Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Temporary access changes to the Pathology building - 24 June, 2013 to mid-July 2013

The development of Stage Two of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children (CHWC) has reached a point where work will commence on the construction of the building’s new forecourt.

Forecourt works include the construction of a small car park, installation of awning footings, landscaping, kerb and guttering, and installation of new permanent pathways.

To allow for the construction of a new permanent pathway to the Pathology building, the temporary covered walkway that has provided safe pedestrian access during the construction of Stage Two of the CHWC needs to be removed.
Removal of the covered walkway will require pedestrians to access the Pathology building via a nearby alternative route.

Pedestrians will be directed through the courtyard at the rear of the Pathology building, to the corridor that links the Pathology building with level 1 of Building 1.

Clear signage will be in place advising pedestrians of the temporary pedestrian route. Pedestrian traffic controllers will also be on hand to provide direction and assistance during business hours.

An interim pathway to the Pathology building’s front entrance will be maintained for after-hours courier deliveries and emergency egress. This interim pathway will be unsuitable for general access purposes as construction work will make use of this space throughout each day.

When construction on the new pathway to the Pathology building’s front entrance has been completed, it will be reinstated as the main access to Pathology. Temporary hoarding will be installed to separate the new pathway from and the CHWC construction site and the continuing forecourt works.

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

CALDWays – Pathways to Implement, Regional Forum 2013

The CALDWays – Pathways to Implementation, Regional Forum was held on Wednesday, 5 June, at Parramatta in Sydney. The forum was organized by the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawara and focused on promoting The National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for people from Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background. The strategy was launched in December 2012 by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and includes six key goals:

  • CALD input positively affects the development of ageing and aged care policies and programs that are appropriate and responsive.
  •  Achieve a level of knowledge, systems capacity and confidence that enables older people from CALD backgrounds, their families and carers to exercise informed choice in aged care.
  • Older people from CALD backgrounds are able and have the confidence to access and use the full range of ageing and aged care services.
  •  Monitor and evaluate the delivery of ageing and aged care services to ensure that they meet the care needs of older people from CALD backgrounds, their families and carers.
  • Enhance the CALD sector’s capacity to provide ageing and aged care services.
  • Achieve better practice through improving research and data collection mechanisms that are inclusive of cultural and linguistic diversity in the ageing population. 

The strategy is designed to act as a living document that will assist in setting annual priorities in conjunction with key stakeholders to achieve its goals. DoHA will report annually on its progress. In the broader context, this strategy forms part of the Living Longer Living Better aged care reform package.

Community organisations from NSW and the ACT were invited to talk about how their organisations were currently working to implement the goals of the Strategy. As Multicultural Liaison Officer in the Health Infrastructure Program (HIP) team, Yelin spoke about the two action areas of Goal 3 that have been the focus for HCCA:

3.2 - Address the barriers that can reduce the capacity of older people from CALD backgrounds, their families and carers to access aged care services and to receive appropriate care, in specific planning and allocation processes.
3.5 - Promote the availability of language services, to CALD communities and recipients of aged care.

Yelin emphasized the HIP consumer consultations, which are actively supporting CALD groups to access to health services as well as encouraging a greater uptake of translation and interpreter services.

Yelin delivering the HCCA presentation.

As one of the most diverse countries in the world, Australia is in desperate need of The CALD Aged Care Strategy .  It is estimated that around 20 per cent of people from CALD backgrounds are aged 65 years and over. By 2021, it is expected that more than 30 per cent of older Australians will have been born overseas. Senator Matthew Thistlethwaite argued that Australia has built its economic capacity, identity and diversity through its immigrants. Therefore, it is essential for the Government to create effective strategies, infrastructure and training as well as promote cultural awareness in order to deliver high quality care services to older Australians with CALD backgrounds.

One of the issues being addressed by the Strategy is dementia. Dementia is currently the third leading cause of death in Australia. Unfortunately, people who are bilingual tend to forget their second language as their dementia progresses, which can make it difficult to communicate with younger members of their family and carers. The new Strategy will help ensure that care providers deliver services that are responsive to the culture, linguistic and spiritual needs of CALD consumers.
It is also important to recognise that CALD communities are not a uniform group and that their needs vary depending on their culture. Therefore, when developing this Strategy, a range of consumers from different backgrounds were consulted to ensure that it would be able to meet the needs of all groups within the CALD community.
Pino Migliorino, chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA) also spoke at the forum and made some interesting points. He argued that in order for this new strategy to be successfully applied, it would be necessary to have strong leadership and strong advocates for CALD communities. The community sector needs to move ahead and take on a leading role in advocating for the needs of CALD older people. Mr Migliorino also said that most older Australians born overseas do not provide feedback on the health system or care providers because they think their contribution will not make a difference. This has meant that CALD communities tend to be underrepresented in consumer consultations on health policy.

Sandra at the HCCA stall.
HCCA would like to congratulate Yelin and Sandra for putting together a fantastic presentation and information stall at the forum.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

HCCA response to the ACT Budget 2013

The ACT Treasurer brought down the ACT Budget today in the Legislative Assembly. The Chief Minister said today that it is a measured and responsible budget, avoiding the need to slash and burn and they have struck a good balance between core service delivery and commitments made last year.

We are pleased to see growth funding for public health services and that they are continuing to fund their commitments to realise their vision for a healthy community. The infrastructure funds are welcome, in particular funding for the University of Canberra Public Hospital. Additional hospital beds additional beds at the Canberra and Calvary Public Hospitals and the increase in outpatients services are also welcomed. 

The budget includes allocations for:
  • improved access to elective surgery for patients on the public elective surgery waiting list ($33m)
  • expanded emergency medicine at the Canberra Hospital and rapid assessment services at the Calvary Public Hospital ($12m)
  • increased neonatal, foetal and paediatric bed capacity of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children ($6m)
  • funding to meet growth in demand for outpatient services ($4.1m)
  • a new drug and alcohol outpatient service ($740,000)

The Walk in Centres are a great addition to our health system and will provide affordable, appropriate care to consumers. This budget allocates $951,000 for the design and construction of Walk in Centres at the Tuggeranong and Belconnen Health Centres.

Similarly the mobile dental clinic will make a difference to the lives of vulnerable members of our community. They have allocated $1.7 million for purchasing and equipping a mobile dental clinic to provide services to community members unable to travel. I feel especially pleased about this as this has been a long time coming.  The Older Women's Network and COTA have been advocating for this for 15 years.  Sadly, the Older Women's Network is no longer an incorporated association and so has not endured to see this become a reality. Still, it goes to show that the community has staying power!

Money is shared around the public health system. Many frustrated people will be pleased to hear that the car parking issues at Calvary Hospital are being addressed ($1.3m). And there is money to refurbish areas of Calvary Public Hospital to help them to stage and decant services to enable the refurbishment to bring the additional beds on-line.

Obesity is a public health issues for our community and it is pleasing to see that the Government is investment in a public obesity management service is significant ($3.6m) and appears to be linked to the Chronic Care Program that operates from Canberra Hospital.  

The Budget Papers are online.  Reading these documents tends to be a dark art. Budget Paper 2 is a useful and accessible document to provide an overview of the funding commitments  It is available online (pdf 3.4Mb).

The ACT Government has delivered a good budget for health in difficult times.

Working through the details is always the tricky bit. We will be doing this in the coming weeks and look forward to the Estimates process.

Darlene Cox
Executive Director