Nurses wary of cold turkey’ back­lash

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Health -

Con­tin­ued from Health cover that stamp­ing out com­mu­nity and fam­ily dys­func­tion ‘‘ will take a gen­er­a­tion or more’’. Fix­ing the fac­tors at the root of the prob­lems ‘‘ will re­quire sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in ar­eas not tra­di­tion­ally linked to the health sec­tor’’, NRHA chair­man pro­fes­sor John Wak­er­man said in a let­ter to Howard.

‘‘ Th­ese in­vest­ments in ed­u­ca­tion, hous­ing, em­ploy­ment, wa­ter, trans­port and food will have to be at sub­stan­tial lev­els — and on­go­ing,’’ Wak­er­man said.

‘‘ We hope that such long-term in­vest­ments in rural, re­gional and re­mote ar­eas will be forth­com­ing.

‘‘ Like the emer­gency re­sponse, the longterm ac­tion must be well-re­sourced and com­pre­hen­sive. To re­cruit and re­tain the num­bers of health pro­fes­sion­als nec­es­sary will re­quire ma­jor de­vel­op­ment of health ser­vice in­fra­struc­ture, es­tab­lish­ment of high-qual­ity man­age­ment and gov­er­nance sys­tems in­volv­ing com­mu­ni­ties, and ap­pro­pri­ate link­ages be­tween key ser­vice, train­ing and pro­fes­sional sup­port agen­cies.’’

The calls came as fed­eral health min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott con­firmed the planned health checks for Abo­rig­i­nal chil­dren — which have been the sub­ject of much con­tro­versy — would be per­formed with the con­sent of the chil­dren’s par­ents.

As Ab­bott has pre­vi­ously in­di­cated, the health as­sess­ments would not in­volve a spe­cific check for signs of sex­ual abuse un­less ev­i­dence of abuse was un­cov­ered while tak­ing the pa­tient’s med­i­cal his­tory, or came to light in the nor­mal course of the ex­am­i­na­tion.

Guide­lines re­leased by Ab­bott on Thurs­day sug­gested the health checks would take about 45 min­utes, but might vary sig­nif­i­cantly be­tween in­di­vid­u­als.

About 20 multi-dis­ci­plinary teams would be re­quired to en­sure the checks could be com­pleted within six months. Each team would prob­a­bly com­prise one doc­tor, two nurses, one Abo­rig­i­nal health worker and one ad­min­is­tra­tive sup­port worker.

Pic­ture: Sam Mooy

Al­co­hol abuse: An Abo­rig­i­nal wo­man col­lapses from in­tox­i­ca­tion out­side the Todd River Ho­tel, Alice Springs, last week

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