Month: August 2019

State’s health services in financial stress

HALF of Melbourne’s health services have reported losses for the last financial year, and one rural hospital is in serious financial stress as it struggles to meet growing demand for its services.
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The losses come as Victoria’s health system continues to buckle under increasing pressure, with figures showing scores of Victorians are waiting too long for ambulances and hospital care.

A swag of annual reports tabled in Parliament yesterday revealed half of Melbourne’s 14 health services reported deficits for the 2011-12 financial year.

Northern Health, which runs the Northern Hospital in Epping, reported the largest loss of $5.24 million. It was followed by Eastern Health and Southern Health, which both lost nearly $2.9 million, and Western Health, which came in $1.68 million short.

Eastern Health runs Box Hill and Maroondah hospitals; Southern Health runs Monash Medical Centre and Dandenong Hospital; and Western Health runs the Sunshine and Western hospitals.

The West Gippsland Healthcare Group, which runs a hospital serving about 40,000 people in Warragul, also reported a deficit of $1.3 million, along with solvency stress.

In a frank annual report statement, president Brian Davey and chief executive Dan Weeks said demand for its services had significantly exceeded the group’s funding allocation last year, resulting in a loss.

They flagged more pain this year and said the group was unlikely to reduce their elective surgery waiting list in the foreseeable future.

”The year ahead is likely to be very challenging for West Gippsland Healthcare Group, as we struggle to balance our funding allocation with the ever increasing demand for services,” they wrote.

In response to questions about Northern Health’s deficit, chief executive Greg Pullen said the network was in a ”rapidly growing, complex and diverse community” and was budgeting to break even this financial year.

Ambulance Victoria’s 2011-12 annual report posted a $3.35 million loss and said its response times continued to decline, with paramedics taking longer than 15 minutes to respond to one in four cases.

They responded within time in 75 per cent of cases, down from 77 per cent the previous year, and below the target of 85 per cent.

The Department of Health’s annual report showed that while Victorian emergency departments treated all urgent patients immediately last year, nearly a third of category three patients (people with moderate to severe blood loss or persistent vomiting) were not treated within the government’s target of 30 minutes.

Thousands of Victorians waiting for semi-urgent elective surgery also waited too long, with just 72 per cent of category two patients getting their surgery within the government’s target of 90 days.

Victorian Health Minister David Davis said his government had increased health spending to a record $13.68 billion this year and was working with the West Gippsland Healthcare Group to improve its position.

But Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the coalition’s health funding was ”hopelessly inadequate” and meant hospitals were going backwards. ”You see the decline in the bottom line for the health services and in clinical outcomes,” he said.

The president of the Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Stephen Parnis, said there was an ”increasing level of duress” in the health system, which was trying to cope with rising demand from a growing and ageing population.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Getting physical with Geoffrey Edelsten

Dr Geoffrey Edelsten (left) waits for his wife Brynne (right) on the red carpet at Crown on Brownlow night.Geoffrey Edelsten has, of course, been in the news recently.
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His autobiography, Enigma, is a rollicking read. During his single days, one of his notable flings was with busty blonde Number 96 siren Abigail, who was desired by many.

Edelsten wrote: ”She was an animal in bed, a ferocious lover who left me gasping.”

Before dessert, they had dinner and Edelsten was baffled when Abigail ordered a carrot.

The wearer of bedazzling diamantes also recounts losing his virginity under the stars in the back garden of the home of the lucky girl — after she put a sheet on the wet grass.

”With the ground sheet squeaking beneath us, I became a true man.” It’s best I stop right here.Lazenby chased by two Bonds

His name is Lazenby, George Lazenby. The actor who played debonair James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service will be at the Astor tomorrow to introduce a remastered version of the 1969 film. The Australian-born man who played the famous secret agent will take part in a Q&A to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise but fans should contain their excitement because Lazenby won’t be sharing all of himself. A note to ticket-holders says: ”Mr Lazenby will not be posing for fan photographs or signing autographs.” That is because he’s in Oz for the Armageddon Expo fan-fest and will be posing for happy snaps and signing autographs for a fee. Two fans extremely interested in Lazenby’s visit are Michael Ward and Stephen Hall, performers in the show Bond-A-Rama! who re-create scenes from 22 Bond films in 75 minutes. The stunt marathon occurs at Chapel off Chapel from October 17, a highlight being a video message from Lazenby. The duo tracked him down in LA and what could have been a mission impossible became possible after months of emailing and, finally, a ”yes”. Then Ward and Hall jumped on a plane and filmed the clip.

Lazenby may not be as forthcoming as he was in a documentary about Bond’s 50th anniversary when recalling the role’s tremendous fringe benefits. ”I don’t want to brag, but I had at least one girl a day,” he said. ”There was a tent on set where the stuntmen used to keep the mattresses they fell on in fight scenes. It was a good place to take a chick if you were in a hurry.” Lazenby is invited to Bond-A-Rama! to reminisce about his martini-sipping, pistol-pointing days and his special bond with the ladies.Goldblum still alive

Despite being declared dead in a premature tweet by Channel Nine’s Richard Wilkins, US actor Jeff Goldblum is still very much alive. We know this because 3AW’s celebrity magnet Donna Demaio is holidaying in LA, saw him and being someone who always obtains photographic evidence of her A-list encounters, she posed with Goldblum.

Her holiday scrapbook also has snaps with singer Keith Urban in LA and actor Matthew Broderick in NY. Wait, there’s more. Someone else she saw in LA was Aussie menswear designer Dom Bagnato, but this time he posed with her hubby, Michael Wooldridge.Frodo’s tennis lesson

There’s tennis elbow and an elbow for tennis. Captain Frodo, the pliable performer who squeezes his body through unstrung tennis racquets, is reaching for the sweatbands for the Melbourne Festival premiere of La Soiree tomorrow.

The ensemble comprises stars from La Clique, the triple-A avantgardists who’ll turn the Forum into a eye-popping den of cabaret, burlesque and vaudeville. Norwegian-born Frodo, the son of a magician who calls Melbourne home, headlines the show with Ursula Martinez and her vanishing hanky, David O’Mer, the ”Bath Boy”, and bewitching others.

A ticket to the premiere is so in demand that people who have not been invited have brazenly emailed the publicist to RSVP, even offering to audition for a ticket by contorting through a tennis racquet.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Titans give Kelly last chance at big-time 

LIFELINE: Albert Kelly playing for Central Newcastle in July. Picture: Brock PerksAFTER blowing opportunities to establish himself as an NRL player with Cronulla and Newcastle, talented utility Albert Kelly has been thrown a lifeline by the Gold Coast Titans.
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Kelly hails from Macksville, the same NSW country town as his cousin Greg Inglis.

There were some who felt he was just as talented as Inglis when he headed to Parramatta straight out of high school.

But he has had a turbulent career, sacked mid-season by the Sharks in 2011 and then dumped by Newcastle after a nightclub incident this year.

Kelly has a four-month trial period to show the Titans he is serious about fulfilling his potential and that he wants to get his young life back on track.

Titans football manager Scott Clark said yesterday that the club became aware of Kelly’s plight through their many indigenous community programs.

“His manager came into contact with our guys working in the field and told us about Albert,” Clark said.

“We told him about the opportunities to work with indigenous people off the field and it all stemmed from there. Before you knew it, we were in negotiations about a playing contract as well.”

Kelly, who can play halfback or fullback, will have to tick some boxes before being offered a contract, but he has been given a chance many thought would not come his way again.

“Albert has an opportunity to train with the full-time squad over the off-season and play some trial matches during the pre-season,” Clark said.

“I spoke to him on Wednesday night and I think deep down he knows this could be his last crack, although you’d never say that. We know he can play footy, he’s a great player.

“I’ll never compare anyone to Preston Campbell but Albert’s got that freakish ability to do things that Preston would do on the field.

“He’s also had a child recently, which can sometimes put some perspective into his life.

“We’ve been able to provide a positive environment for other players who’ve had off-field issues in the past, so hopefully Albert can make the most of his opportunity here with the Titans.”

Kelly is the third off-season recruit for the Titans after 19-year-old English fullback Matt Russell signed a two-year deal and former Canberra lower-grade prop Mark Ioane a one-year deal. They will join Queensland representative David Taylor as new faces at the club when the Titans’ pre-season begins on November 5.

● Former Dragon Rangi Chase is weighing up a return to the NRL next season with St George Illawarra.

The 26-year-old Super League playmaker’s move from Castleford to Hull fell through last week due to visa problems.

Chase was the 2011 Super League player of the year.


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V’landys wants fair crack of whip with NJC members

ANSWERS: Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys. Picture: Kitty HillRACING NSW chief Peter V’landys could be in for a fiery reception when he fronts Newcastle Jockey Club’s annual general meeting on November 27.
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V’landys confirmed yesterday that he would be at the meeting.

He said he wanted to address “scaremongering and misinformation” over the $12 million Racing NSW grant to the Broadmeadow club.

The annual general meeting will start at 6pm.

“I want to put things straight . . . this is not a takeover of the NJC by Racing NSW,” V’landys said.

“I want to let members know that and answer their questions.”

The Racing NSW grant of $12 million for renovating and building on the course proper and B grass has a proviso attached – that Racing NSW has three appointees on a new-look seven-person Newcastle board.

For that to happen, the NJC constitution will have to be changed, and that needs a 75 per cent vote.

“This is not only happening in Newcastle,” V’landys said.

“We have done this all over the state.

“There has been so much scaremongering and misinformation about the money that I have to speak out about it, and the AGM is the perfect place for that.

“The appointment of three representatives on the NJC board is no reflection on the present administrators.

“We feel that this new board set-up would be skill-based.

“We will be looking for the best people in Newcastle from the business world that can help the building program and continued success for the next 20 years at Broadmeadow.

“These might be people who would not be prepared to stand for a public election but are interested in helping the NJC.

“This is a huge project rebuilding two tracks, and we need people that can get it done.

“The point is that the casting vote will be with the NJC, who will have four elected representatives on the board.”

V’landys’s comments came after a meeting this week of NJC members who are against the proposed change to the constitution.

They will present a petition to the NJC today calling for a general meeting to discuss the matter.

More than 50 people attended Tuesday’s meeting.

“The meeting was strong that the changes proposed are against what the club needs right now,” said Richard Davis, who chaired the meeting.

“Given the short time frame to communicate the meeting to the membership of just five days, the co-ordinators were gobsmacked by an attendance in excess of 50.

“Attendees included members, trainers, the press and six members of the NJC board.

“The attendance of 60 per cent of the board could be used as a yardstick to judge the meeting’s credibility.

“The main items on the advertised agenda were pertaining to future change of club governance and the involuntary redundancy of our racing manager, John Curtis,” Davis said.

“These were hot topics taking up all but 15 minutes of the two-hour meeting.”

Davis said the dislike of the “big stick approach” from Racing NSW was “most evident”.

“Is this a takeover in disguise of the NJC by Racing NSW was a question which was asked at the meeting,” Davis said.

Stable Talk, Page 87

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Let’s (not) talk about sex

BREAK out the vanilla sarsaparilla! The word misogyny was barely mentioned in Australia’s House of Pain today.
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Christopher Pyne, for whom too much is never enough, managed to spit the word once, but whatever he was trying to say was promptly swallowed by Labor’s Anthony Albanese moving that he no longer be heard.

Australia’s parliamentarians had scared themselves witless with a word that has had half the country scrambling for a dictionary.

Worse, just when the shouting had settled to a dull moan, an alleged comedian had managed to push the language alarm to code red with an alleged joke that fell flatter than a stale beer at a union smoko.

After a week of Labor accusing Tony Abbott of rampant sexism and the Abbott troops dishing it back over the government’s unfortunate choice of a texting Speaker, the Prime Minister and several senior colleagues dragged themselves to a dinner organised by the CFMEU in Parliament House on Wednesday evening.

The star turn was a wisecracker rejoicing in the stage name Fair Go For Billionaires. Ms Gillard and several colleagues, happily for them, had left before Fair Go let fly with a “joke” that would make a Peter Slipper text message blush.

It concerned Abbott and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, and was so odious — and defamatory — no sensible newspaper would repeat it.

Treasurer Wayne Swan, Trade Minister Craig Emerson and Housing Minister Brendan O’Connor were unfortunate enough to have remained in the audience. They recognised they were in a pickle only slightly less appalling than if they had blundered in to an Alan Jones prawn night.

As word of the horror slowly seeped out, Ms Gillard and her team went on to the highest alert to distance themselves from Fair Go’s loathsome view of humour. Ms Gillard called the CFMEU’s national secretary declaring the comments so offensive and so wrong they should never have been made.

CFMEU officials said that if they’d known such a jape was to be made, they’d have torn Fair Go off the stage before he got to it.

The agency representing Fair Go, Manic Studios (of course) issued a grovelling apology to Abbott and Ms Credlin, pleading “poor judgment” and offering that “the joke was a last-minute inclusion and crossed the line”.

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz suggested Ms Gillard arrange a boycott of CFMEU publications — the sort of thing that had happened to Jones and his radio show after his bout of septic mouth.

By question time, no one was joking about anything and most of the hollering was confined to safe old standards like the carbon tax and employment figures. The Coalition tried to revive the Slipper text affair, but it never got off the ground.

Fair Go had finally killed any appetite for jibes about misogyny in the House of Pain. For which, perhaps, he ought to receive some credit. Or not.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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