Copper is cool
Our November edition highlighted the problem of bacterial antibiotic resistance across the community. Doctors perform poorly in the hand-washing stakes. The feds say MRSA rates will be posted on the ‘myhospital’ website. Enter the Antimicrobial Copper Consortium which says a trial in three US Department of Defense hospitals proved that using copper surfaces cuts the risk of picking up an infection by 40%. They reckon bronze or brass (i.e. copper alloy) taps and door plates etc. could pay for themselves in two weeks. The Consortium is made up of major Australian copper refining or manufacturing companies (see www.antimicrobialcopper.com)
ACF staff stay on
Executive Manager Maureen Williams at WA aged care provider Braemar Presbyterian Care says their program of in-house staff professional development has lifted retention rates from 60% to 85%. That should be music to the ears of doctors attending ACFs who struggle with continuity of care due to high staff turnover. Braemar’s program is funded out of the federal Building Australia’s Future Workforce package. Some spinoffs include Newstart traineeships and clinical nurse placements for Notre Dame Uni. Such external partnerships are critical to sustain the program, said Ms Williams.
Pioneer bows out
Gynaecologist Dr Margaret Smith retires mid-December. What a professional life! With her surgeon husband Frank, she spent seven years in Papua New Guinea as specialist obstetrician/gynaecologist to the Highlands region. She was elected FRCOG in 1971 and a Foundation FRACOG in 1978. After nearly 40 years in Perth her Caring for Women medical practice is renown amongst thousands of women whose babies she has delivered or whose hot flushes she has treated.
Oz medtech industry
The Medical Technology Association of Australia is lobbying for a stronger voice with the release of its Key Facts and Figures 2011 booklet. Medical technology is only 5% of total health expenditure and only 30% is made up of local manufacturers, (27% global companies, 43% importers and independent distributors), but MTAA says the sector employs over 17,500 people. It has interim approval from the ACCC of its Code of Conduct and includes 53 companies listed on the ASX with a combined market capitalisation of $2.4b. On a related note, if you want to keep up with dodgy consumer products the ACCC has just launched its new Recalls Australia iPhone app – easily searchable recalls of goods as featured on the Recalls Australia website. Receive notifications of new recalls. You can even report unsafe products directly to the ACCC. It’s free.