article placeholder

December 2009

Mining brings HIV boom?

One thing the mining boom might bring to WA is more HIV – by two routes. Men in their 40s who acquire infection overseas (hormones and bulging wallets on the rampage) and fast-tracked 457 visa imported workers who are not required to be pre-tested for HIV. Although numbers are small (around 75/yr), there has been a 30% increase in HIV notifications in the last 2 years.

Nurses find new teams

The word “autonomous” has been replaced with “collaborative” for the work of the Nurse Practitioner, if amendments to the Midwives and Nurse Practitioners Bill 2009 that gives...

...
article placeholder

May 2008

IPN expands

Corporate GP buyouts seem to be all the rage right now. Hot on the heels of the Primary/Symbion merger, Independent Practitioner Network (IPN) has acquired Fremantle-based GP group Gemini in a $32m deal. The acquisition is a very savvy move by IPN. Gemini has 42 medical centres nationally and 90 doctors compared to IPN's 95 centres and 700 doctors. IPN has 22 GP practices in suburban Perth, whereas Gemini has 24 practices in primarily rural areas, which will avoid the practice mergers Primary and Symbion will struggle with. The expanded IPN won't match the national might of the combined Primary/Symbion entity, but they are now the dominant corporate player in general practice in WA. Gemini's Suzy Taylor will fill IPN's vacant state manager position.

RPH not burning bridges

The ‘will they, won't they' fate of Royal Perth Hospital has taken a new turn with Minister McGinty announcing his intention to retain a 190 bed surgical facility in RPH's north block after the new Fiona Stanley Hospital opens in 2013. Bucking the trend of the a slow, systematic shutdown of RPH facilities, the government has built a new purpose-built burns unit. Potentially, the new $2.5m, 10-bed facility only has a five year lifespan, but it is still welcome news for burns specialists such as Prof Fiona Wood. According to Fiona, the centre will accommodate 250 patients each year and support an outpatient service that cares for 3,500 patients annually.

Boffins wiped out

You've probably heard about the confidential patient files left on computers ...

...