Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 24.01.12 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, January 25 2011 - 5
"Why People Turn to Tai Chi
to Relieve Stress"
12 Relaxation & Health Benefits You Can
Expect When You Learn Tai Chi with Us
Beginners' classes 7 - 12 February
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Sciatica is the pain down the back of the leg
that people most often experience in their
40s and 50s. It often starts as acute pain
in the lower back before radiating down
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most often caused by misalignments of
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Sciatica often worsens with extended bed
rest. Pain relievers are unable to correct
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Hospital falls behind other
jurisdictions on waiting lists
AN AUDIT into the territory's
hospital waiting lists for elective
surgery has found current practices
have compromised the integrity of
The performance audit report
found, while waiting lists are ad-
ministrated within sound policy,
they are not managed correctly and
don't meet intended treatment
In particular the audit found that
downgrades of patients' urgency
category -- these often done without
appropriately documented clinical
reasons -- raised doubts about the
reliability of the classifications for
people on the waiting lists.
The audit found in 2009/10 250
patients in the category 1 urgency
level were reclassified -- 97 per cent
did not have documented clinical
It was reported that some
surgeons also manage their own
waiting lists instead of using the
The Legislative Assembly pas-
sed a resolution last year for the
ACT Auditor-General, Tu Pham, to
investigate the territory's waiting
lists for elective surgery and medi-
The audit found, despite in-
creased funding from the Common-
wealth and ACT Governments, the
waiting lists have not shown imp-
rovements and Canberra compares
unfavourably to other jurisdictions.
The report said that the median
wait for treatment in the ACT was
75 days, which was more than
double the Australian median of 34
days, and 66 per cent of total
admissions in the ACT were seen
within the recommended time com-
pared to the Australian median of
86 per cent.
More than 10 per cent of ACT
public patients had to wait more
than a year for admissions.
The audit acknowledged the
difficulties placed on the Canberra
Hospital being the primary place of
emergency surgery for the territory
and region, which it said had
impacted on elective surgery.
The audit also noted that ACT
Health was implementing the Elec-
tive Surgery Access Plan 2010-13,
designed to meet immediate needs
of the increasing demand in elective
surgery and changing elective sur-
Midwives left out
Nurses strike at a meeting at the Sydney Olympic Sports Centre, Homebush,
in November 2010.
Picture: Simon Alekna
QUEANBEYAN midwives and com-
munity health nurses believe they have
been ignored by the NSW Government's
offer regarding staff ratios and pay.
In the areas of mental health, com-
munity health and emergency depart-
ments, either no offer was made by the
government, or else it fell short of what
had been offered in other specialties.
Across the state midwives and com-
munity health nurses banded together and
Nurses across the state have protested
over patient to staff ratios over the past
''They're really distressed they've
been left out in the cold,'' NSW Nurses'
Association Member Organising Team
manager Lisa Kremmer said.
''Community nurses and midwives
want to send a message to the government
that they're not invisible, they have a very
Ms Kremmer said with people coming
out of hospital earlier, community nurses
and community health services were
pivotal at providing sufficient care to
patients at home.
She said in other areas of the offer
significant progress had been made,
particularly ratios. Ratios will be recogn-
ised as equivalents to Nursing Hours Per
Patient Day (NHPPD) in the areas of
medical, surgical, rehabilitation and palli-
This means for general medical and
surgical areas in major metropolitan and
major non-metropolitan hospitals, 5.5
hours of NHPPD equates to one nurse for
every four patients.
In terms of pay, the current offer is for
three years, with 3.9 per cent back paid to
July last year, 3 per cent from July this
year and 2.5 per cent from July next year.
Last week a delegates meeting was
held to discuss the offer and an extension
was given until today to negotiate the
areas of concern.
''The [NSW Nurses' Association]
council, the [NSW Nurses'] association,
will reconvene to assess ... and will
determine where to from here,'' Ms
''We're not getting everything we've
asked, nor have we expected that to be the
She said the shortfalls and gaps would
be addressed so a ''much improved''
offer could be put to its members. ''The
members ultimately have the say as to
whether the offer is accepted or not,'' Ms
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