health services

24 petitions

Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Greg Hunt, Brad Hazzard MP, Jill Hennessy MP, Steven Miles MP, Stephen Wade MP, Roger Cook MP, Michael Ferguson MP, Natasha Fyles MP, Meegan Fitzharris MP, Richelle McCausland (NHPOPC)

Reform AHPRA & Medical Board to stop bullying culture from harming our caring doctors

Medical bullying is prevalent and very serious. It damages our professional integrity and confidence. The victimised doctors have to endure permanent psychological harm which then affects their ability to care for their patients. Some doctors were pushed to depression, self-harm and suicides. The news of doctor mental stress and suicides have caught the public attention, with SBS Insight broadcasting this issue on 20 June 2017. Various organisations including the professional colleges, the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Health Professionals Australia Reform Association (HPARA), AHPRA and the Medical Board have responded with calls to stop medical bullying, harassment and victimisation. The recent events with AHPRA and Medical Board raise serious concerns about the way these regulatory bodies handle vexatious complaints and how they have failed us in stopping medical bullying culture from harming our doctors. Ultimately, this will affect doctors’ ability to care for their patients and drive up the cost of medical care. We strongly believe AHPRA’s claim that ‘vexatious complaints are very rare’ is wrong. There is good evidence linking investigation process by regulatory bodies and doctor suicide. To date, AHPRA has not effectively implemented many of the Senate recommendations on identifying and dealing with vexatious complaints, and many doctors are still suffering under AHPRA investigative process. We need the Australian Commonwealth, State & Territory governments to urgently intervene to reform AHPRA and the Medical Board. And we need your support to petition this matter to our government. Please read our regular updates on this matter and keep sharing with people who care until we see reforms within AHPRA and the Medical Board that will effectively stop this kind of bullying activities. Our caring doctors deserve protection from professional and psychological harm. In memory of some of the many doctors who passed away during their professional life: Dr Chloe Abbott,  physician-in-training from Sydney, NSW Dr Andrew Bryant, gastroenterologist from Brisbane, Queensland Prof Fung Yee Chan, a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist from Brisbane, Queensland Dr Linda Dadds, an anaesthetist from Adelaide, South Australia Dr John Moutzouris, from Sydney, NSW Dr Greg De Patter, psychiatrist-in-training from Melbourne, Victoria Dr Emil Popovic, a neurosurgeon from Melbourne, Victoria. His letter to the authorities before his departure. Dr B A S Russell, GP from Western Australia Dr Owen Williams, psychiatrist-in-training from Melbourne, Victoria

Australian Health Reform Association
12,609 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to Greg Hunt, Bronwyn Taylor, Sussan Ley

Government action on mental health

My name is Natasha Flynn. My son Liam Thomas Flynn tragically took his own life at the age of 20. Two and a half weeks before he should have been celebrating his 21st birthday, after many attempted admissions to emergency departments in our public health system, where staff are overloaded and resources too depleted to provide admission and ultimately, care, my son tragically ended his own life. My son put his hand up for help. He was intelligent, articulate and a beautiful soul that helped so many people that were struggling with their own battles. My boy lost his own battle with depression and I know that if he was provided with adequate care and Liam’s attempts at seeking help were listened to and resources were available, that the outcome could have been so much different. Liam was given a referral for emergency drug and alcohol rehabilitation (substance abuse and mental health issues often occur concurrently) by his psychiatrist and my son was determined to find the help that he deserved as a human being. Liam knew his human rights. Instead, he sat for 8 Hours in Campbelltown hospital with a referral stating that he needed emergency drug and alcohol rehabilitation and was denied admission due to lack of bed availability, despite his referral clearly stating that he was vomiting blood from alcoholism. He returned the following day, as instructed by overloaded staff, only to sit for 10 hours awaiting the care that he deserved and he was denied admission for a second day in a row, as there were still no beds available for him to receive the help he needed. It is a tragic story of someone that followed the guidelines of saying they were not ok, and this statement, repetatively fell on overloaded ears. After the court had ruled that my son couldn’t live at home due to his outbursts, Liam reached out many times, with similar outcomes & my boy ultimately stopped reaching out to our overloaded hospital system to tell them “he was not ok & wanted to end his own life” & whilst overloaded clinicians took notes and allowed my son to pour his heart and soul out, he was advised repetitively that there just wasn’t capacity to admit him. My son gave up trying after around 1100 pages of clinical notes were taken about how terribly he was suffering, Liam ultimately decided to end his own life on the 18th of June 2018.  He didn’t reach out that day. He just gave up. He had so many futile attempts at seeking help and was turned away so frequently, that he had lost faith in our hospital system & I know that if he had received care at the times he needed it, that so many lives would be so much different now. Many people have been impacted by his loss. It has led to the trauma and suffering of so many others. This impacts our not just our psyche, but it also impacts economies, families and has far reaching implications for us as a society. Quite frankly, it is inhumane. We continue to lose young souls, that know that the system isn’t working. Liam was the life of the party, the bear hugging, gentle giant that was wise beyond his years and he knew how to articulate his suffering. He put his hand up for help. He had a family and friends that loved him dearly. He just got sick of being ignored and told that there was no availability to provide care for him, in an overloaded system. I met with the previous minister for mental health, last September; Tanya Davies, who has since moved on. I met with our local member, who was Liam’s paediatrician. I spoke to the mental health commissioner; Lucy Brogden at the innovations in mental health forum at UTS last October. I requested a coronial inquest, which is still pending, to highlight this issue, but enough is enough. Too many lives are being lost. I call on the Australian government to provide resources that are fairly distributed where they are most needed, particularly our lower socioeconomic regions and regional areas, as we are losing far too many young lives to suicide. Suicide is the number one cause of death in the 18-45 year old age bracket in Australia (if you take into account ‘accidental poisoning’). We have a national crisis on our hands. Too many young lives are being lost in amongst a drastically underfunded and overloaded public health system. It is totally unacceptable and it is ‘not Ok’... so I would like to know how the government can justify turning people away from hospitals due to lack of resources & isn’t adequately addressing the fact that people are unable to access emergency healthcare when we need it. If help was available, I know my son would have most likely put his hand up and reached out on this very dark day, but he just gave up & I hold our government partly responsible for their lack of adequate funding towards resources for clinicians and hospitals to be able to provide care for those who need it most.  If a patient with a referral due to vomiting blood is unable to access care, then something is drastically wrong with the health system. That patient was my beautiful boy and he is no longer here to put his hand up and ask for help, so I Natasha Flynn (Liam’s Mum) ask you, our ministers & government what you intend to do to help provide the desperately needed funding to address this crisis? I know that the expansion of the new mental health wing at Campbelltown hospital will cater for patient requirements in 2016, upon its completion in 2021, so is not going to be able to provide adequate care for those, like my son; Liam, need it. Desperately. My son was treated with amazing care as a paediatric patient, but as an adolescent was treated in a transactional nature as a young adult, with no continuity of care, by the treating Doctors in mental health. If there was some ‘ownership’ of his case, we would be having a very different conversation and my son Liam would be actively asking you these same questions. On Liam’s behalf, I beg you to provide additional resources to provide our overloaded clinicians with an environment in which they are able to provide the equivalent of patient care. It is unfair to allow staff that are well trained and dedicated to be operating in these conditions, where they are unable to perform what they are trained to do. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is famously quoted as saying ‘first do no harm’, these interactions hurt my son deeply and it is terribly unjust. It did harm him. He opened up and was turned away. Time and time again. I want change. We all do. It is glaringly obvious that we need change, that goes far beyond beuracratic ‘strategic frameworks for suicide prevention’ and changes in ministerial leadership within our government & looks at the fundamentally basic rights of humanity. We don’t need more facilitators directing people to services that are already at capacity, we need more staff in our hospitals that are trained in mental health care. We need to identify the systemic causes of this national crisis and address them. We need a sense of connectedness and community, not a division of regions by tax revenue that receive imbalanced funding. We need a strategic framework of community and humanity, because the humanity in healthcare quickly dissipates under the constraints of an overloaded clinician, attempting to address the needs of many, with no resources to do so. Provide adequate funding for our hospitals to operate as functional healthcare units. This is not a third world country. We have resources that are squandered on defence, sports and we still can’t seem to be able to master the most important thing that most cultures need... and that is quite simply ‘care’... in the most simplistic terminology. We need you to care. Address the crisis in our hospitals and provide care that is much needed, to prevent other families from experiencing the devastating loss that we have all endured. That loss, will not be in vain. I made a promise to my boy and I intend to keep it.  Provide adequate funding for our public hospitals, that is based on population growth, socioeconomic needs and is capable of handling patients that need drug and alcohol rehab and mental health treatment for patients in crisis. The courts seem to find a way to place people there, to reduce their sentences for drink driving, so why can’t our hospitals provide admission for those that really want to get well? I know Liam did. The system just failed him time and time again. He never got his drivers licence. He never got married. He never had children. But he did lose his ID from being robbed on the streets and spent three months relying on the charitable donations of good hearted somaritans, when Centrelink couldn’t pay him, because he didn’t have ID (the police still have that, because I asked for a coronial inquest, over a year ago). Fix our hospitals. Liam’s Mum. Natasha 

natasha flynn
1,689 supporters
Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to James Shaw, Jacinda Ardern, Fiordland Maternity, Kelvin Davis, Winston Peters, Grant Robertson, David Clark, Liz Craig, SDHB , Chris Flemming, Maternity Review

Save Lumsden Maternity - Reverse the Closure

The Lumsden Maternity Centre was closed in April 2019 with the removal of Primary Birthing Unit status birthing and postnatal care facilities. What does this mean? There will no longer be birthing or postnatal inpatient care for mothers and babies in Lumsden. As a rural person, voter and taxpayer my family and I deserve access to a Primary Birthing Unit that is within an acceptable distance of where I reside. I object to the closure of Lumsden Maternity Centre and seek your support to help turn this decision around. Birth is an incredible and vulnerable time for an expectant mother and having a Primary Facility such as Lumsden available for families in my community is an essential requirement. o The SDHB decision to close Lumsden from a Primary Birthing unit is premature given Census results are not due until October. Te Anau which is within the “catchment area” is experiencing huge growth with base figures indicating 45 families a year are moving to the town. Lumsden, Garston and Athol are experiencing growth as is Kingston with over 1000 sections soon to be developed.   o Research shows that Primary Birthing Units have much higher rates of natural births than those in a hospital setting, which translates to better outcomes for mothers and babies in a low risk birth situation. o The higher incidence of natural births places less pressure on SDHB budget when compared with a hospital birth which has much higher rate of interventions during the birth – even for a low risk mother (e.g. augmenting the labour with Pitocin, epidurals, caesarean sections, episiotomies etc). o Interventions from a Hospital environment can also lead to more complications postpartum including haemorrhage, difficulty breastfeeding, bonding, mental health/postnatal depression etc. The cost to the DHB of a caesarean birth is more than four times an unassisted birth. o Time and time again we are hearing from mothers that Southland Hospital is cold and unwelcoming due to the stretched workload on staff there. New mothers were struggling with breastfeeding and what to do with their newborn until their midwife referred them back to Lumsden after delivery at Southland Hospital. o The World Health Organisation (WHO), The Ministry of Health and The NZ Breastfeeding Authority all promote breastfeeding as the Gold Standard of infant feeding. There is no doubt that breastfeeding is best for mothers, and best for babies, throughout their lives, but it is also best for families, best for communities, best for the environment and best for the economy. There is evidence that indicates Primary Birthing Units such as Lumsden support women to initiate and establish breastfeeding to a far greater level than Secondary and Tertiary units. o Southland Hospital doesn’t have the bed space required to cater for additional births in the event that Lumsden Maternity Centre is closed. Parents have experienced having to birth in consulting rooms in Southland Hospital as birthing rooms were full, or being made to sit in the hallway for hours after the baby has been delivered as there were no beds available. o Ministry of Health (MoH) funding structure for Primary Birthing units appears to solely rely on the number of pregnancies in the catchment and does not give any weight to the risk to mothers of extra travel times from home to the nearest birth centre - should Lumsden be closed, labouring mothers would be required to travel up to 160km to Invercargill. The closure of these centres would increase the risk of babies being born on the side of the icy road en route to Southland Hospital (a minimum of 2 hours travel from Te Anau for example). o Removal of Primary Maternity Services at Lumsden will have a ripple effect on Voluntary organisations, in particular St John and potentially the Fire Brigade and Police. More women will be having babies on the road side (at least one baby born during March 2018 would have been delivered on the roadside if Lumsden was not there). Safety and emergency services are going to be stretched to cope if Lumsden is closed as there will be no Primary Maternity facility fit for purpose in Lumsden. o The SDHB figures appear to include years in the past where there have been lower than normal births in the facility rather than the most current years where birthing numbers at Lumsden have been higher. One local midwife has to date delivered 10 babies on her own at Lumsden (01 January 2018 to 11 March 2018). She is not the only midwife practicing at this clinic and so actual current births are higher than data SDHB is relying upon for this decision. o Lumsden is more than a place for mothers to give birth, it is also a place where mothers who have delivered their babies elsewhere can return for Inpatient Services that support and nurture. The SDHB decision has not given any consideration to where those new mothers now turn for help and respite while bonding and healing for the first few days after birth. o More mothers and fathers will suffer mental health conditions such as Post Natal Depression and Anxiety as there will be no grounding support for new Rural families to bond and learn how to look after their babies should Lumsden be closed from a Primary Maternity Facility. This will place greater stress on the Karitane and Plunket nurses whom already have a stretched workload o Rural women's health in general has been underfunded by the SDHB and the removal of this key aspect of Primary health services at Lumsden further disadvantages rural families. I rely on you to ensure our voices are heard. Our community strongly opposes the decision to close Lumsden from a centre that is fully stocked and fit for purpose to deliver our communities babies and seek for this decision to be overturned and investment considered in this essential rural community resource. Lumsden must be reopened immediately. We must invest in our rural communities and reopen Lumsden as a Primary Birthing Unit (birthing and postnatal care facility). The decision to Close Lumsden Maternity is a false economy. Rural women and babies have a right to local birthing facilities. Rural communities deserve this service.You cannot remove any service from Lumsden without affecting women and babies’ rights and their health and right to a safe delivery environment. You must re-open Lumsden now.

Save Lumsden Maternity Centre
9,415 supporters