Pa­tient care in ad­dled state

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SUE DUNLEVY

PA­TIENTS are be­ing dis­charged from hos­pi­tal so con­fused about their med­i­ca­tion and un­pre­pared and un­sup­ported in man­ag­ing their own re­cov­ery that hun­dreds of thou­sands of them end up be­ing read­mit­ted.

And the prob­lem is cost­ing taxpayers and health funds hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars a year.

A Med­ibank sur­vey of 1500 Aus­tralians has found only half those dis­charged from hos­pi­tal got a writ­ten plan about man­ag­ing their posthos­pi­tal care, nearly one in five said they were not in­formed about when to take their medicine and only half said they were com­fort­able man­ag­ing their own care.

Med­ibank says 6000 of its mem­bers have un­planned read­mis­sions to hos­pi­tal ev­ery year, cost­ing the fund $ 42 mil­lion.

A Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment study in 2010- 11 found more than 103,000 pa­tients were read­mit­ted to public hos­pi­tals in Vic­to­ria within 30 days of dis­charge in 12 months.

The Vic­to­rian re­port found read­mis­sions were tak­ing up about 1648 public beds a year and cost­ing the sys­tem about $ 431 mil­lion.

Med­ibank GP Dr Ian Boyd says the sur­vey shows the need for more plan­ning and co- ordi-

We’re work­ing with hos­pi­tals to see if we can do some­thing bet­ter

DR IAN BOYD

na­tion in af­ter hos­pi­tal care. “Med­ibank is de­vel­op­ing an af­ter care hos­pi­tal pro­gram, Care Tran­si­tion, in part­ner­ship with a num­ber of ma­jor hos­pi­tals in Syd­ney, which we be­lieve will give peo­ple the con­fi­dence to bet­ter man­age their own post hos­pi­tal care and re­cov­ery,” he said.

“Some­times peo­ple can’t phys­i­cally get in to see their GP be­cause they are un­well or they can’t get an ap­point­ment with their GP af­ter be­ing dis­charged,” he said.

“We’re work­ing with hos­pi­tals to see if we can do some­thing bet­ter.”

The sur­vey comes as Med­ibank is in­volved in a dis­pute with a ma­jor pri­vate hos­pi­tal chain in Can­berra over a new con­tract in which it will not pay for a range of read­mis­sions that take place within 28 days of a pa­tient be­ing dis­charged.

The Calvary pri­vate hos­pi­tal group in the ACT is re­fus­ing to sign the con­tract. THEY stepped out in style at Townsville Gram­mar School’s for­mal last night, with Year 12 stu­dents fin­ish­ing out their school hol­i­days with a bang.

The glam­orous evening marked the start of the Townsville for­mal sea­son, with the school tra­di­tion­ally the first in the city to hold their Year 12 cel­e­bra­tion.

The school’s 167 se­nior stu­dents cel­e­brated their big night with flair – with se­quins, lace and bold colours all among the fash­ion choices.

While many stu­dents went down the tra­di­tional route with fancy cars, one cou­ple ar­rived at Jupiters Townsville in a trac­tor.

There’s no time to re­cover from a late night of danc­ing, though, with the teens back to school to­day for the first day of Term 3.

Most other schools are likely to hold their for­mals in Novem­ber.

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