health - Tasmania Talks

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.  

‘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.

‘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.

‘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.  

‘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.’

“They’ve failed Jeremy’ – Man rejected for Tas medicinal cannabis scheme


Medicinal cannabis is the only way that Lyn Cleaver can control her son Jeremy’s extreme seizures, but he has been rejected from Tasmania’s Controlled Access Scheme.

A panel of experts suggested alternate drugs that Jeremy should try before resorting to cannabis. However Ms Cleaver says that if these medicines were safe and effective, they would never have had to look to medicinal cannabis for treatment in the first place.

Brian Carlton talks to Lyn about her continuing battle to be able to legally medicate Jeremy.

40 new beds for the LGH thanks to Ward 4K, says Health Minister in wide-ranging health chat

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A new ward currently being constructed at the Launceston General Hospital will deliver 40 new beds.

Ward 4K is about to begin building construction, with excavation on the project now complete. The first stage of the ward to be opened will be an Adolescent Mental Health Unit, which should be complete in around 11 months.

Minister for Health, Michael Ferguson, joins Brian Carlton in the studio this morning for a wide-ranging chat on various health issues, including elective surgery waiting lists.

Beyond the sugar tax: Obesity Coalition explains action plan to tackle obesity

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A coalition of 34 health groups have put forward an action plan to tackle obesity, including a 20% tax on soft drinks.

Whilst Prime Minister Turnbull has already ruled out a sugar tax, the Obesity Policy Coalition has other ideas on how Australia can battle the increasing rate of obesity. 

Brian Carlton talks to Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition, to discuss how Australians got to this level of obesity, and how the Coalition intend to combat it.

Brian Carlton: ‘Come and arrest me then’

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Tasmania Talks listeners know that Brian Carlton is a criminal because he chooses to vape.

Brian used to be a 30 pack a day smoker, but has found relief and significant benefits from using a vape. This sentiment has been echoed by many other vapers around the world.

Vaping is currently illegal in Australia, but several notable public figures, including politicians are beginning to question this law.

Liberal Senator for Tasmania, Eric Abetz, is the latest politician to support the legalisation of vaping in Australia. He talks to Brian Carlton this morning about why he is backing the change.

BRIAN: Greg Hunt, you should resign


Have you heard the news that drugs containing codeine will be prescription-only in 2017?

Brian Carlton is not happy with this, and believes the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt should put up his hand to stop this policy.

Listen as Brian discusses why he believes Minister Hunt should resign.

Climate activists plan for 14g of meat a day is ‘vegan propaganda’, says expert

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A plan from British climate activists for people to only consume 14g of meat a day is ‘vegan propaganda’, according to orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke.

Dr Fettke is well known for his battle to give dietary advice to his patients, and this morning he scoffs at this idea presented to the United Nations – which also suggests global veganism by 2050.

Listen as Dr Fettke and Brian Carlton discuss this new dietary guideline proposal, and why Dr Fettke is using the hashtag #innocentcows.

Codeine ban: Pharmacy Guild of Aus concerned it could make addiction issue worse


A ban on over the counter codeine comes into place on Thursday but may not have the intended affect, according to Tasmanian President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, John Dowling.

The ban has been put into place to stop abusers of codeine, but according to Mr Dowling, the prescription-only solution will mean that an addict could get five prescriptions from different doctors, and get the script filled at different pharmacies.

He also suggested that the codeine prescribed may be a higher dosage than people are used to, though it will cost less.

Listen as Mr Dowling talks about the nuts and bolts of the codeine ban with a passionate Brian Carlton.

Community Transport Service - helpful utility or taking business from taxis?


Are government funded transport services taking business away from local taxi drivers?

That’s what Paul from Launceston believes, telling Brian Carlton that Community Transport Services (CTS)  are to blame for declining taxi customers.

CTS are there to provide a service for people over 65 and those on the NDIS. However, Paul claims that CTS will pick up anyone who requests them, even if they do not meet the conditions.

Tracey from Launceston also calls in, to tell Brian about an awful experience she had with CTS.

Image: By Diario de Madrid [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Doctors manners: should they ask your medical history in a room full of people?


Should doctors be allowed to ask patients about their medical history in the waiting room?

That’s exactly what happened to one patient this week at the North West Regional Hospital, who was asked to detail their extensive medical history and medications with the whole waiting room listening.

Listen as Brian Carlton discusses the situation, and a caller rings in to say that she has been in a similar situation.

Image: Johnson Community Hospital: Waiting room cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Bob Harvey -

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