health - Tasmania Talks

EXCLUSIVE: Flu vaccine shortage in Tas

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A shortage of the flu vaccine is ‘not satisfactory,’ according to President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia Tasmanian President, John Dowling.

Tasmania Talks listeners have had issues trying to get the flu shot in the Launceston, and were told by pharmacists that there was a shortage in the state.

Mr Dowling confirms this with Brian Carlton this morning, saying that it is not the government’s fault and the manufacturers were unprepared for the demand for the vaccine.

Remaining dosages are currently being held for those over 65 or for those at ‘high risk’ – pregnant women, children, and people with chronic illnesses, to name a few.

Listen as Mr Dowling explains the issue with the shortage and how this could occur:

PM: NW to benefit from Agriculture Skills jobs package, compares My Health Record to cloud system

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Free Range Friday encourages anybody to call in for the day, but it's not often the first cab off the rank is the Prime Minister!

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is in Stanley this morning, after spending the night in Smithton. He announces that the North-West will be one of nine regions in Australia to benefit from a Job Ready Generation Package, which will come in the form of agricultural skills.
The Prime Minster also speaks with Brian Carlton about My Health Record, which he compared to Apple's cloud system.

THS allegedly leak confidential email addresses for election purposes

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Orthopedic sugeon, Dr Gary Fettke, was extremely surprised to find an email in his work inbox from Rebecca White and the Labor team touting their health policy.

The email, sent yesterday afternoon, comes days before the state election, and after the CEO of Tasmanian Health System (THS) allegedly told staff to not be involved with political commentary or discourse of any kind.

Dr Fettke speaks with Brian Carlton about the leak, and questions how this data has been allowed to be ‘given away.’

Listen as an anonymous nurse also calls in about the same email, saying that she knows several people who have received one.

'I don't want this to happen to anybody else'- Daughter of nursing home influenza victim speaks


This week, it was revealed that an outbreak of influenza at North-West Coast nursing homes had killed a number of patients.

This includes six patients at Strathdevon Aged Care Facility.

Janice Tongs’ mother, Trixie, was one of the six victims of the deadly influenza. She speaks with Brian Carlton about her mother's illness, and the care she received in her final hours.

'Yesterday was my first day in 40 years without tobacco' - caller praises vaping

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Do you believe e-cigarettes and vaping help people to quit smoking?

Labor Leader Rebecca White joined Brian Carlton in the studio today to talk about a number of health related issues, including vaping.

Brian often says he has been made a criminal for using e-cigarettes, and shakes his head at the Australian Medical Association’s claim that vaping does not stop an individual from smoking.

Off the back of this, Anthony from Devonport rings in to tell Brian about his use of e-cigarettes.  

‘Been caught with their pants down’ – Uni of Sydney caught with ‘fraudulent, flawed research’ on dietary advice

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Dr Gary Fettke says a University of Sydney study that heavily promoted low-protein, high-carb diets is ‘fraudulent, flawed research.’

The 2014 study trialled different diets on 30 groups of mice, to determine what might be best for human diets. An investigation by former ­Reserve Bank and Macquarie economist, Rory Robertson, has found that the study dismissed the groups of mice that had died first.

The mice that died had largely been on high-carb, low-fat diets.

Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Gary Fettke, talks to Brian Carlton this morning about this revelation and says that the University has ‘been caught with their pants down.’

‘Every parent has that voice in their head’– Mother of 15yo boy diagnosed with meningococcal speaks about the signs


It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to see their child sick and struggling. But imagine thinking your child had a common cold, only to worsen to a case of life and death between hours?

There have been several cases of meningococcal in the state over the past few months, with Alex Beaumont the first discovered case in the North of the state.

Alex’s mother, Rebecca Beaumont, joins Brian Carlton this morning and says that without her parent’s intuition and the life-saving actions of a paramedic, things may have turned out very differently for Alex.

Image: supplied.

‘He’s been let down on every level’ - Still no answers on medicinal cannabis scheme

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Lyn Cleaver has been trying to gain legal access to medicinal cannabis for her son, Jeremy, since the state’s Controlled Access Scheme came into effect in September 2017.

She is yet to be successful.

Lyn speaks to Brian Carlton about their latest setback, involving an issue with their neurologist and Jeremy’s application.

‘I can’t let this go unchallenged’ – Disability Reform lobbyist disturbed over Hobart school ‘cage’ for autistic children

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The Education Department is facing criticism off the back of news that a North Hobart school has had a ‘cage’ installed for special needs students.

Though this action is said to have come after heavy consultation with experts, teachers, and parents, many Tasmanians are still disturbed by the news.

Listen as Kristen Desmond, Founder of the Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby, joins Brian Carlton to discuss the concerning installation, and whether special needs children can get the education they need in a mainstream school.

‘Most dentists operate as a full time emergency service’ – calls for Medicare expansion for dental care

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A new report from the Grattan Institute is calling on the Federal Government to expand Medicare-covered dental services.

Studies show that more than two million Australian’s avoid going to the dentist each year due to the cost, and those eligible for public dental services can be on waiting lists for over a year.

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has welcomed this call for Medicare expansion, and says that because people avoid the dentist so much, they ‘operate as full time emergency services’ most of the time.

Dr Carmelo Bonanno, President of the ADA, speaks with Brian Carlton this morning about the reasons why people put off going to the dentist, and what they would like to see from the Federal Government in the upcoming budget and election.

‘Patients shouldn’t have to live in fear’ – Lyn Cleaver gives update on quest for medicinal cannabis

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Lyn Cleaver has been trying to get a script for medicinal cannabis for her son for five years – she is yet to be successful.

Lyn’s son Jeremy suffers from refractory epilepsy, and has trialled over 16 drugs since he was diagnosed at five years old. Many of the drugs have had concerning side effects on Jeremy.

Lyn has seen the amazing results medicinal cannabis has had on Jeremy, yet cannot give it to him legally. She joins Brian Carlton this morning to talk about where they at in the process, and says that ‘patients shouldn’t have to live in fear’ while taking the medicine illegally.  

‘PTSD doesn’t discriminate, so the legislation shouldn’t either’

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The State government yesterday passed groundbreaking legislation that changes the burden of proof for PTSD compensation claims for public servants.

This means the compensation should be more easily accessible to some of our frontline workers who need it the most.

Acting President of the Police Association of Tasmania, Gavin Cashion, joins Brian Carlton this morning to speak about what this legislation will mean for police officers and other public servants.

Mr Cashion says he believes the legislation should be retrospective, as he currently has a member who has been waiting for 15 years to have their claim accepted.

‘Say no to workplace bullying’ – Dr Gary Fettke not renewing LGH contract

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Dr Gary Fettke believes his position at the Launceston General Hospital has become untenable, and says that at this point in time, he will not be renewing his contract to continue working at the LGH.

Dr Fettke’s current contract will expire in a few weeks, and he says that the Tasmanian Health System has been unwilling to negotiate with him. According to to Dr Fettke, this includes an unwillingness to take responsibility for bullying and harassment in the workplace, particularly in relation to Dr Fettke’s diet advice to his patients.

Dr Fettke joins Brian Carlton in the studio to discuss his future at the LGH.

‘Science seems to be thrown out the window’: call for federal inquiry into gender dysphoria

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A Hobart health sociologist says that ‘science seems to be thrown out the window’ when it comes to children transitioning to the opposite gender.

Dr Geoff Holloway has written to the federal government calling for an inquiry into gender dysphoria in young people. He is concerned that children are being put onto puberty blockers and hormonal programs far too young, and it’s masking other issues that the children may have.

Dr Holloway speaks with Brian Carlton this morning about his concerns around gender dysphoria and why he believes we need a federal inquiry.


‘The war on drugs has been a colossal failure’: calls for Australia to follow Canada’s suit and legalise cannabis

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Back in June, Canada become the second country in the world to legalise cannabis for recreational use. Becoming available to buy just a few weeks ago, this move saw huge lines outside the first legal stores, and the countries marijuana supply ran out within days of the move.

With many people often noting the similarities between Canada and Australia, those who are passionate about the decriminalisation of marijuana believe it is time to follow the example set by Canada.

Kieran Palmer is the Clinical Director for the Noffs Foundation, and helps people with drug and alcohol abuse on a daily basis. He joins Brian Carlton this morning to speak about what’s going on in Canada, and the case for it to happen here.  

‘There is not one sector in our economy that the health sector does not reach’ – Launceston Chamber commissions report on economic benefit of health sector

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The Launceston Chamber of Commerce (LCC) has commissioned a report into the economic benefit of the health sector.

Neil Grose, Executive Officer of the LCC, says that ‘there is not one sector in our economy that the health sector does not reach,’ and this report will help to maximise benefits for Tasmanian industries through our hospitals and other health facilities. These industries include primary produce, and manufacturing.

Neil talks to Brian Carlton this morning about the idea behind the report, and says that he hopes to have a final version by November/December.

‘This is still… political cannabis’ – Lucy Haslam talks High As Mike doco and medicinal cannabis fight

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Lucy Haslam promised her son on his deathbed that she would help to make access to cannabis better for Australians.

The Director of United in Compassion talks to Brian Carlton this morning about her continuing fight to legalise medicinal cannabis, and how a documentary High As Mikehighlights the roadblocks for people trying to access it.

If you would like to go to the screening of High As Mike at Village Cinema Launceston on Wednesday 24th July at 6:30pm, please click here. The screening, held by Cannabis Awareness Tasmania, must sell a minimum of 75 tickets by 12th July to go ahead.

‘We are meant to be equal citizens, we are not sub-humans’ – Disability advocate talks need for Royal Commission to be established

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Disability advocates around Australia are celebrating with a motion for a Royal Commission into the disability sector passed in Federal Parliament yesterday.

Launceston-based advocate, Jane Wardlaw, says it would now be ‘political suicide’ for a Royal Commission not to be established. She is now one of many lobbying to determine the terms of reference of the inquiry, which she would like to see include the violence, abuse and neglect of people with a disability.

Jane speaks to Brian Carlton this morning about what this Royal Commission would mean, and says that they ‘are meant to be equal citizens, we are not sub-humans.’

‘We don’t break the law for fun’ – Jeremy Bester rejected for Tas medicinal cannabis scheme

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Deflated, frustrated and upset.

That’s how Lyn Cleaver describes her emotions, after her son Jeremy Bester was officially rejected from the Controlled Access Scheme (CAS) for medicinal cannabis in Tasmania.

Jeremy has refractory epilepsy, and has trialled over 16 drugs since he was diagnosed at five years old. Many of the drugs have had concerning side affects on Jeremy.

Lyn joins Fairsy, who is filling in for Brian Carlton this morning, to talk about the rejection, and what the next step is for Jeremy.

"Building hospitals takes time" - Ferguson defends 6 year $757m health spend

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Health Minister and Member for Bass, Michael Ferguson, has defended the Liberals’ pledge to spend $757 million on health.

While the investment has been welcomed, there are concerns over the amount of money that has been allocated to big ticket spending in the election.

Minister Ferguson joins Brian Carlton in the studio, and defends the historic spend, stating that ‘building hospitals takes time.’

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