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Priorities and humidicribs

By Postalgeek 29 April 2009 27

Can anyone provide an update on Canberra Hospital’s quest for a second mobile humidicrib?  Can these things malfunction, so that there may be no humidicrib available in Canberra Hospital? 

A spokesperson from Katy Gallagher’s dep was quoted on NowUC as saying: 

    “Within the public healthcare system, there is always a high demand for services and new equipment… We need to set priorities, not only neonatology, but right across all our services.” 

I recognise the limits of budgets/allocations, but it leaves me wondering what other priorities do we have, in healthcare and elsewhere, that requires something like a mobile humidicrib to be relegated to a queue. 

I can only speak for myself, but I would rate neonatal and paediatrics pretty much at the top.  

There are many essential health services required by the community, but I’m sure the majority of parents, if they had to choose between their own health or that of their children, would side with their children.  

If that’s an inaccurate, sweeping generalisation, let me know.


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Priorities and humidicribs
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melss 9:45 pm 03 May 09

I hope I can answer/quell a few of the issues raised as above.

My daughter was born 9 weeks early in late 2007, so I have first hand experience with what goes on there having spent several weeks in there on a daily basis watching what goes on.

Firstly, TCH has one of the top neonatal units in Australia with a 98% success rate. This isn’t due to the equipment but the briiliant staff that work there.

TCH doesn’t just serve regional NSW but it also served VIC and Metro NSW when there are NO avaialable spaces at other Major hospitals. I has been in TCH for 3 days when I had a serious problem with my pregnancy, the situation was so critical that the doctors wanted my baby delivered within the next 2 hours, that particular night there were a lot of sick and premature babies born that night and the neonatal unit was at full capacity and there were simply no more Cribs or beds (the unit only has a 28 bed capacity, I should note that the mobile crib was being used to support a baby who was seriously ill. If my baby did not move within the next 15 minutes the doctors were calling for the chopper to send me to Liverpool Hospital. Fortunately she moved and we were able to hang on for a few more days. A mobile unit is not just used to transport babies from one facility to another it is also used the transport babies from the delivery suite/theatre to the Neonatal unit. One mobile unit as you can see is not enough.

The neonatal unit holds a sausage sizzle once a week to raise funds for the unit, when I was there in 2007 they were trying to raise funds to buy more beds and expand the unit. As you can see that’s a lot of Sausage Sizzles to raise $180,000

Steady Eddie said :

I hate that “twinkle twinkle little star” ad on WIN. Every time I see it I switch channels. A pox on them!

A Pox on you Steady Eddie – If you don;t like the add then stop watching

peterh 9:54 am 01 May 09

I have, as has been mentioned before, twin boys. I donated for the 1st humidicrib, and am donating for the second as well. I would be devastated if anything had happened when my boys were born, and I would like to see the risk reduced for all newborn infants.

rottweiler 9:46 am 01 May 09

this is one cause close to my heart people 8 years ago I delivered prem twins but couldn’t be transported to a hospital better to care for my babies as they didn’t even has one moblie crib back then, I helped by donating for the first one and have been donating for a second one. I do hope that none of you who don’t think this is a important cause never have a family member or friend expecting more than one baby in need of this service.

AG Canberra 12:21 pm 30 Apr 09

The biggest use of the mobile humidicribs is to go and pick up babies that have been delivered in regional hospitals that suddenly need extra care. In many of these situations it is for premmy babies or for those that when born need extra care (and this was not able to be spotted before the birth).

In many cases it is the difference between life and death….and there have been situations where a decision has had to have been made between two sick babies and who gets the crib first.

poptop 9:04 am 30 Apr 09

The Newborn Intensive Care Foundation has a wide array of the usual suggestions for fundraising. They receive sponsorship from Casino Canberra too. The NICF has been using the money it’s raised for other priorities; their site says they use the money raised for equipment, research or educational grants.

Postalgeek’s news link says there are only 40 mobile humidicribs nation-wide, so on a population scale TCH appears to have “average” access to a mobile humidicrib. TTCH also seems to have something called an “overhead incubator” which is for larger (like full term size) babies.

It would be sensible to make contact with the NICF in the first instance, rather than charging off and starting a new organisation to buy more humidicribs.

Postalgeek 10:36 pm 29 Apr 09

I suppose the point I was really trying to make (and raising other health priorities was a mistake) was that I think that it’s a little sad that, with all the crap that public money is spent on, $180 000 doesn’t seem a lot but still has to be raised via donations for a reserve mobile humidicrib.

Granny said :

So what does a mobile humidicrib get used for? Is it to transfer the babies to the non-mobile cribs?

I assume the same as a standard humidicrib, the purpose of which is to provide warmth and regulate oxygen, among other things. Mobile ones are used during ambulance transfers. I imagine SouthCare would use them, as would ambulance transfers from regional centres around Canberra to CH.

Here’s an example of what can go wrong with mobile humidicribs, as happened in Queensland last year:

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23704355-421,00.html

Clown Killer 10:18 pm 29 Apr 09

Ok, no real idea where we start but I’m prepared to work through some ideas with people who are interested or to talk to people who have started somthing and need more momentum.

rambler 9:21 pm 29 Apr 09

Community CPS and the Newborn Intensive Care Foundation have been running an appeal for a few months to raise the $180,000 needed to purchase the new crib. This looks like the capital cost only. Assume ACT Health budget (with NSW’s generous contribution through hospital cross border payment) will pick up the recurrent costs.

The CPS website has the details http://www.communitycps.com.au

Granny 8:46 pm 29 Apr 09

What did you have in mind, CK?

Harrison School had a mufti day apparently and encouraged other schools to do the same. I was pretty impressed by that.

So what does a mobile humidicrib get used for? Is it to transfer the babies to the non-mobile cribs?

Clown Killer 8:32 pm 29 Apr 09

Anyone interested in having a go at raising the money for one then?

gun street girl 8:22 pm 29 Apr 09

Clown Killer said :

What does one of these things cost?

Enough to employ a few nurses and open a few beds – $180K, or thereabouts.

Clown Killer 8:20 pm 29 Apr 09

What does one of these things cost?

rambler 8:11 pm 29 Apr 09

sb14 said :

“A reasonable amount of demand for neonatal intensive care services at TCH would come from NSW residents living in the area surrounding the ACT. Hope we’re passing the hat around to them as well.”

That attitude really pisses me off. A sizeable amount of the Canberra Hospital budget is contributed from NSW. Do NSW ask for reimbursement from the ACT for everything the ACT uses? Many patients from the ACT go to Sydney for advanced services at no cost to the ACT. Hell all the roads leading out of the ACT are provided by NSW… should they set up a toll for ACT residents?

Under the terms of the Australian Health Care Agreements jurisdictions reimbursement one and other for hospital services they provide to each others residents. NSW patients represents about 25% of total public hospital activity in the ACT and since the AHCA arrangements have been in place NSW has never reimbursed the ACT the full cost of hospital services we provide to their residents. This is what really pisses me off as an ACT taxpayer. I’m sure the Grants Commission provides adequate reimbursement to NSW for the roads coming into the ACT when it dishes out the GST revenue. The Federal Highway upgrade was paid for by the Commonwealth.

gun street girl 8:09 pm 29 Apr 09

Mobile humidicrib. There’s more than one non-mobile crib available.

Granny 8:05 pm 29 Apr 09

Is there seriously only one humidicrib? What happens if two or three babies need it? Coin toss?

gun street girl 7:58 pm 29 Apr 09

There’s actually a reciprocal agreement between NSW and the ACT – they pay us a certain amount each year in return for the services provided by the ACT to NSW residents (and I believe we similarly pay back for the patients we transfer interstate – though am not sure on the details – we are relatively self-sufficient). It’s arguable as to whether what they pay is representative of the amount NSW pulls on our services across the board. Nevertheless, in the case of paediatric services, I would wager the ACT leans on NSW a lot more than vice-versa.

sb14 7:49 pm 29 Apr 09

“A reasonable amount of demand for neonatal intensive care services at TCH would come from NSW residents living in the area surrounding the ACT. Hope we’re passing the hat around to them as well.”

That attitude really pisses me off. A sizeable amount of the Canberra Hospital budget is contributed from NSW. Do NSW ask for reimbursement from the ACT for everything the ACT uses? Many patients from the ACT go to Sydney for advanced services at no cost to the ACT. Hell all the roads leading out of the ACT are provided by NSW… should they set up a toll for ACT residents?

Ruby Wednesday 7:47 pm 29 Apr 09

There are many essential health services required by the community, but I’m sure the majority of parents, if they had to choose between their own health or that of their children, would side with their children.

Well, not to be callous, but not everyone who uses TCH is a parent and would agree with the idea that paediatrics should be top of the list. If people want to raise the money to buy one, go right ahead, but public priorities are for all of the public, not just the tiny and cute ones.

fabforty 7:28 pm 29 Apr 09

poptop said :

It is true that the first mobile humidicrib was bought through donations and fundraising.

Clearly health priorities in the ACT are not humidicribcentric.

Ahh but there’s always money for public “art”.

rambler 7:23 pm 29 Apr 09

A reasonable amount of demand for neonatal intensive care services at TCH would come from NSW residents living in the area surrounding the ACT. Hope we’re passing the hat around to them as well.

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