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Your views: on public hospital pressures and more

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on rising angst among frontline medical staff, alternative energy, border closures and finding work in a modern economy.

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Commenting on the story: Doctors ordered to discharge patients from hospital before ready: union

The community needs to sit up and take notice of the warnings of Bernadette Mulholland CEO, SASMOA particularly in reference to the “burnout” of the medical staff as a result of the above undesirable practice of premature discharge of patients at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Similar observations on “burnout” can be equally applied to the midwifery and nursing staff who are intimately involved in this unacceptable process.

“Burnout” is not to be trivially dismissed as just being “overworked” for it is a clinical syndrome of emotional and physical exhaustion, depersonalisation, cynicism and a feeling of a lack of accomplishment and inefficiency with serious personal and professional consequences.

Covid-19 has highlighted this pre-existing problem but despite our more fortunate local circumstances, “burnout” still affects 15 – 20% of the medical workforce – numbers we can ill afford to lose from our hospitals without creating more pressure on an already overtaxed system.

Once again we wish to draw the public’s attention to the winding down of staffing, equipment, resources and consequently services to the women of SA and their babies at the current WCH, presumably under the ploy that a new hospital is coming?

Tell this to the parents whose children with cancer must be shunted into wards inappropriate for their specific needs and to the parents of a premature baby requiring an operation, who after being fasted for the procedure, were told that it had to be cancelled at the last minute without an assurance that it would be performed necessarily the next day.

Similarly the after hours rosters, particularly on weekends, of the obstetricians and neonatologists covering for those women delivering their babies at the WCH which are only filled due to the largesse of the staff such are the staff shortages that exist.

How long can this state of affairs continue before the public are jerked into reality which occurred only in October last year, due to an “unfortunate cluster”, with the deaths of four newborn babies in four weeks at the hospital?

“Burnout” can be ameliorated by our bureaucratic masters in a number of relatively simple ways by firstly recognising the contributions that individuals make and secondly to ensure that the medical, nursing and midwifery staff are treated with open, honest communication and not with the morale-sapping denials, bullying and arrogance which seem to predominate at the WCH presently,which in turn, does not auger well for the planning of a hoped for world class new WCH at the North Terrace site. – Assoc Professor John Svigos

Commenting on the story: Victoria’s biggest coal-fired power station to shut in 2028

Your short piece on the announced closure of the Yallourn brown coal power station in Victoria needed a bit more context.

First, the announcement included a commitment to install a big battery.

Second, it has been obvious for about 10 years that we’ve needed a planned transition, technical and economic, requiring a level of inter-governmental cooperation that is currently absent.

Clearly, we need more renewables (the cost-effective, clean, rational option) plus more storage and a grid that is ready to take up the slack. We will only get orderly transition with urgent government cooperation and investment. – Ching Ang

Commenting on the story: Tourism industry loans, grants expected when JobKeeper runs out

I really don’t think Queensland has understood the damage they have done to interstate travellers from NSW and Victoria due to border closures.

I would be very surprised if many venture north, there is a strong underlying bad taste with how these states were treated during the border closures. 

I myself have already cancelled holiday plans into Queensland, and have also had friends decide to travel within other states due to the slights given out. – Phil Roy

Commenting on the story: JobSeeker ‘dob-in’ hotline just the latest tool to target unemployed

The ideology of deprivation to induce participation is flawed. It’s an antiquated idea and a throwback to a thriving Menzies-era professional economy, rarely applicable to modern circumstances worldwide.

We are not living in the post-war boom years, where due to war casualties, there was an abundance of opportunities and a shortage of men to fill those vacancies. The world is over-populated, with very few opportunities for all. The technological revolution has thrown a spanner into the works of many industries traditionally performed by human skill, where machinery performs the job with greater speed and accuracy.

Indeed, many manufacturing industries are dead. In Australia, the motor industry is a good example, that in turn provided work to many subsidiary firms, all gone. The ultimate question is should the benefit of human participation in work in recognition of humanitarian values, the personal satisfaction of a job well done and self accomplishment override the benefit of financial expediency, or monetary gain over human welfare.

Personally I believe where society fails the individual, it fails us all. – Andrew Elwaes

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