Thursday, August 18, 2011


My apologies to readers - I am temporarily unable to post comments on your comments - hope to be back in full commenting mode by next week---------------------------------------

Federal Cabinet is now going to interfere in decisions to approve medicines for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme [PBS].
If you’re going to be ill, choose a common illness so you’ll have access to the medicines you need.

The priorities of this government are totally out of whack.
Education, trade, infrastructure, health, and the environment are all important responsibilities for governments. Why are we saving money at the expense of people’s health? Is it so we can subsidise advertising campaigns telling us what to think?

Labor are also hoping to do two things to people in higher tax brackets: Firstly, means test the tax rebate [subsidy] on private health insurance, and secondly raise the Medicare levy on people in higher income brackets.
The rebate decision suggests the government believes the demand for private health insurance won’t change, no matter what it costs. Subjecting Medicare to a progressive rate of tax undermines the premise on which Medicare was built, which is that we owe a duty of care to all Australians regardless of their means.

Taxing high income earners through two separate health insurance measures is not just a dishonest trick that fools no one, it’s yet another example of government contempt for the KISS principle.
If Franz Kafka could send us a text message from the other side it would probably read “ROFLMAO”.

The Member for Dobell has been accused of mis-using a union credit card. Sure, it’s a tragedy that the two people still left in the Labor Party are subsidising his fight to clear his name.
The greater tragedy is that regardless of who misused the card to pay for some very expensive nooky, Union members are the last people Union management care about but nobody seems terribly shocked.

30 years ago, my grandmother became a nursing home resident. The institution occupied a couple of converted homes in a Melbourne suburb. Residents were packed two or three or four to a room, and there was little in the way of living areas. Women with dementia spent hours strapped to chairs, and the atmosphere was so appalling it was no surprise that my grandmother’s mind shut down in no time at all.

Aged care has since come a long way. Standards now require that residents be given, amongst other things, regular, varied and stimulating activities. Having seen the inside of several hostels and nursing homes in the last ten years, I must say that although the food is sometimes crappy, the care is personal, genuinely caring, and astonishingly good considering the poor rates at which workers are paid, what they have to do, and the crap they take from some of the residents.

How do I feel on hearing that a resident at Barrabill House in Seymour was left strapped to a toilet for two hours? I suppose if it had been my mother, and if I had not spent so much time in these places, I might be more horrified.
Unless people are provided with one on one care, this sort of thing is inevitable. I’ll even put my hand up and confess that while my mother was living in Frankston, she did spend an hour on the floor one day because she had fallen over, and couldn’t call out loudly enough to get my attention. Luckily, she wasn’t hurt, but that afternoon I went and bought some walkie-talkies [and boy, was I ‘on call’ after that].

But this is life. Nobody can watch anybody every second of every minute of every hour, even if the care is one on one. Obviously in this case the woman was forgotten, and what is awful about this story is that if she hadn’t died of natural causes she might have been quite distressed for some time. I trust that by now there is some system in place to ensure all residents or rooms are checked at regular intervals, and this will be something other institutions will have to do as well as a result of this case.

I don’t want to dismiss the distress this has caused the resident’s family, but each and every one of the people who work in these places deserves a giant vote of thanks, and I would hate anyone to think less of them as a result of this incident.

A little girl has been mauled to death by a dog.
I love dogs. I couldn’t imagine life without dogs.
I don’t like living in a Nanny State, but some dog owners are jerks, and this sort of thing infuriates me.

I’ve lost count of the times people have been walking dogs, off lead, and when their dog has attacked another they’ve said “He doesn’t normally do that!”.

Little kids come charging up to our schnauzers sometimes wanting to pat the “puppies”, so this is a chance to explain [if the kids are old enough] that they must never touch a strange puppy unless a grown up says it’s okay, or that small dogs are not always puppies etc. But as a dog owner it’s my job to do the teaching – people who don’t have dogs should not need a dog training certificate to live in their own homes.
Some council survey revealed there were 3300 dog attacks in one year. I don’t know if that is state-wide or what, but some dog owners are deluded.
Dog owners should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Another family filled with anguish. What a cruel waste.

A hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.
Samuel Butler

1 comment:

  1. PBS interference, wrong.

    Why have a separate levy for Medicare? Fund it from taxes with the appropriate sliding tax scales.

    The ex union official is a disgrace. Unfortunately or fortunately, if he was dealt with appropriately, the Federal government could fall.

    Nursing home resident, unfortunate. Better procedures need to be in place. But these things will always happen where humans are involved.

    Odd that your average person on the street can often easily judge a dangerous dog with an irresponsible owner. Authorities want records of incidents. Sometimes I wonder about the merits of democracy.