Thursday, December 7, 2023



“The doctor won’t see you now…“

Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) is once again under the spotlight as the Barham Hospital had been left with no doctors after the contractual arrangement with Ochre Health ran out on November 30 ... Having the multimillion-dollar facility sitting idle due to a bureaucratic standoff has greatly frustrated local doctors and distressed patients seeking treatment.

GBH redevelopment commitments confirmed amidst community concerns

A spokesperson for NSW Health Infrastructure has revealed planning for the Grafton Base Hospital (GBH) redevelopment is continuing, and confirmed there has been no change to the NSW Government’s $263.8 million investment commitment to improve health outcomes for residents of Grafton and surrounding communities ... following the recent release of the updated Clarence River Flood Model by CVC, there has been an increase in the Probable Maximum Flood Level across Grafton.

Beccy wins Natural Olympia, crowned World Champion

It’s been a decade long journey lifting thousands of kilos in the gym and last month Maclean bodybuilder Beccy Pateman achieved her dream when she was crowned overall winner of the Professional Figure category in the Natural Olympia contest, plus overall winner of the Professional Fit Body category at the WNBF World Championships.

Push to reclassify Wallaroo Hospital

Wallaro Hospital should be reclassified to reflect its status as the major hospital in the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network area. That is one of the specific requests in the petition led by Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis calling for better health services in the electorate, which was signed by 10,688 people and presented to the South Australian Parliament in November.

60 new nurses to work in Northern Rivers

Sixty nurses from the UK and Ireland have been recruited to work in the Northern Rivers ... Indian national Kavitha Mathew will work at Kyogle Multi-Purpose Service ... “I’m very happy to work in Kyogle,” Kavitha said.

Double celebrations: the Flying Doctor announces new Ambassador at its Charleville 80-year anniversary event

The Lighting the Way Ambassadors, selected for their genuine affinity with the Flying Doctor, work within their region to advocate for improved health and wellbeing outcomes for rural and remote Queenslanders ... Established in 1943, the Charleville Base services a waiting room of more than 622,000 square kilometres, connecting the residents of the South-West Queensland region to leading, and often lifesaving, health services.

PATS expands to prosthetic and orthotic appointments: Picton

South Australians living in rural and regional areas will now be eligible for financial support to travel to specialist Prosthetic and Orthotic clinics for health appointments, under an expansion of the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme ... To qualify for this service, people must attend either a public or private hospital or outpatient clinic...

Making bore water fit for dialysis

Making scarce and impure bore water in The Centre’s outback fit for use in medical dialysis has earned Alice local Michael C Smith a Distinguished Alumni Award from Flinders University in Adelaide. “I’m proud that one of my designs is working today in Kiwirrkurra, Australia’s most remote Aboriginal community,” says Dr Smith.

New telehealth trolleys bring great benefits to WWHS’ aged care residents

New telehealth trolleys, offering greater access to health professionals without the need for travel, have been rolled out across all West Wimmera Health Service’s ten residential aged care facilities ... these trolleys are now being wheeled around our aged care facilities...

Fixing GP crisis

Why is our general practitioner system broken, and how do we fix it? Rural communities in the South East continue to face GP shortages, and the closure of many small-town medical clinics because of our failure to attract and retain specialist doctors is putting rural patients at risk.

Parkinson’s disease research collaboration to improve lives in regional, rural, and remote Australia: Charles Sturt University

A collaborative research project led by Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie has the potential to improve the health and care services for people living with Parkinson’s disease in rural, regional, and remote Australia ... Parkinson’s disease is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder globally, after Alzheimer’s disease...

Queenslanders left confused by health department statistics

The Queensland Government has recently released positive statistical information on Health Department outcomes on the Darling Downs, while this week the Opposition’s M.P. and Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Ros Bates has released statistical data showing negative Health Services outcomes for the twelve months to the end of June across the state.

A&E shutdown

Michelle Daw. Ardrossan Community Hospital has temporarily shut its accident and emergency service and acute care in response to ongoing financial losses and workforce challenges ... Increased costs include governance and compliance, employment of agency staff to fill staff shortages, and on-call retainer payments for doctors. The hospital’s income has been impacted by a decrease in the number of people with private health insurance and workforce shortages.

Cost blowout

When will the Bordertown community get a new medical hub? That’s the million-dollar question ratepayers are asking the Tatiara District Council that’s battling a “developer crisis”. Plans for a multi-million-dollar medical clinic on the land next to the Bordertown Hospital … have been scrapped as the developer faces a cost blowout of over $2million.

Regional health gap – Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals responds to Westfund report

Melina Morrison, BCCM CEO, responds to the Westfund Regional Health Gap Report and answers a few questions from Australian Rural & Regional News ... "The co-operative business model, with its emphasis on grass roots democratic management, and sustainability, is ideally suited to providing care services in small and under-supplied markets."

Our Q&A

The lack of a TAFE, children with special needs, the health bureaucracy, E-tag regulations, arts, rare earth mining, radiation therapy and plastics were among 16 questions asked at last week’s Country Cabinet forum in Naracoorte. During a two-day whirlwind visit SA Premier Peter Malinauskas, his ministers and all department chiefs collectively met with hundreds of people as they travelled to various special spots within our region.

Last resort – LHAC resign over MLHD failures

In a shock announcement, the Moulamein Local Health Advisory Committee resigned en masse at its AGM ... The committee said their positions were untenable after the nearly three years of broken promises, failure to take action and a lack of community support and engagement by Murrumbidgee Local Health District. 

Shortage of healthcare providers putting regional Australians’ health at risk: Westfund

The ‘Westfund Regional Health Gap Report’ shows that access to healthcare remains an ongoing issue for Australians in regional areas, with half (49 per cent) of respondents considering the wait time to see their GP unreasonable, some having to wait up to six weeks to get an appointment, and many having to travel more than two hours for an in-person consultation with specialists ... Mark Genovese, Westfund CEO, answers some questions from ARR.News about general trends, specific initiatives for specific areas, digital health care and more.

Be aware of hydatids

Dr Jeff Cave. You may have recently read that a living roundworm, suspected to have come from the faeces of a carpet python, was pulled from brain of a woman in New South Wales. It was the first documented case of the parasite infecting a human.

EWHS diabetes project

Recent Dietetic students David and Dylan from Deakin University conducted a project for East Wimmera Health Services (EWHS) regarding Diabetes in the area. The following is a summary article of their findings and recommendations for improving the service and overall health of consumers within the EWHS catchment areas.

Grayson’s guardian “app” angel

Jess Liddy. Grayson Patterson, of Wallaroo, is lucky to be alive. The 2-year-old went into cardiac arrest in June, after a barbecue smoker fell on him. If it wasn’t for the GoodSAM app, and the quick response from an off-duty ambulance officer to deliver life-saving compressions and care, the outcome could have been a lot different.

Doctors meet to discuss GP patient tax grab: Speirs, Hurn

The Liberal Opposition has hosted a forum and invited the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners to discuss the proposed new GP payroll tax – with fears the new patient tax will force doctors to raise fees or even close their practices, driving more people to our already stretched emergency departments.

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