening in our hospitals on a daily basis,” she said.
A State Government spokesperson said the Marshall Government had invested more than $2 billion extra into the health system since 2018.
“Since the election, we have significantly strengthened engagement with health professionals and their unions and will continue to do so,” the spokesperson said.
“At the WCH, we have provided more than $600,000 to support medical officers to be involved in helping plan the new hospital.
“The Project User Groups (PUGs) play a vital role in the planning and design of the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) and have now met more than 500 times.
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“The new hospital continues to achieve very significant levels of consultation with almost 1,000 hours already contributed by more than 580 clinicians, 110 other staff and 35 consumers.”
The spokesperson said the final plans for the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital had not yet been determined “however they will have more treatment spaces, hundreds more carparks and will be a world-class hospital”.
The spokesperson said “increased infection controls due to COVID-19, such as distancing of patients with respiratory systems in our EDs, and a spike in demand of mental health patients during the pandemic has been a difficult challenge throughout the nation”.
“Western Australia for example has experienced significant (transfer of care) delays of about 4,000 hours a month according to recent reports,” the spokesperson said.
“Ramping is unacceptable and this government will continue to work with the doctors, paramedics and all health staff to mitigate its impact.”
Responding to concerns about ramping, Treasurer Rob Lucas this morning told FIVEaa “the claims that the government hasn’t been providing additional resources need to be put to rest”.
“The Auditor-General’s report shows in the first two years of this government we put in an extra 187 full-time staff,” he said.
“This year we’re budgeting for another 76 full-time staff; so 260 additional staff.
“So the point is, the additional staff … just doesn’t solve the problem.”
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Two days after designating the Doctors’ Alliance as a “foreign agent,” Russia’s Justice Ministry released information claiming that the organization received money from nationals in Singapore, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Norway, Belarus, and Ukraine. Federal officials also accused the trade union of political activity (Russia’s “foreign agent” designation applies to foreign-funded groups involved in politics) in the form of organizing rallies, mobilizing voters, recruiting minors, and trying to influence public political opinions.
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Although a health food, some yoghurts actually contain more sugar that chocolate. Here, Dietitian Melissa Meier reveals which ones you should be stocking your fridge with.
You’ve probably been told that yoghurt is a healthy go-to when the 3pm munchies strike. And while in many cases that is true, some varieties are packed with added sugar and are more like a decadent dessert than a healthy bite to eat.
To help you make a smart choice next time you find yourself staring into the yoghurt cabinet, here’s my guide to yoghurt.
Is yoghurt actually healthy?
Plain, natural yoghurt is certainly a healthy choice. It’s naturally rich in calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. In fact, just one small tub of yoghurt (about 170 grams) packs roughly one third of your daily calcium needs.
You might be surprised to learn that yoghurt is a good source of protein, too, with around ten grams per serve. On top of that, you’re in for all of the natural goodness dairy offers, including potassium for heart and muscle function, vitamin A for healthy eyes and Vitamin B12 to support health blood. So far, so good, right?
The problem with yoghurt is when it comes packed with added sugar. You won’t usually find added sugar in plain, natural yoghurt – the sugar you see on the nutrition information panel of these products is simply the natural sugar called lactose that all dairy foods contain (and FYI there is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of sugar!).
Where you will find added sugar is in flavoured yoghurt. So, I recommend buying plain yoghurt and adding your own fresh fruit if you’re in need of some sweetness.
The fat content is another interesting point of contention. In the past, reduced-fat dairy has been recommended, but new research has shown that for otherwise healthy people (read: those without heart disease or diabetes), full-fat dairy is a-okay in the context of a healthy diet. Nonetheless, reduced-fat dairy is still much lower in kilojoules, so if weight loss is on your radar, a reduced-fat yoghurt could still be a smarter choice.
And what about the newer, trendier coconut- and almond-based yoghurts, I hear you ask? Unfortunately, these products don’t tend to live up to their health halo.
They are usually much lower in protein, and don’t come with all-important calcium, unless fortified. Plus, coconut products are very high in saturated fat, which isn’t good news for your ticker.
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The healthiest yoghurts on the Australian market, ranked
1. Siggi’s 0.5 per cent Plain
Per 100g: 266kJ (64cal), 10.1g protein, 0.2g sat fat, 3.6g sugar, 303mg calcium
2. Farmers Union Greek Style High in Protein
Per 100g: 254kJ (61cal), 8.1g protein, 0.1g sat fat, 5.2g sugar, 262mg calcium
3. Tamar Valley Dairy Natural 99.85 per cent Fat Free Yoghurt
Per 100g: 231kJ (55cal), 6.6g protein,
4. Jalna High Protein Yoghurt Natural
Per 100g: 282kJ (67cal), 9g protein, 0.1g sat fat, 5.5g sugar, 170mg calcium
Per 100g: 295kJ (71cal), 5.5g protein, 1.2g sat fat, 7.7g sugar, 194mg calcium
7. Paul’s All Natural Yoghurt Tub Set
Per 100g: 347kJ (83cal), 5.4g protein, 2g sat fat, 6.7g sugar, 195mg calcium
8. Brooklea Natural Pot Set Yoghurt
Per 100g: 223kJ (53cal), 5.3g protein, 0.1g sat fat, 5.7g sugar, 172mg calcium
9. Chobani Plain Greek Yoghurt
Per 100g: 244kJ (58cal), 9.7g protein, 0.1g sat fat, 3.3g sugar, 120mg calcium
10. Vaalia Natural Yoghurt
Per 100g: 348kJ (83cal), 6g protein, 1.2g sat fat, 7.4g sugar, 200mg calcium
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram.
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