The end of the year is coming into sight, so it’s time for a contest which thanks our audience for reading, commenting and in some cases writing for the Nurse Uncut blog in 2013.
We have some beaut prizes this year!
First prize is a $100 Coles/Myer gift card – very handy for this nonstop spending time of year.
Amonst the 20 or so advisory committees being scrapped by the federal Abbott government is the Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (APMAIF) – a move detrimental to the protection of breastfeeding in Australia and of special concern to midwives and community and family health nurses.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) is writing formally to the federal Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, to ask for APMAIF to be reinstated. They are also seeking clarification on the Coalition’s commitment to the National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015 and to implementation of the full WHO Code and are asking the community to write to the Health Minister about this as well.
Image from: www.birthcentre.org.au
Today on Nurse Uncut, Holly Jarman, a political scientist from the University of Michigan in the US, writes about the Wikileaks revelations about the trade agreement (Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP) involving Australia that is currently under negotiation.
If our Government agrees to it (and they show every sign of doing so), this trade agreement could make it easier for foreign-based companies to sue Australia for daring to introduce plain packaging of cigarettes or to ban coal seam gas mining (fracking); it threatens our Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in the interests of profits for global drug companies; by signing up to the TPP our Government could give up its right to regulate on health and the environment just so that private companies can make more money.
This Friday 29 November at midday in Martin Place, Sydney, the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association and other union and community groups will be sending the Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb a message that we want fair trade, not free trade.
We need your voice and presence at this important rally. The Minister will be meeting and dealing with trade ministers from around the world in Bali next week. Here’s our chance to tell our Government to put people before profit.
Let us know if you are coming: email@example.com
Beware, secret trade deals can seriously damage your health
By Holly Jarman, University of Michigan
If I asked you to name some of the current threats to your health, ‘international trade law’ probably wouldn’t be on the tip of your tongue. Yet trade agreements and the way we negotiate them can affect how countries regulate private interests in order to protect our health. And often, even a small change in the wording of an agreement can have huge consequences for our health.
Today’s very entertaining post is by Bernhard Racz – Bernhard describes how he accidentally fell into nursing at the old Lidcombe Hospital, which was a world unto itself.
I began nursing in 1971, talked out of a Qantas pilot cadetship by my mother (a nurse at Lidcombe Hospital), who said, why not come and work here as a nurse? My (then) first opinion to her was ‘What? I’m not queer!’ (I’m being honest – this was a general opinion about male nurses at the time.)
I decided to not do nursing, but was tricked into taking my mother to work one day, where the dozens of male nurses were mainly tall, solid, with many Hell’s Angels-type beards.
The ward attitude was like a family, so I decided to try the job. In addition, the hospital was full of atmosphere – and I don’t just mean the smell of strong ammonium-scented urine wafting down some laneways!
Two weeks ago Dr Cynthia Maung accepted the Sydney Peace Foundation’s prize for the work she does at the Mae Tao medical clinic which she founded in 1989 on the Thai-Myanmar border. Dr Maung, herself a displaced person, has worked tirelessly there for almost 25 years providing medical care to the many Burmese refugees fleeing civil warfare.
Ironically, the new Australian Government has cut its aid to Dr Maung’s clinic as from the end of December. This will put the clinic in a precarious position, despite the commitment of staff, who have taken pay cuts to maintain service.
This is all part of the Abbott Government’s $4.5 billion cuts to foreign aid over the next four years. Tim Costello of World Vision Australia called the cuts an “isolationist policy” and said: “We understand our country faces economic challenges but we should never, ever balance the books on the backs of the poor.”
Apheda, the Union Aid Abroad humanitarian arm of the ACTU, is running a petition against the slashing of funds to Dr Maung’s clinic.
Please take a moment to sign it.