Half of hospital doctors work ‘unsafe hours’

Doctors are falling asleep at their computers and having to give up toilet breaks in order to manage shifts that can be as long as 76 hours.

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A new audit has found that more than half of doctors in Australia’s public hospitals are working unsafe hours, placing them at high risk of fatigue.

Intensive care physicians and surgeons are the most stretched, according to the Australian Medical Association report published on Saturday.

One doctor reported working an unbroken 76-hour shift, alongside others who endured shifts of between 53 and 72 hours.

“What we’re seeing here is that the system is under stress,” AMA vice president Tony Bartone told reporters in Canberra.

“These doctors are routinely missing lunch breaks, missing meal breaks, having to withhold toilet stops. They’re working consecutive shifts, often back to back.”

Dr Bartone said doctors were routinely telling him they were tired and would sometimes fall asleep at their terminal while doing paperwork.

“This is not an environment that you want to have a vulnerable population, your patient, being exposed to in a routine manner.”

The longest working week reported during the audit was 118 hours – the same as 2006 – while the average week came in at 78 hours.

Only 11 per cent had two full days free of work in that period, and just under half worked three or more days without a meal break.

“What it shows is that you have a system that is under stress and it only takes a small, little thing to result in a massive error that might result in harm,” John Zorbas, chair of the AMA Council of Doctors in Training, said.

The AMA is calling on state and territory governments to boost efforts to ensure better rostering and safer work practices.

The 2016 audit is the fourth nationwide survey of doctors’ working hours by the AMA since 2001.

A total of 716 salaried doctors and doctors-in-training were asked to keep an online diary of their work hours, on-call hours and sleep time over one week last November.

Dangerfield shines as Hawks fall short

Patrick Dangerfield has upstaged Luke Hodge in his 300th AFL game to steer Geelong to a nailbiting three-point win over arch-rivals Hawthorn.

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Isaac Smith, who missed a shot after the siren in last year’s qualifying final against the Cats, missed once more with just five seconds left as Geelong held on for 13.10 (88) to 12.13 (85) win.

The margin was never more than three goals in another see-sawing edition of the storied Hawks-Cats rivalry.

Dangerfield’s five-goal heroics looked to have the Cats home, before late majors to Ryan Schoenmakers and Hodge set the platform for a late Hawthorn steal.

Hodge’s long bomb reduced the margin to four points with just 18 seconds remaining.

Tom Mitchell’s clearance and 42nd possession of another stunning performance made its way to Smith via Jack Gunston, only for the winger to send his running shot to the right.

Cats coach Chris Scott, who saw his side beat the Hawks by 86 points earlier in the season, paid tribute to both sides.

“Professional sport is such a beast that you’re driven to move on very quickly after good performances but I think it’s appropriate to stop and reflect a little bit on how fortunate we are to be a part of it,” he said.

“And for the fans to continually witness these contests … it’s a credit to both clubs that there can be a period of transition and the contest can still be so fierce.”

The 70,345-strong crowd also saw an out-of-the-box performance from Dangerfield.

The Brownlow Medallist’s day appeared over in the first term when he was laid out in a fair bump from Jarryd Roughead and immediately put his hand in the air for a trainer.

He was rushed down the race but emerged shortly after with a severe limp.

In his absence, Hawthorn kicked five of the next six goals to get control of the contest.

While clearly hampered, Dangerfield returned and was sent forward by Scott, snapping the Hawks’ run with a fine snap and goal from the pocket.

He finished with 5.6 including three third-term goals that gave Geelong their strongest buffer.

No Hawk defender could lay a glove on Dangerfield, with Hodge even sent to man-mark the former Crow at one point without success.

Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson said Smith shouldn’t feel the weight of the world on his shoulders, with “hundreds of moments” prior to his fateful kick to win it.

“I’m a bit flat because we lost a game of footy I thought we could have won,” he said.

“It shouldn’t come down to the last seconds of the game. If we had played better in the earlier parts of the game we should have had a margin.”

The Cats jumped temporarily to the top of the AFL ladder with the win, while Hawthorn stays 13th and are set to miss the finals for the first time since 2009.

Port hammer North Melbourne by 70 in AFL

Triumphant coach Ken Hinkley has praised Port Adelaide’s ruthless streak in their 70-point clobbering of AFL strugglers North Melbourne.

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The Power consolidated their spot in the top four, winning 19.13 (127) to 8.9 (57) in a Saturday afternoon mismatch at Adelaide Oval.

Port dismantled North with a stunning eight-goal opening quarter which laid the platform for their 10th win of the season.

The result was effectively decided in a dozen minutes, when the Power kicked four unanswered goals and North lost a player to injury – defender Mitchell Hibberd didn’t return after hurting a shoulder.

“We were home, and we were pretty experienced against a side that lacked a little bit of experience,” Hinkley said.

“But we certainly made our intent known right at the start of the game.

“And when you do that, you get to play the game more on your terms than the opposition.”

Port’s mercurial Chad Wingard was a key factor in the opening-term onslaught, kicking three goals for the term with fellow small forward Sam Gray slotting two of his four majors in the quarter.

“Today was always going to be a challenge for us against Port Adelaide in form, with their best available team out there on their home ground – there’s no doubt about that,” North coach Brad Scott said.

“We came out with an attitude that we would just have an almighty crack and … we were badly beaten around the ball early.”

Port’s Wingard was outstanding with 30 disposals while ruckman Paddy Ryder dominated Todd Goldstein – the Power tall recorded 37 hit-outs in an influential display.

Ryder’s command enabled Port midfielders Ollie Wines (31 touches), Brad Ebert (30 disposals) and Sam Powell-Pepper (two goals, 26 possessions) to run rampant, while swingman Justin Westhoff was prominent with 27 disposals.

The second-last Roos had six players with less than 10 games’ experience and were at least able to restore some parity in the second quarter when both teams kicked three goals.

But the visitors were outscored eight goals to three in a tame last half, despite the best efforts of seasoned onballers Ben Cunnington, who collected a game-high 33 disposals, and Shaun Higgins (26 touches, one goal).

North forward Ben Brown booted three goals from limited opportunities and Shaun Atley scored two.

Five-goal forward Dangerfield stuns AFL

Is there anything Patrick Dangerfield can’t do?

Not on the evidence of the Brownlow Medallist’s five-star performance against Hawthorn.

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Geelong fans at the MCG on Saturday – and Dangerfield himself – had their hearts in their mouth when the star on-baller fell to the ground in the first term on the receiving end of a savage, but fair, Jarryd Roughead bump.

He struck his hand in the air for assistance and was escorted to the Geelong rooms.

It wasn’t clear if he would emerge. When he did, he put himself in the forward line.

Playing on one leg, Dangerfield dominated.

A second-quarter snap ended a Hawthorn run of goals. Then came a third term for the ages.

Three goals, all from strong leading marks, gave Geelong a lead they wouldn’t give up.

He would finish with five goals and six behinds, telling 3AW after the match he was proud of the performance.

“My game was a bit of a reflection of the service I got from our midfield. To be able to lead to some of those kicks was nice,” he said.

“It was just a bit frustrating I couldn’t kick a bit straighter.”

Coach Chris Scott said he left the decision on playing Dangerfield up to his medical staff and the 27-year-old.

“He was inhibited but he wanted to see if he could keep going. He felt the best position on the ground was up forward. When you’ve got an asset like that you tend not to argue,” he said.

“For a long period of the game it seems like he was the most important player on the ground.”

The Cats face fellow front-runner and Dangerfield’s old club Adelaide next-up on Friday night in a genuine blockbuster.

Dangerfield couldn’t guarantee he’d be a starter given the lower leg injury.

“It’s going to depend how it pulls up. It’s going to be pretty sore for the next few days,” he said.

“I’ll get into the city of churches, say a few hymns and hopefully it’s right to go on Friday.”

Australians’ love affair with Japan on the rise

The lure of the cherry blossom drew a record number of visits by Australians to Japan in May, according to information released on Friday by the ABS.

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But if tensions rise further on the Korean Peninsula, tourism to the region is likely to sink given the importance of personal security when Australians decide where to travel, according to one tourism expert.

More than 1000 trips each day took Australians to the land of the rising sun in May, capping an extraordinary boom in tourism since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Monthly trips from Australia dropped to below 10,000 for six months in the wake of the catastrophe, but have grown to more than 30,000 in recent years.

Dr David Beirman, senior lecturer in tourism at the University of Technology, Sydney, said the result reflected a long-term strategy from Japanese tourism officials to appeal to more price-conscious travellers.

“Their rail pass for example has been a huge success and they’ve also been trying to tell people that Japan isn’t always about high price, five star accommodation,” he said.

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“They’ve really tried to encourage people to see more of Japan and the results have been pretty successful.”

Last year Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set an ambitious target to double the number of overseas tourists by 2020.

Japan overtook Singapore in May – the height of the country’s famous cherry blossom season – to become Australians’ seventh most popular destination.

New Zealand, Indonesia (mostly Bali) and the United States are clear leaders with almost double the monthly trips of other destinations.

But Japan could threaten the UK as Australia’s fourth most popular destination in coming years.

Dr Beirman said growth in tourism to Japan was likely to continue thanks to ongoing marketing, cheap flights, and the appeal of Japanese food, culture and hospitality.

The major risk he suggested came from potential conflict developing on the Korean peninsula.

“The perception of safety and security is actually the number one motivation for people to travel – or not to travel.”

North Korea has fired test missiles into the sea to the north of Japan this year and the two capitals Pyongyang and Tokyo are separated by less than the distance between Melbourne and Brisbane.

The information released by the ABS also shows strong growth in inbound tourism, which rose almost eight per cent in the previous year.

Large increases in visitors from the US, Canada, Indonesia, Germany and India over the previous 12 months were recorded.

0:00 Destination Flavour Japan — Cherry blossom pancakes recipe Share Destination Flavour Japan — Cherry blossom pancakes recipe

Honolulu high-rise fire kills 3, injures 5

Three people have died and at least five others suffered injuries and were taken to the hospital after a fire consumed three floors of a 36-story condominium tower in Honolulu, city officials say.

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The fire at the Marco Polo high-rise building was brought under control at about 6.30pm (local time) on Friday, four hours after it broke out, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said during a news conference.

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“We have a very tragic situation with three confirmed fatalities,” Caldwell said.

“The good news is that the fire is now under control.”

For hours, thick black smoke poured from the building as orange flames raged on several floors and debris fell from windows in images broadcast by bystanders on the Periscope streaming service.

More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze, spraying water on flames from nearby balconies as a helicopter circled above, images posted online showed.

Smoke billows from the upper floors of the Marco Polo apartment complex, Friday, July 14, 2017, in Honolulu. aap

The fire began on the 26th floor of the building at about 2.15pm and quickly spread to the two floors above, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

As many as three people died on the 26th floor, Fire Chief Manuel Neves told a news conference at the scene. He did not provide details of the deaths.

“We don’t have any information for us to believe that there are problems with the structure,” Neves said.

Neves said fire officials were conducting a room-by-room search, a task that could take several hours.

Emergency responders said they took at least five people to the hospital with injuries. A number of other people were treated at the scene and refused to be taken to the hospital, fire officials said.

Evacuees from the building were being accommodated at a nearby park, with volunteers tending them, the Hawaii Red Cross said on social network Twitter.

The fire forced the closure of a major road in front of the condominium complex, the Honolulu police department said on Twitter.

The Marco Polo building does not have a sprinkler system, Neves said. The building was constructed in 1971, before the city began requiring sprinkler systems and mandating them for high-rises built after 1974, the Star-Advertiser newspaper said.

City officials told the newspaper that if the building had a sprinkler system, the fire would have been contained to the original unit.

In London, at least 80 people were killed when a fire gutted the 24-story Grenfell Tower apartments on June 14.

Authorities have opened two major investigations into the blaze, the worst in the British capital since World War Two, and have said criminal charges could be forthcoming.

Macron and Trump in marathon handshake duel

The unexpected bromance between the leaders of America and France was on full display for the world on Friday at the annual Bastille Day military parade and celebration in Paris.

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This year the event coincided with the 100th anniversary of the US entry into World War I.

0:00 US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanual Macron exchange marathon handshake in Paris. Share US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanual Macron exchange marathon handshake in Paris.

Trump spent a large portion of his day and a half in the French capital in the embrace of Macron, who went to extraordinary lengths to impress the US president by turning a day of national pride into a celebration of American patriotism and friendship between the two countries.

French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with US President Donald Trump after the Bastille Day military parade in Paris AAP

Trump and Macron exchanged many handshakes during the course of Trump’s first visit to France as president, perhaps none more telling than the one they shared after the parade.

As Trump prepared to head home to the US, the leaders clasped hands and held on to each other as they walked. Trump at one point pulled the smaller Macron off balance and held fast as they approached their wives.

Even then, Trump held on to Macron’s hand as he shook hands with Macron’s wife, Brigitte.

0:00 Trump lauds Macron and France and its ‘unbreakable ties’ with the US Share Trump lauds Macron and France and its ‘unbreakable ties’ with the US

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Refugees of all ages now eligible for government’s national vaccination program

The federal government has made catch-up vaccines available to refugees of all ages on the National Immunisation Program for the first time.

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Refugees often arrive in Australia without their vaccinations record.

Those that do have them are often on different vaccination schedules, as they differ from country to country.

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But thanks to the National Immunisation Program it will now be far easier than before to stay on track.

“We think this is a really positive step forward,” Public Health Association CEO Michael Moore said.

Around half a million Australians aged between 10 and 19 currently lack full immunisation. This threatens the “herd immunity” required to prevent infectious disease outbreaks.

“What it means is that for those very small number of people who have compromised immune systems, and are not able to be vaccinated, the rest of the community’s vaccination, by and large, protects them,” Mr Moore said.

According to public health studies, immunisation needs to cover 95 per cent of the population to keep it safe.

It pays to guard against complacency as evidenced earlier this year after a measles outbreak in Romania killed 17 children and infected thousands more.

The children who died had not been vaccinated.

Dr Fatin Toma, Alice Ewaz, Ayad Ewaz and their two sons Arman (left) and Andre (right).SBS World News

‘I thank God that we reached this safe country’

There are certain diseases which can circulate in the community and they are very dangerous, and very serious,” Dr Fatin Toma said.

Dr Toma is a doctor in Sydney’s west, who deals with a high number of refugees.

As an Arabic speaker, Dr Toma is often on hand to help families such as the Ewaz’s, who moved to Australia from Iraq in November last year.

“We decided to move out of our country because there was no safety,” Ayad Ewaz said.

Their six-year-old Andre, and five-year-old Arman received their last catch-up vaccines from Dr Toma during the week.

The boys’ mother Alice said she is grateful for the service.

“I feel happy and I thank God that we reached this safe country,” Mrs Awaz said.

“Of course I am happy. It’s hard to express how happy I am inside.”

For Dr Toma, also an Iraqi, it’s a chance to make a difference.

“They are from my home country,” Dr Toma said.

“I have the same feeling, I’m happy to help them.

“I’m very happy to help everyone, of course. But especially from my home country.”

Around half a million Australians aged between 10 and 19 currently lack full immunisation.SBS World News

 

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Vic recycling facilities to be audited, fire under control

Recycling facilities across Victoria will be audited after a massive blaze ripped through a Melbourne plant, forcing the evacuation of dozens of homes and leaving some people in hospital.

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The state government announced the taskforce on Saturday after the blaze took hold at the Coolaroo plant earlier in the week.

The Environment Protection Authority, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Country Fire Authority and Emergency Management Victoria will make up the joint taskforce.

Environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio also announced an interim waste management policy that will force facilities to better store materials to minimise health and environment risks.

“We are taking immediate measures to ensure better protections for Victorians and our environment,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

The policy will stay in place for 12 months until a permanent solution is found.

Blaze under control: Premier

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the fire was under control after visiting the site on Saturday.

“There was a strategy put in place yesterday afternoon to increase the foam that’s been put on this fire, that’s been successful,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

0:00 Victoria Premier Daniels Andrews gives update on blaze Share Victoria Premier Daniels Andrews gives update on blaze

The premier said it was a “fantastic outcome”, and thanked firefighters from the ACT, South Australia and New South Wales, as well as other emergency services, for their support.

“There’ll be a lot of work to be done still in the coming days, but ahead of much more significant winds tomorrow it’s important to make that breakthrough,” he said.

During Saturday, two bulk water tankers and a turbine-aided firefighting robot will arrive from Fire Rescue NSW along with 10 crew.

The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service has also deployed two tankers and a logistics vehicle and crew, along with two tankers and a command vehicle and crew from ACT Fire and Rescue.

0:00 Residents told to evacuate as Coolaroo fire persists Share Residents told to evacuate as Coolaroo fire persists

Thirty-eight trucks and about 130 firefighters have been working around the clock since the fire broke out in the stockpile of plastic, cardboard and paper.

Four people hospitalised

Four people, including a four-year-old girl, have been hospitalised due to toxic smoke, while 15 people were assessed by paramedics on Friday.

Upfield train station and 115 homes in the nearby suburb of Dallas were evacuated on Thursday night when air quality levels dropped to very poor.

A change in conditions allowed people to return to their homes on Friday, although residents were advised to monitor warnings closely in case the situation changes.

The plant – which also caught fire in February, June and on Wednesday afternoon – was due to be inspected on Thursday over its fire management practices, Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority said.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known but the MFB said it was not related to this week’s earlier fire.

SKM Recycling declined to comment because the incident was under investigation.

Melbourne-based Maddens Lawyers flagged a possible class action against the factory’s US-based owner-operator, SKM Industries.

A community relief centre has been set up at the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

Evacuees inside the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre which is serving as evacuation centre, Friday, July 14, 2107. AAP

 

Bulldogs go back to the future for AFL fix

Video highlights of what has brought them recent success have formed part of the Western Bulldogs’ strategy this week as they look to resurrect their flagging AFL season.

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The reigning premiers are turning to positive reinforcement in a bid to bounce back against Carlton at the MCG on Sunday.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said there was no mystery to his team’s 1-4 win-loss record since the round 11 bye that has resulted in a slide to a precarious 11th on the ladder.

“It’s actually just method. When you break down team defence and the way we want to use the ball, we probably haven’t looked like the team we want to be,” Beveridge said.

“We’ve trained it (this week), we’ve looked at some vision and it’s reasonably clear in our minds as to what it can look like.

“It’s quite simple, we’ve done it before, albeit with a different mix of personnel.

“But all these boys who present on Sunday have been able to play good footy within our system and there’s no doubt they’ll apply themselves.”

Beveridge said the Bulldogs were acutely aware of the Blues’ ability to restrict opposition scoring.

Since their mid-season bye, Carlton have produced a 2-3 record that included narrow losses to top-eight contenders Adelaide and Melbourne in the past two weeks.

“We’ve looked at that and it has been one of their strengths that they have been able to arrest momentum and get themselves back into a game,” Beveridge said.

“We’ve prepared for it, but executing it against them is another thing.

“Time will tell and the early part of the game is always critical and to get it on our terms is our objectives.”

The Bulldogs have promoted 18-year-old South Australian recruit Lewis Young. The 197cm defender was the youngest player in the AFL draft last November.

“He plays the way we want him to play in our back end and he has become a really influential player at a young age,” Beveridge said.

“As you saw last week, we needed some height in our back end and support down there.”