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Your views: on health reforms, Newstart and SA racing

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on plans to reduce reliance on public hospital beds, SA Health record-keeping, navigating Centrelink and surviving unemployment, and horseracing ructions.

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Commenting on the story: Revealed: Govt plan for private system to cut public hospital bed demand

The PwC contract does not indicate anything about a privatisation plan.

The health department’s agenda was a positive one – it is about reducing pressure on already over-crowded hospitals in South Australia.

When they talk about “transferring care to a lower cost setting”, it is about shifting care from hospitals that have fixed infrastructure (expensive), to other community-based settings such as the patient’s home or a clinic (less expensive).

Having both Priority Care Centres and Hospital in the Home (HITH) programs in the health system can help to alleviate pressure on the public hospitals, whilst providing equal or better outcomes for the patient.

 Priority Care Centres are relatively new, but they are an alternative to emergency departments.

HITH programs are well established around Australia and the clinical services can be provided by either the local health service, or outsourced to a not-for-profit community-based provider.

The key benefits of HITH are providing patients with a safe and high quality alternative to hospital treatment in the comfort of their own home, increased patient satisfaction and reduced patient risk (eg. hospital acquired infections), increased hospital bed capacity (or alleviating hospital bed block) with no capital expenditure required, and providing a cost effective, flexible and sustainable solution to manage the increased demand on the acute care services.

SA Health should be praised for looking at alternatives to the traditional hospital model.

We don’t necessarily need more hospitals: if patients can get equivalent hospital-level care in a lower cost setting, then isn’t this a positive thing for the patient and the health system? – Frances Lacar

 Stephen Wade describes the plans as “good for the health system and great for the patient”, but he neglected to say that it was even better for management consultants PWC who are contracted to produce a plan.

I’m very disappointed that your report failed to point out that the contract is for eight people to work a varying amount of time (a total of 253 hours) over a 2 week period and that the cost to the State Government (i.e. taxpayers) is $85,156 exc GST, which means that the hourly rate being charged for this piece of consultancy is $336.58.

Contracting out to the private sector obviously comes at a high cost. Alistair McCulloch

I was recently sent a very interesting article on how the Dutch responded to their crisis.

Their solution came from a revolutionary model  they named  “Buurtzorg”: ‘neighbourhood care’. Patients needed nursing care for half as long, hospital admissions were reduced by a third, and hospital stays were significantly shorter.  

I believe this has been adopted in other countries and may even be in Australia.

As a former employee in the health system I am very concerned about what I read of the present solutions. Mary Murphy 

Commenting on the story: ILL HEALTH: Corruption prosecutions against SA Health clinicians “thwarted”

If SA Health has failed in keeping proper records, and is therefore unable to show the claims people are making are wrong, we should treat all the claims as credible.

The department should not be able to use negligence and maladministration as a way of avoiding prosecution.

Prosecute all cases with the view that the department has effectively obstructed justice by failing in it’s duties, and award damages to the complainants as appropriate.

This will force the department to immediately improve its systems, for fear of future prosecution.

Unfortunately this money will have to come out of all our pockets, but if it makes the system less abusive and corrupt, it is worth the cost and will save us down the track.

Or fire the Minister so the next one will come in extremely worried about not having a robust and factual record system in place.

SA Health is sick. Doctor, heal thyself. – Jacob Hodgman

Commenting on the story: “In survival mode”: South Australians tell of life on Newstart

As someone who has had no paid income for the past four months and has been living off savings and credit in order to maintain a roof over our head, I have avoided going to Centrelink as I have attempted many different strategies to gain a regular income.

I am certain that I am only one of the many who do not appear on the official statistics of unemployment.

Being 64 with over 40 years’ experience and an excellent skillset, there just are not the jobs around for which it appears my age is not simply a barrier.

I have worked hard my whole life in a variety of jobs and in many industries, and have always paid my taxes and bills, educated two children and generally contributed to society.

A little assistance to get back on an even keel would be greatly appreciated.

Intermittent contracts in the past four years have gradually eroded the little savings that we have managed to accumulate and debts are mounting.

The complex processes that Centrelink and other government agencies and the hurdles that they put up make a mockery of the term Public service.

The current methods are just not working,and widening the already existing social gaps.

How about we do something radical and have an Unconditional Basic Income?

The problem with that of course is that too many vested interests in maintaining the status quo, and they are the ones that make the rules! – Graeme Crook

 Commenting on the opinion piece: Older, female, regional: the hidden face of unemployment

I wonder if women taking time off to have and look after children and being older when trying to re-enter the workforce has an impact on these figures.

Also, many long term unemployed are Indigenous, although some work done in the late 1990s indicated that Indigenous people apply for government benefits at a much lower rate than do the rest of the community.

Unfortunately, approximately half of Indigenous men and 30% of Indigenous women have died by the age of 45 years, so that could partially explain the higher female number too. – Darryl Dyson

Commenting on the story: Racing board row: SAJC up in arms; Minister warned about ‘concerns’

I think the TRSA should be amended to allow a specified maximum number of interstate or even overseas members.

This might get some great talent to make SA racing a winner again. – Bill Hecker

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