MIL-OSI Australia: Victorians Urged To Be Careful During Extreme Heat

Source: Premier of Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government is pleading with Victorians to heed the warnings this summer and look after themselves and others – particularly the elderly and young children – when the weather heats up.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today joined Victoria’s Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton, Ambulance Victoria and the Bureau of Meteorology to promote the Never Leave Kids in Cars and Survive the Heat campaigns.

The Labor Government’s Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign warns parents about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars where they are at great risk of life-threatening heatstroke, dehydration and organ damage.

The temperature inside a car can double in just minutes in extreme conditions and a child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s, meaning there is no safe amount of time to leave children unattended.

Between 1 September 2017 and August 31 2018, paramedics responded to 1,587 calls to people ‘locked in vehicles’ – the majority being children aged under 13. The five local government areas with the most callouts were Casey (113), Wyndham (79), Whittlesea (69), Greater Geelong (60) and Hume (60).

Extreme heat kills more people in Australia than any natural disaster and can affect anybody – during the 2009 heatwave, the number of deaths in Victoria was 374 more than under normal conditions and almost 80 per cent of those deaths were people over 65. During the 2014 heatwave the number of deaths increased by 167.

On a 44 degree day in January 2014, there was a 700 per cent increase in paramedic call outs for cardiac arrests.

The Survive the Heat campaign urges Victorians to take heatwaves as seriously as they would any natural disaster.

Simple steps to stay safe during heatwaves include:

  • Drinking more water by taking small sips from a drink bottle throughout the day
  • Keeping cool and seeking out air-conditioned buildings
  • Planning ahead and scheduling activities in the coolest part of the day
  • Looking out for most vulnerable – this might be your neighbour living alone or the elderly.

People at the highest risk of heat exhaustion include people aged over 65, people with a pre-existing medical condition, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and babies and young children.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“We want Victorians, especially the elderly and those with medical conditions, to stop underestimating heatwaves – they are just as dangerous as floods and bushfires and we need to be prepared.”

“Hot cars can kill. Even if you’ll only be a couple of minutes, you should never leave kids unattended in cars.”

Quote attributable to Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton

“Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can affect anyone, but isolated elderly people are especially at risk. That is why, as a community, we need to look out for one another and check on your neighbours on hot days.”

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI Australia: Thousands Of Doctors, Nurses And Midwives Start Their Careers

Source: Premier of Victoria

Thousands of doctors, nurses and midwives are preparing to begin long and rewarding careers in Victoria’s world-class public hospitals.

Around 810 first-year medical interns and 2,500 new nurses and midwife graduates will start their careers in 2019, ushering in a new era of highly-trained medical professionals to care for patients in hospitals and health services all over Victoria.

Regional Victoria will be a big winner, with 290 of the medical interns to be based at rural and regional hospitals.

The Andrews Labor Government is funding 500,000 more specialist appointments in regional Victoria, so that people don’t have to travel long distances to get the care they need.

Victoria’s next wave of doctors, nurses and midwives will receive the best education available, so they can offer the highest quality care. In 2018, the Labor Government invested $90 million to train and develop more medical interns, nursing and midwifery graduates and allied health staff.

The Labor Government will always stand with our hard-working health staff so they can deliver the best care. Legislation introduced on the first day of the 59th Parliament will enshrine better nurse and midwife to patient ratios in law.

Once these improvements are made, the Government will commence a new round of changes that will see the total number of new nurses and midwives in Victoria reach 1,100.

The Government will also deliver on its commitment to create a $50 million Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Development Fund, which will expand the existing Registered Nurse and Midwife Graduate Program and establish a graduate program for Enrolled Nurses for the first time.

This will employ 400 Enrolled Nurses over the next four years, with 100 of these positions to be available to TAFE graduates from next year – meaning Victorians will be able to study a Diploma of Nursing for free at TAFE, as one of the Labor Government’s free priority TAFE courses, then start work as an enrolled nurse once they graduate.

The fund will also provide up to 400 postgraduate scholarships for current nurses and midwives to upgrade their skills, 400 places in programs such as the Postgraduate Midwifery Employment Program and refresher programs for 800 nurses and midwives currently registered but not practicing so they can re-enter the workforce.

It will also include $10 million for grants, scholarships, graduate jobs and refreshers for regional students and current nurses and midwives.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“Congratulations to the hundreds of new doctors, nurses and midwives who are about to join our highly-trained army of health professionals. I wish them long and rewarding careers.”

“Growing our health system to give patients the very best care that they can count on, no matter where they live, is a never-ending job that we’re committed to.”

MIL OSI Australia