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TAS Country : December 2nd 2010
14 Tasmanian Country Friday, December 3, 2010 YOUR SAY email@example.com Buying potatoes matter of hope YEARS ago, before the advent of bulk harvesting and handling, potatoes were dug and sold in big, burlap bags. Then it was decided that the industry had to be more tightly regulated and the potato marketing board was formed. The farmers fought against this decision and eventually won, but one legacy was that potatoes are now re- quired to be sold in sealed paper bags. We either have to buy a sealed bag and hope that we are getting a good prod- uct or buy brushed po- tatoes off the shelf at an exorbitant price. I'm not suggesting that we go back to digging them by hand, but it would be wise if we could go to the farm gate and pick out the spuds we want as they came out of the ground at a reasonable price. MALCOLM McCULLOCH Pipers River Old Ouse hospital outshone hub HUBBUB: The new Ouse community health centre. THE article by Jennifer Crawley (Tas Country Friday November 19, 2010) titled ''Health hub outdoes hospital' is inaccurate, incomplete and misleading. The community of the Cen- tral Highlands at many public forums has consistently said they needed a 24/7 health ser- vice that had a least sub-acute, high-care age care and palli- ative care beds. Because of ridiculous DHHS regulations a ''hospital'' was too inflexible to provide these ser- vices efficiently. However, by converting the ''hospital'' to a multi purpose service (MPS) it would provide the community with what it needed and also allow the services provided by the ''hub'' to be delivered. The facts are: The ''hub'' operates 8am to 5pm weekdays only, and is closed on public holidays. The ''hub'' provides services for 45 hours each week Monday to Friday, less public holidays. Our old hospital provided services for 168 hours each week seven days a week 52 weeks of the year. The total budget for the 24/7 ''hospital'' in its final year of operation was $1.1 million. The 2010-2011 budget for staffing alone at the ''hub'' is $1.6m. This in despite the hours of operation having been reduced by more than 75 per cent or 120 hours per week. Following public outcry at Minister Giddings announce- ment to close the Ouse District Hospital, she proposed an inde- pendent review of the health and age care service needs of the Central Highlands community. This report was accepted by the minister and the DHHS, but rejected by the Central High- lands community. In her address to 135 members of the Central Highlands com- munity at the Ouse Hall on 5/8/2008, the author of the report, in an effort to justify closing the hospital and moving our six high-care aged-care patients to other facilities said the high-care aged-care patients at the Ouse District Hospital were living too long. Their life expectancy at the Ouse District Hospital far ex- ceeded the national average for similar patients in other aged care facilities. Knowing this, the minister and the DHHS still insisted our patients be moved away to other facilities. Sadly the statement made by the report's author proved correct and our six patients passed on in a relatively short space of time after being forcibly relocated. Even in a theatre of war, these actions carried out with prior knowledge of the consequences would be classed as war crimes, and those responsible pros- ecuted. While Tracy, Sandy, and the entire staff at the ''hub'' are doing a great job, the DHHS needs to be condemned for imposing a health and aged care service on the community of the Central High- lands that is inappropriate, inad- equate, extremely costly, cruel and dangerous. It is a service that has serious shortcomings in large, remote, and frequently isolated areas. Frail aged people requiring high care may be isolated in their own homes by weather conditions for up to a week at a time. Individuals may be placed in a position where they have to transport a sick or injured loved one to Hobart. Through fear and anxiety the individual is a danger to them- selves, their patient, and other road users. The elderly requiring full-time care can no longer live out their lives in or close to their community, friends, and rela- tives. The ever increasing budget for the ''hub'' is being trapped by the DHHS bureaucrats and being channelled to provide more and better job opportunities, con- ditions and perks rather than being used for service provision. I will close with a few rec- ommendations for the people of the Central Highlands:- Avoid requiring medical attention after hours, weekends, or on public holidays. Do not plan to live out your life in the Central Highlands amongst your friends and rela- tives, and in the environment you enjoy and are contented with. Treat calling 000 as purchas- ing a lottery ticket. The odds of success are about the same. Be prepared to rush a sick or injured friend or family member down the busy Lyell Hwy to the Royal in Hobart at all hours of the night, weekend, and on pub- lic holidays. If you are a carer within the Central Highlands community, do not rely on the ''hub'' for adequate respite. The ''hub'' does not in any way outdo the hospital it replaced, and despite the best efforts of the staff, will not be able to supply the health and aged care services required by the Central High- lands community now, or into the future. ROSS and MARY MACE Lawrenny Estate Ouse Forest lockup stupid strategy JOHN Lord and David Bower should be congratu- lated for their letters pub- lished in recent copies of Tasmanian Country, which outline the theory and practice of good forest management. However, Mr Bower's last sentence: ''let us bring truth and science into de- cisions about forest man- agement'' is a optimistic. Final decisions are left to governments, which are run by politicians, defined as those whose thinking is based on personal and party survival, and states- men whose thinking is defined by the state's long term benefit. In many instances, the statesmen are too thin on the ground and bad long- term decisions are adopt- ed. Remember how the extension of ''clean green'' hydro power generation was denied by a govern- ment prompted by en- vironmental activities? We now use some coal and gas-generated power imported from Victoria with a huge carbon foot- print. Remember when snares -- not to be confused with steel traps -- were banned which in turn removed one of the most selective and humane methods of game control? And let's not forget the current push to ban 1080 poison. We must be grateful that the current ''political en- vironmental'' thinking wasn't around during the rabbit plagues which, inci- dentally, are likely to re- turn as rabbits inevitably develop immunity. The current move to lock up all public land is remarkably shortsighted if not downright stupid. Put simply -- eucalypts are not politically correct -- they are pyrogenic and have evolved over the millennia to cope with fire to such an extent that they use fire as a tool to give them the edge over their botanical com- petitors. In short, eucalypts can cope with, and need, large scale disturbance. They must have large holes in their canopies to re-seed and fire favours them over their competi- tors. To ''lock up'' high qual- ity eucalypt forest, which has myrtle, sassafras and dogwood as an under- storey condemn them to ultimate extinction. IAN SWAN Westbury Let's hear from you Send your opinion to letters to the editor, Tasmanian Country, 93 Macquarie St, Hobart, Tasmania, 7000, fax to (03) 62300711 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters to the editor are submitted on condition that Tasmanian Country and licensed third parties have the right to reproduce them electronically. E-mailed letters must be sent in plain text only and not as an attachment. We reserve the right to condense letters unless they are marked ''use in full or not at all''. Preference will be given to letters of less than 150 words. UFBU3693A_rj AN ONLINE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY TOO GOOD TO REFUSE. Studying business at UTAS doesn t mean you have to leave your hometown, your family or your job. From 2011, UTAS will begin to of fer selected majors in the Bachelor of Business online for distance students, including Finance, Marketing and Corporate Governance, giving you a wider range of options for balancing study with competing life demands. You will even be able to take a mixture of online or on- campus study modes to suit your existing life and work commitments. Online delivery gives you the flexibility to undertake a UTAS Bachelor of Business from anywhere in the world, even from home. Call and talk business opportunities with UTAS today.
November 25th 2010
December 9th 2010