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Hospitals fear superbug spread

Widespread misuse of antibiotics is fuelling the spread of aggressive and potentially fatal superbugs in Australian hospitals, experts warn.
Statistics released by the National Prescribing Service, which monitors drug use, show one in four people believes antibiotics are effective against colds, though antibiotics only fight bacterial infections.
The service says the overuse of antibiotics could be behind the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals.
Specialists have warned golden staph, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, is entrenched in hospitals. Many patients stay longer or die through persistent infection.

                                             The Advertiser August 2, 2007   (p21)


One in four Australians take antibiotics when they don't need to, a survey shows.
The study by the National Prescribing Service also found one in seven mothers of young children mistakenly do the same, believing these drugs help the common cold.
The organisation's chief executive, Dr Lynn Weekes, said there appeared to be a widespread misunderstanding that antibiotics worked on viruses that caused colds.
In fact, they only work on bacteria related infections.

                                             The Advertiser June 9, 2007   (p28)

Inquiry Into Medication

The use and effectiveness of complementary medicines, such as vitamins, will be the subject of a $5 million research grant.
Health minister Tony Abbott yesterday said the funding would be provided to the National Health and Medical Research Council for the inquiry.
It will call on researchers to apply for the funds, with applications due in February.
Studies show Australians spend $1 million annually on complementary and alternative medicines, including vitamin supplements, homeopathic medicines and traditional Asian and indigenous medicines.

                                             The Advertiser November 24, 2006   (p34)

Charles stirs doctors
Paul Kent

Prince Charles has sparked a controversy with British doctors proclaiming the virtues of alternative medicines at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.
The Prince called on governments to "abandon their conventional mindset" while explaining how patients should be able to benefit from the best of both worlds - orthodox medical treatment as well as complementary alternative medicine.
The Prince is attempting to get alternative medicine listed as a viable alternative within Britain's National Health Service - a move that angered many of Britain's leading doctors. So much that within

hours of his controversial speech, leading UK doctors were attempting to overturn his campaign, which appeared headed for success, by writing to every NHS trust urging them to stop using alternative treatments and instead invest in proven therapies.
Charles has been a avid user of alternative medicine for more than 20 years, a point he made clear in his speech to health ministers from around the world.
"Orthodox practice can learn from complementary medicine," he said.
"The West can learn from the East and new from old traditions."
The medical world is divided over the viability of alternative medicines, mainly because there is a lack of scientific data.

  The Advertiser May 25, 2006   (p31)


Warning on use of antibiotics


AUSTRALIA must restrict the use of antibiotics to prevent resistance to the drugs or it could face a health crisis, an international expert warned yesterday.
  Professor Richard Laing, of the World Health Organisation, warned antibiotics could be useless within a few decades due to resistance if governments don't reduce prescription rates and encourage research.
  Professor Laing said Australia should cut antibiotic prescription rates and increase awareness among patients that antibiotics were not necessarily the answer to health complaints.

                                                        The Advertiser June 9, 2006   (p15)

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