Thursday, January 29, 2009


Three articles below

Another deadbeat public hospital in NSW

Outstanding bills which have seen a security firm threaten to withdraw its services from a rural NSW hospital will be paid within 24 hours, the state government says. Health Minister John Della Bosca said he had spoken to Greater Western Area Heath Service (GWAHS) chief executive Dr Claire Blizzard, who gave an assurance the bills would be paid imminently.

Heartland Security threatened to halt work at Parkes Hospital if the bills were not paid by today. The firm also has complained about a string of late payments by the health service last year.

"I've been advised by the GWAHS by Dr Blizzard ... that she will be paying within 24 hours the outstanding account to the security firm involved," Mr Della Bosca told reporters in Sydney.

The work performed by the security personnel includes escorting nurses to their cars at the end of a night shift, to offer protection against possibly violent patients. Mr Della Bosca said there were three outstanding bills from the security firm, and only one from November was outside the new benchmark of 43 days in which a bill should be paid. But the latest case of late-payment also follows reports of staff at Mudgee Hospital using petty cash to buy sausages after a butcher refused to supply further meat, and a cancellation of surgery at Orange Base Hospital when it ran out of syringes.

Mr Della Bosca said the outstanding accounts at the GWAHS totalled $60 million when he took on the health portfolio, and they now stood at $23 million. "It has more than halved in four months so that is a very good trend line,'' he said. "I expect that to continue. I expect the GWAHS will achieve the benchmarks that we require for payment of local businesses and suppliers.''


NSW Premier 'too busy' to deal with failing hospitals

Easy interpretation: His brain is so constipated with failed Leftist ideas that he hasn't got a clue what to do

Doctors at Dubbo Base Hospital have not been paid for weeks, nurses at Orange are using their own money to buy batteries for heart monitors and cake trays to dispense pills, and students in Mudgee have bought beds for the emergency department as more reports of the state's credit meltdown come to light. But a spokesman for Nathan Rees said yesterday the Premier was "too busy with other things" to deal with the issue. The Director-General of NSW Health, Debora Picone, refused to comment, saying the Greater Western Area Health Service "managed itself".

The area health service, which covers 56 per cent of the state, is in crisis after more reports that creditors are waiting up to six months to get paid, deliveries of food and medical supplies to hospitals have been cancelled and vital maintenance work, such as fixing blocked pipes and faulty lifts, is not being carried out.

About 12 creditors came forward yesterday, including one owed more than $16,000 for delivering fruit to remote hospitals and a nurse who was angry that several wards at Orange Base Hospital had been without paper towels, vital for infection control, for several weeks because unpaid suppliers had stopped deliveries

Their claims came after the Herald reported a Parkes security firm was threatening to withdraw its services if its $6000 bill was not settled within 24 hours. Its owner, Lindsay Harvey, said he was told yesterday his money would be in his bank account by this morning. Steve Miller, the owner of Country Fruit Distributors in Dubbo, owed $14,000 for three months, was also paid about $7000 yesterday after complaining to the Herald.

The chief executive of the Greater Western Area Health Service, Claire Blizard, said it was "clearly unacceptable that some creditors are facing these delays". "We have made progress in relation to the payment of creditors and in the past couple of months we have made a 50 per cent reduction in creditors owed money. This is not a problem that can be fixed overnight," she said.

Students from Mudgee High School ran car washes, charity balls and raffles to raise $20,000 for emergency department beds last year. "It's a bit of a shame really that in a country like ours, as rich as ours, that our Government's health system has to rely upon local community donations to keep the hospital running," the former school captain, Hannah Kempton, said. Three emergency trolleys were bought by the hospital's auxiliary last week after it raised more than $15,000 in raffles, while a football team paid for carpet in the maternity ward. "It would be nice if we didn't have to buy these things, but we do," the president of the auxiliary, Glenys Goodfellow, said.

The Opposition health spokeswoman, Jillian Skinner, said it was unacceptable. "If people don't pay their speeding fines or taxes on time, then they get taken to court or there's some penalty. Why should the . Government think it's the exception?"


The hugely bureaucratized Queensland Health are such unpleasant people to work for that they have to employ any scum to fill the gaps that their bloodymindedness creates in their workforce

A Pakistan-trained doctor will face a tribunal after allegedly performing an unnecessary vaginal examination on a patient. The Queensland Medical Board referred Naseem Ashraf to the Health Practitioners Tribunal earlier this month, claiming he had engaged in "unsatisfactory professional conduct" that may require disciplinary action.

Ashraf, who is no longer registered as a doctor in Queensland, was working as a senior medical officer and anaesthetist at Mount Isa Base Hospital in October 2004 when the misconduct allegedly took place. It is alleged Ashraf performed an intra-vaginal examination on a woman who had visited him for a pre-anaesthetic consultation. The woman was due to undergo surgery one week later to remove abnormal cells detected during a routine pap smear.

According to a referral notice filed by the Queensland Medical Board in the Brisbane District Court, the vaginal examination was not required for a pre-anaesthetic assessment. The board also is claiming Ashraf did not gain the woman's consent before conducting the examination, or keep adequate medical records. Ashraf will face the tribunal at a later date.


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