- NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research
- NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research
Waive yearly registration fees for nurses this year as they fight COVID-19
I'm a nurse on the frontline of this pandemic. Every day I am dealing with challenges at work to protect and care for our patients, while ensuring my family is safe and healthy. In solidarity with all nurses, I’m calling for our annual registration fees to be exempted for this year. Paying the AHPRA registration is a requirement for all healthcare workers to be able to practice in the field. In this uncertain time, medical professionals are putting their lives at risk every day to flatten the curve. We have no idea how many COVID-19 patients we are dealing with and what form this pandemic will take for the Australian health-care system. We are moving into flu season in Australia which means we will be treating everybody as if they are infectious. The nature of our job puts us at an increased risk of the virus. All nurses deserve to be acknowledged and appreciated for the extraordinary work we are doing. Please sign and share this petition to show solidarity with all the amazing nurses saving lives.
Save Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick
SAVE SYDNEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL RANDWICK Cooper was 10 days old when we brought him to hospital with a viral illness. Transferred to Sydney Children’s Hospital (SCH) Randwick, it was unknown that his heart was suffering from myocarditis. Soon after arrival, he went into cardiac arrest needing CPR for 26minutes. If not for the presence of the SCH Cardiac Surgical Team, Cooper would not have survived. Cardiac Surgical services at SCH are essential for the safety of all children being cared for at Randwick. SCH has provided safe cardiac surgery for decades. The State Government is proposing to close the SCH cardiac surgical service. Critically ill babies and children will face life threatening delays in receiving treatment if our service closes. Cooper would not have survived waiting for a Westmead Team to mobilise & travel 43 km down the M4 to Randwick. SCH provides comprehensive health care to 40% of the children of NSW, and receives 75% of state-wideemergency retrievals of critically ill children. Complex surgeries and treatments, including comprehensive cancer care, required by children at SCH need on-site cardiac surgery for support. Please sign our petition to instruct the NSW State Government to maintain an appropriately funded cardiac surgical program at SCH Randwick.
RE-OPEN NSW GYMS WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING RESTRICTIONS
With today's announcement we have seen the successful lobbying of pubs and clubs to reduce their restrictions. Gym's are not even open for trainers to perform one on one training, let alone 50 people at a time, I feel this to be a huge injustice to a community that is serving to IMPROVE health outcomes. "Regular physical activity is important for everyone, especially as we get older. Regular physical activity can help you to stay fit and independent as long as possible, reduce your risk of a fall and help to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease." - NSW HEALTH I can not find a similar quote about pubs on NSW health site, so curious as to why pubs and restaurants are at the forefront of re opening, but gyms are not? The 'stages of re-opening' also involved pubs being closed, the same amount of time that gyms would be shut, and this hasn't been the case. There has been no clear way forward and huge misjudgment in 'caring for our health' by opening pubs and keeping gyms closed. You spoke about personal responsibility Gladys, well give us ours. #reopengyms #gymsNSW
Greg Hunt: Take action on Newborn Screening
I'm 15 and was born with a rare chronic blood disease. Kids just like me are suffering or dying. It took years for my blood disease to be caught. I go to hospital every two weeks for treatment. Doctors say if it'd been any later I'd have been permanently disabled. That is terrifying - but a sad reality for too many families. Australia’s newborn screening program lags behind the world. Kids are unnecessarily suffering or dying. Diagnosis takes, on average, five years. By this time, many kids are permanently disabled, or dead. All from a totally treatable disease. In Australia we screen for 2 times less conditions than in America. Our program is smaller than most countries. Don't let another baby die from a disease that could’ve been treated all along. Contact: Goodman.email@example.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/GidonGoodman
Say NO to Starving our teens: Stop The Fast Track Trial
The "Fast Track To Health" study is about to kick off in Sydney & Melbourne. The research team have a $1.2 million grant from the NH&MRC, and these funds are being used to put teenagers through a gruelling and prolonged semi starvation experiment. Teens aged 13-17 are facing a horrifying experience: for an entire month they will be allowed just 800 calories a day. After that, for an entire YEAR of their lives, the kids will be starved for 3 days of the week, allowed only 600-700 calories a day. I have blogged in detail about this study, check these out here and here. This is less than the daily nutritional needs for a baby, let alone a growing teen! Teenagers have a lot of growing to do, and they also need to go to school, to learn, to run around and play. These normal teenage activities are just not possible if you are STARVING. There is overwhelming scientific evidence (Level A, the highest level of evidence we can achieve according to the NH&MRC) to show that in the long term, dieting doesn't work. On diets, people lose a little bit of weight initially, but then put it back on again. Over time, dieting is a risk factor for weight gain, not loss. All we are teaching kids by putting them on diets like this is how to endure a lifetime of weight cycling and misery. Starving teenagers is much more likely to result in them developing deadly eating disorders rather than becoming thinner or healthier. There is overwhelming research evidence that points to dieting being the NUMBER ONE risk factor for developing an eating disorder. And the riskiest time for humans to diet is adolescence: the very age of the kids being targeted in this trial. Eating disorders have the HIGHEST MORTALITY RATE of any mental disorder. They are difficult to treat and ruin lives. The Australian government is investing more money into the treatment of eating disorders, as rates are exploding all over the country. Why would we spend research money creating future eating disorder problems? There has already been a complaint sent to the Fast Track research team co-signed by 30 health professionals and organisations pleading for this research to stop, but this has been overruled! Apparently the team think that putting teens at risk of eating disorders is worth it for the perceived 'benefits' of temporary weight loss. Please help to raise your voice in protest against this trial! There are many less harmful ways we can help our larger teens to look after their health and wellbeing. We are calling on the Minister for Health, our MP's and the CEO's of Sydney Childrens Hospital and Monash Childrens Hopspital to put a stop to this trial.
Retaining nurses rights to inject clients without a Doctor on site at a clinic
Cosmetic Injectors jobs are at stake. Our livelihood, our training and our education is all at risk due to our NSW health minister, Brad Hazzard and a group of doctors who are campaigning to have all drugs used in S4 cosmetic medicine treatments, reclassified so that Cosmetic Nurses will be stopped from injecting clients without a doctor on site. The main argument for stopping Cosmetic Nurses is based on client safety. As yet, these claims are unfounded. To date, Cosmetic Nurses have excellent training, are extremely professional, always show a high duty of care and always practice within our scope. They are suggesting that a GP or doctor from any form of medicine with perhaps little to no amount of training, may be more qualified to inject clients then a Cosmetic Nurse Injector who has gone through a complete training program. The Cosmetic Physicians College of Australia and Mr Hazzard [the NSW health minister] are attempting to make an amendment to the Bill to: “amend the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 to impose requirements in respect of certain substances and goods that may be used for cosmetic and other purposes”. We, a nationwide group of Cosmetic Nurses will be affected greatly if these changes take place. We, as a group, are small business owners who work extremely hard to make sure that we do the best by our clients. We support our families and our communities. This change to the bill will mean that non-surgical cosmetic procedures will become far more difficult to receive. All treatments will be from Doctors or on a doctors premises only with perhaps little to no training which will compromise the safety of clients. There also will be less suppliers to provide these services, which will mean that there will be an increase in costs as well. This bill also sets a precedent for other Nurses to have restrictions in the future which undermines their role as a group. Cosmetic nurses work with their doctors to give their patients the safest treatments and should not be prohibited from doing what they are trained to do. If we don’t have your support and this bill goes ahead, Cosmetic Nurses will no longer be able to continue practicing cosmetic injectables. Please sign this petition to fight for all our rights.
Prevent hospitals banning dads / partners from the birth of their baby during COVID-19
While we understand the need to protect all patients and health care workers, leaving women to birth without their partners (or doula) where a relationship and continuity of care has already been established is going to create more fear, anxiety, stress, trauma and possibly mental health problems during the postpartum period and beyond. This is being considered – right here in Perth - and former President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Dr Michael Gannon says: “one thing we may end up seeing is husbands and partners told they are not welcome at the birth. Now that will be a horrible time, but everyone is adjusting to a new normal.” If you are unsure about signing this petition, or you think this is fear mongering, then watch the Channel 7 News Perth video link and then decide if you feel it is worth signing to "prevent" it happening. It is harder to change something once it has been passed. WATCH CHANNEL 7 NEWS VIDEO Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) 31/03/20: "The College supports the World Health Organisation recommendations that a chosen support person should be able to accompany a woman giving birth. There is no current plan to change this advice. Pregnancy and childbirth are such an important time in a woman's life. We must work together to safeguard women's mental health, experience during birth and facilitate and support parents' connection with their newborn babies." These extreme policies of separation and preventing partners from being present to witness the birth of their baby, or care for the baby while having skin on skin if the mother has to go for surgery, goes against human rights and is unethical. A policy such as this is going to increase the likelihood of women choosing to have a free birth (birthing without medical support) in order to feel safe. Research shows that by having continuous support from a non-medical person this lowers interventions and caesareans, which will lead to less time in hospital and less resources being utilised - and that should be one of the key goals in addition to infection control and safety. It is important that pregnant women and their partners have: A guarantee that birthing women will continue to be allowed at least one support person of their choosing at their birth; A guarantee that birthing women will continue to be allowed a support person of their choosing in theatre should they be having a caesarean section; A guarantee that women recovering from birth will continue to be allowed at least one visitor for extended periods of time while recovering from birth; A review of the current policy that excludes doulas and private midwives from providing an essential service to birthing women in hospitals. POSITION STATEMENTS Australian College of Midwives (ACM) CLICK HERE World Health Organisation (WHO) All pregnant women, including those with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections, have the right to high quality care before, during and after childbirth. This includes antenatal, newborn, postnatal, intrapartum and mental health care. - A safe and positive childbirth experience includes:- Being treated with respect and dignity;- Having a companion of choice present during delivery;- Clear communication by maternity staff;- Appropriate pain relief strategies:- Mobility in labour where possible, and birth position of choice. If COVID-19 is suspected or confirmed, health workers should take all appropriate precautions to reduce risks of infection to themselves and others, including hand hygiene, and appropriate use of protective clothing like gloves, gown and medical mask. CLICK HERE Cochrane Review “We conclude that all women should have continuous support during labour. Continuous support from a person who is present solely to provide support, is not a member of the woman's social network, is experienced in providing labour support, and has at least a modest amount of training, appears to be most beneficial. In comparison with having no companion during labour, support from a chosen family member or friend appears to increase women's satisfaction with their childbearing experience.” You can read the full review here: CLICK HERE
COVID-19 Containment in Australia
Serious measures need to be taken to handle the pandemic of COVID-19 in Australia. More than 1200 doctors from around Australia have signed this letter to implore our government to take the actions needed to slow the progression of COVID-19 across our communities. We are sharing it here to inform the public of the current state of play and what we really need to be doing. 13 March 2020The Hon. Greg Hunt, MP Minister for HealthDear Minister,RE: COVID-19 Pandemic, Containment measures.I write to you with regards to the current Coronavirus pandemic that has reached Australia. It seems that there is consensus amongst the medical community that the appropriate action to take in this setting is, to immediately undertake widespread measures to reduce the rate of transmission of this virus within the wider Australian population. Evidence for this comes in the form of an increasing number of cancelled medical conferences, educational events and medical specialty fellowship exams across the country, based on sound medical analysis by the boards of various specialties.I am dismayed at the disconnect between the actions being taken within the medical community and the recommendation for actions being passed on to the general population. If widespread isolation and social distancing measures are truly what is urgently required to allow a temporised assessment and management plan for the Coronavirus outbreak within Australian borders, then surely we should be making this clear to the general public right now.With this in mind, I ask for your help to submit just such a proposal to our government. We should immediately recommend a three to four week closure of schools, cultural and religious places (including places of worship), gyms and leisure centres, pubs, bars, theatres, cinemas and concert halls. We should also cancel all mass gathering events, such as sporting/motorsport events and festivals.This would allow a steady declaration of cases of Coronavirus to present to hospitals and fever clinics as their symptomatic phase develops. They could then be tested as per protocols, keeping in mind the pressure on the supply of laboratory testing equipment. Numbers of confirmed cases could then be firmly established and their progress tracked, allowing for clearer guidance for ongoing quarantine requirements. Other people with flu like illnesses, but without the relevant travel histories to countries affected by Coronavirus, would also be able to be assessed and managed appropriately and calmly during this period.I am aware that such broad measures would come with income/revenue losses for individuals and businesses. My hope is that something like a short term “emergency relief fund” could be established, to help ease such an impact for all concerned. The specifics of such a package would, of course, be worked out by those with the appropriate knowledge.As a society, if we work with the future in mind, then we could make it through the next few weeks and months with population level outcomes no worse than they need be.Yours faithfully,Dr Hemant Garg MBBS FRACGP
Allow NSW Gyms to operate unstaffed
Dear Mr Hazzard, The Covid marshal restriction as it stands is unsustainable for the 500+ 24hr independent and franchised gyms in NSW. The main problems with the restriction are: The costs are unsustainable - The restriction has at least doubled the staffed hours for these gyms across the state. Fitness Australia research found it is now costing on average an extra $2000-$5000 per week in wage costs. Most 24hr gyms are not designed to be staffed all the time. They do not have thousands of members and therefore large revenues to cover these heavy staffing costs. These are small businesses that are now struggling to make ends meet with regional gyms being hit the hardest with this restriction.Combine that with the fact that many of these gyms have now lost their eligibility for job keeper which has effectively made their businesses unviable and are now losing money.Staff and owners are worn out trying to cope with a huge increase in staffed hours. Many owners are working 80+ hours at their clubs just to make ends meet - in some cases even sleeping at their clubs to avoid falling into debt. NSW is the only state (exception of Victoria) to have these strict restrictions - Fitness Australia has worked with Western Australia, ACT, South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania and Queensland in coming up with a Covid Safe plan that allows gyms to have unstaffed hours. NSW Health have been uncompromising in their approach with Fitness Australia. It isn't equal to what is seen in other industries that gyms are frequently compared to - Over 100 cases in NSW have been linked to pubs and yet a small pub can currently have 250 people with a Covid Marshal only required during peak times. NSW Health continues to compare the gym industry to hospitality and yet the rules are so much more lenient for pubs and restaurants. Recent Fitness Australia research found there were more than 7.31 million check-ins across 546 gyms in the first 8 weeks after they re-opened in NSW with zero cases of reported transmission. It is not as safe as allowing gyms to operate unstaffed - Most of these gyms cannot afford to staff 24/7 so have had to reduce their trading hours. This means that more people are going to be inside the gym at the same time. Fitness Australia research found on average gyms have seen at least a 30% increase in usage during peak hours. Operating 24hrs allows gyms to spread their patronage over a longer period of time limiting exposure to other people. The average gym has between 20sqm and 600sqm of space per person during unstaffed hours (Fitness Australia Research). Many shift workers can no longer attend a safe fitness facility - Reduced trading hours means reduced access to safe and secure gyms for people in the community who need to use the gym at odd hours such as nurses, police and firemen. The industry has tried working with NSW Health to come up with a healthy compromise but NSW Health continue to insist on this unproven restriction. Fitness Australia make the following proposal to replace the current Covid Marshal restriction: Reduced capacity during unstaffed hours to 10m2 per person (use of technology and data to monitor/cap). Signage at the entrance that list the Covid Safe requirements to use facility including distancing and cleaning requirements The capacity for the gym for both unstaffed and staffed hours must be displayed on the entrance doors to the gym A thorough clean must be performed, preferably by a professional cleaner, daily at night after the last peak period of the day and before the first peak period of the following day. A log of this should be kept to prove that it has been done. 24/7 gyms must review security camera footage daily. A staff log should be kept to prove this has been done. Patrons observed to have broken Covid restrictions during unstaffed hours are to receive a written warning from the gym. Gyms may also introduce a "three strikes and you're out" policy if they wish. Patrons should be encouraged to report to the gym other patrons seen to be not following Covid Safe restrictions. We call on the NSW government to approve the proposal put forward by Fitness Australia and stop the suffering of these small businesses and the communities that they serve.
Let NSW patients grow their own medical cannabis
Patients across NSW are seeking medicinal grade cannabis and are resorting to the black market for cannabis flower and cannabis products. As the recent changes to the law are too complicated, expensive and frustrating for desperate patients/carers. The black market is not regulated or being tested for heavy metals or pesticides. Which can cause harm to sick and ill patients, so we need these laws overhauled ASAP.Brad Hazzard MP, I have started this petition to bring about much needed change regarding the current laws surrounding medical cannabis access. I really hope you're more educated on this subject than myself and the general public as you have a serious position in government.PLEASE SHOW COMPASSION AND ALLOW NSW PATIENTS AND CARERS TO LEGALLY GROW MEDICAL CANNABIS. WITH THE OPTION OF PURCHASING FROM CLUBS/DISPENSARIES OR DIRECT FROM THE GROWER/PRODUCER.Google cannabis patent’s and google legal cannabis jurisdictions.Please act now Brad Hazzard MP. EVERYONE WHO SIGNS THIS PETITION, PLEASE HELP MAKE THIS GO VIRAL!Also call and email Brad Hazzard MP and ask for easier legal access to medical cannabis and the right to grow your own or have a carer do it for you.Phone: (02) 8574 6000Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTHANK YOU Mark HutchisonNSW – AUSTRALIA