Integration required

Separation issues

THE Age’s otherwise commendable focus on the inadequacies of emergency care for what it describes as ”mentally ill Victorians” (28/12) inadvertently perpetuates the myth that underlies the problems that it describes; that there is an essential separateness of mental and physical health. The shift of responsibility to general hospitals for caring for those whose problems require specialised mental health care has not been accompanied by financial or administrative integration.

Specialised emergency psychiatry teams have to find ways of operating within these facilities. The situation invites cost shifting. Arguments about whether a patient is ”mental” or ”physical” characterise emergency and in-patient care.They ignore the fact that it is a person who needs help, and that that person is more likely than not to have both physical and mental health needs, increasingly so as they age.

Until there is true integration of health care, these attitudes and problems will continue. The Government recognises this to some extent. However, its mental health and acute health services will need to achieve much more integration before a person can enter an emergency department without becoming an unwitting victim of turf warfare.

Graeme Smith, emeritus professor of psychological medicine, Monash University, East Malvern

Myki to be rushed in, ready or not

The myki project is $350 million over budget and was to have begun operation on March 1, 2007, when the existing contract with Metcard’s operator ERG expired.

Design, construction and launch costs will total $850 million, and it will cost another $500 million to operate it over 10 years.

It will be ‘working!’ on trains only and this will somehow be keeping a promise. Ah the farce of accountability

An inspirational message from Paul Hawken

Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the
programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to
have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water,
soil, or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch
the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that
spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue
that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per
hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really
good food – but all that is changing.

In Sentence of Activist, China Gives West a Chill

Even as it questioned hundreds of people who signed Charter 08, the manifesto Mr. Liu helped to draft, government censors had any mention of the document quickly scrubbed from the Internet after it became public a year ago. There was one exception, however. On Friday, the English-language edition of Xinhua, the official news agency, published a brief item about Mr. Liu’s sentencing. The article said the court “had strictly followed the legal procedures in this case and fully protected Liu’s litigation rights.” The Chinese-language version of Xinhua, however, made no mention of the verdict. Instead, it declared 2009 the “year of citizens’ rights.

Dissent Of The Day – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Maybe he would have been persuaded by the intelligence that we didn’t actually have the goods on WMDs; maybe his hawkishness would have waned in office as it did in opposition. But knowing Gore, I stick with my point. In office, I suspect he would have been much closer to my position on invasion at the time than he was.

I think this comment presumes starts at the wrong point of the decision to invade Iraq. Iraq wasn’t only about hawkiness, there was a lot of determined stupidity there too.
I really can’t see Gore in the days after 9/11 looking round his team and saying ‘and now into Iraq’.