Shout the south is missing out
In the lead up to the federal and state elections, I've been watching and waiting with interest to see if any infrastructure expenditure was coming the way of long-suffering Narooma and district residents, who have been waiting some time for improvements.
This week, we hear from Bega MP Andrew Constance that more than $700 million has been spent or promised in the Bega electorate since 2011. Tens, even hundreds of millions have been spent or promised for grandiose water parks, four-lane bridges, two new hospitals, roads around Batemans Bay, a performing arts centre, art gallery, and water upgrades in the Bega valley – the list goes on.
In that time, we've seen one major project in our town - the roundabout in the Main Street, costing a few million dollars. That's it. No community centre, no arts funding, no nothing.
Narooma residents are a proud and resilient lot. We raise money ourselves for projects here, our pool being a good example. At the same time, we watch our rates and taxes being lavished on the places that seem to carry weight. It would be churlish to suggest that the fact that our state representative and mayor are both Batemans Bay based had anything to do with this.
Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten this week promised $200 million for what he described as a new hospital "for the people of Moruya and Batemans Bay": Guess where that will be? We'll end up travelling even further for emergency medical treatment if they move our hospital north, which I'm prepared to bet my house on is the intent.
I wait with great interest to see if we get anything. The cost of the major repairs needed for our pool $2-3 million would be a great start.
Aged care medications under scrutiny
The Medicine Safety: Take Care Report reveals 250,000 Australians are hospitalised each year, with another 400,000 presenting to emergency departments, as a result of medication errors, inappropriate use, misadventure and interactions.
At least half of those were preventable. The annual cost of medication-related problems in Australia is an estimated $1.4 billion.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (wants) pharmacists present wherever medicines are used – in residential aged care homes, hospital discharge and in the community.
- 98 per cent of people living in aged care facilities have at least one medication-related problem identified at review, and up to 80 per cent are prescribed potentially inappropriate medicine.
- 17 per cent of unplanned hospital admissions by people living in aged-care facilities are caused by an inappropriate medicine. Hospital discharge is a missed opportunity
- More than 90 per cent of people have at least one medication-related problem post-discharge from hospital.
- At least one medication error was identified in 60 per cent of hospital discharge summaries where a pharmacist was not involved in its preparation.
- Only one-in-five changes made to the medication regimen during hospital admission were explained in the discharge summary.
- Impaired kidney function is increasingly common in older people. One-in-four older people treated with medicines that rely on the kidneys to clear the body are prescribed doses considered excessive.
- Among people with poor kidney function, at the time of their admission to hospital 16 per cent were receiving a medicine that should not have been prescribed and 21 per cent had been prescribed an inappropriate dose.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia