Sunday, November 26, 2006


Their favourite way of meeting their "targets"

The government has been accused of failing to meet a promise to scrap mixed-sex wards in NHS hospitals. The Department of Health said its targets had been achieved, and 99% of trusts are providing single sex accommodation. But patients groups said they were getting an increasing number of calls from people who think they have been in mixed-sex wards.

There appears to be confusion about the definition of the term. Katherine Murphy, from the Patients Association, said there had been 25-30 calls in the last month to the charity's helpline, mostly from elderly patients, who had been nursed on mixed-sex wards.

Andrew Lansley said it was not acceptable to claim that partitioned single-sex bays on mixed-sex wards were doing the job. "If you can be seen by patients of another sex, and they are coming and going past your bed in order to go to the toilet facilities you may not think you have the privacy you want."

The government pledged to scrap mixed-sex wards when it came to power in 1997. Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said most trusts offered single-sex wards, but said more could be done.

More here

Australian public hospital nurse recognised with whistleblower award

The woman who alerted authorities to the Bundaberg Hospital crisis will be recognised at the annual Whistleblowers Australia conference this weekend. Bundaberg Base Hospital nurse Toni Hoffman will receive the Whistleblower of the Year award for uncovering the alleged criminal malpractice of overseas-trained surgeon Jayant Patel. Patel is allegedly linked with 17 patient deaths, and earlier this week a Brisbane Magistrate approved an arrest warrant for the 56-year-old doctor who fled to the US.

Ms Hoffman says she is thrilled to receive the award. "It's a great honour and I hope to be able to improve whistleblower protection through raising awareness," she said.

The national director for Whistleblowers Australia, Greg McMahon, says it was Ms Hoffman's concern for the community that earned her the award. "Toni Hoffman took the view that more was required of her because of her responsibility so that everybody needed to be protected," he said. Ms Hoffman will share the title with heart specialist Dr Con Aroney, who is being honoured for his role in revealing cutbacks at Brisbane's Prince Charles Hospital in 2004.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL hospitals and health insurance schemes should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the very poor and minimal regulation. Both Australia and Sweden have large private sector health systems with government reimbursement for privately-provided services so can a purely private system with some level of government reimbursement or insurance for the poor be so hard to do?

Comments? Email me here. If there are no recent posts here, the mirror site may be more up to date. My Home Pages are here or here or here.


No comments: