Friday, September 14, 2007

Australia: Pregnant women with diabetes refused treatment

You can rely on your government to look after you

A Ballarat University study has found some rural doctors are refusing treatment to pregnant women with type one diabetes. Doctors are reportedly worried that rural medical services would be insufficient to deal with diabetic complications during pregnancy.

The seven women interviewed as part of the national study say there's a lack of information on managing blood glucose levels during pregnancy. They say they rely on websites for information.

Ballarat University lecturer, Associate Professor Rosemary King, says the woman are deflated by the attitudes of some health professionals. "Being told that they might miscarry or the baby might die or they might have abnormalities... particularly when you're pregnant or you're wanting to be pregnant you're pretty vulnerable to those sorts of messages," she said. "[The women] really thought that people were being not very helpful and more judgemental and negative than constructive," Associate Professor King said.

She says the results are not surprising given the shortage of specialists in country areas. "We probably need to be thinking about how to have accessible information available both for professionals and for the women... how do we go about sort of finding out what it is that people want to know, how do we make the information available?" she said.


Australia: Foreign doctors 'avoiding security checks'

OVERSEAS trained doctors are avoiding police security checks and assessments of their medical skills because of holes in the system. And more than 1000 doctors employed as trainees in NSW public hospitals are being used to plug workforce gaps before they have been properly trained.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Migration last night exposed serious concerns about the scrutiny applied to the 2500 overseas trained doctors entering Australia each year. The committee found hospitals had been using the 457 visa to get doctors into the country quickly because a police security check was not required under this visa. And it called for urgent action to improve both the security and skills checks on doctors entering the country.

Alarm bells were first raised with when Dr Jayant Patel was accused of causing patient deaths in Queensland. Fears grew when the Federal Government this year cancelled the visa of Dr Mohammed Haneef who was related to UK terror suspects. A state and federal plan to improve the checks has foundered because not all states have agreed to them. The parliamentary committee also said the number of occupational overseas trainee doctors employed in NSW hospitals had doubled from 725 to 1326 between 2001 and 2006.


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