Five-year wait for knee that works

SOMETIMES IT’S A CHOICE BETWEEN FOOD AND COMFORT: Scherri Jeffrey (left) with Rebecka Dukeson, a family friend and nurse who ”despairs” when watching Ms Jeffrey go through pain. Picture: Jason Hollister.SCHERRI Jeffrey is at breaking point.
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The Burnie pensioner told 300 people at a community health forum in Devonport last night she does not want to go on living in agony.

Ms Jeffrey was recently told she may have to wait for two to five years before she has her left knee reconstructed.

“I tried to call Hobart to see if I could have it done there and I’ve been told it would be a minimum of 12 months before I could even see somebody,” she said.

“It’s the psychological cost of being in constant pain that I’ve been going through.”

Ms Jeffrey recently had surgery on her right foot which has collapsed. She needs follow-up surgery on her right foot and eventually will need her right knee replaced.

“With what’s happening now, who knows how long that will be,” she said.

Ms Jeffrey is spending $50 to $60 a fortnight on pain management and said she often borrows money off her son or goes without her medication so she can afford to eat.

“By the time I pay for board I have to ask myself what’s more important, food or medication? Food usually wins out,” she said.

Family friend and North West Regional Hospital nurse Rebecka Dukeson is in despair watching Ms Jeffrey’s struggle.

“I wish I could take her pain away, it just makes me want to cry,” she said.

“She’s not even 60 years old and she’s house-bound. It’s affecting her quality of life.”

Ms Dukeson trained as a nurse in Orange, NSW, and after seeing the crisis in the health care system there chose to move back to the Coast and family and friends two years ago.

“I’m 25 and I’m still having a crisis of career,” she said.

Orthopaedic surgeon Russell Furzer works in the public and private health systems at the Mersey Community and North West Regional hospitals.

Mr Furzer said elective joint replacements were the most expensive to do and had been one of the areas hardest hit.

“We have to choose which one of a large group we’re going to select to operate on,” he said.

Mr Furzer said the luck-of- the draw system was based on the length of time a patient was likely to have to stay in hospital.

NWRH operating room suite registered nurse Bill Kerr said surgeons were being forced to make decisions about which patients could have their surgeries performed as day cases, even if an overnight stay in hospital was preferred.

Mr Furzer said elective joint replacement surgery had been slashed at Burnie from 24 a month before Christmas to just six a month in recent times, but 24 surgeries a month were still being booked.

Mr Kerr said it would be years before that level of patient backlog could be cleared.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Call for a single funder

Panel members at last night’s community health forum. Picture: Jason HollIster.THE North-West Coast has once again answered the call to arms with close to 300 people attending the community health forum in Devonport last night.
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The panel, made up of nine experts, decided along with members of the community that the best way to fix the health care system for good was to fight the cuts at the next Federal Budget and push for one funder of health for the state – preferably the Federal Government – to cut duplication of services and increase efficiencies.

AMA president and general practitioner John Davis said if this was done it would stop the blame game and de-politicise health, it would end the boom and bust cycles between elections because no matter which political party came to power, health has not been managed well in Tasmania.

Mersey Community Hospital high dependency unit registered nurse Angela Manion said there was an expectation in the community that because the Mersey was federally funded, it was not as affected by the cuts as other Tasmanian hospitals.

Ms Manion said over Easter three heart attack survivors were in the hospital’s high dependency unit for a week while they waited to travel to Launceston for much- needed diagnostic tests.

“It is frightening. If it was my relative in the bed I would not be happy,” she said.

Ms Manion said too much time was taken up trying to co-ordinate the transport that could have been spent looking after the patients.

In the end only one could go to Launceston at a time. “Of the three which one do we send?”

The panel said a lot of the $100million savings out of the health budget over the past six months since they were announced have resulted in cost increases rather than savings in staff sick leave and overtime, pressure on other areas of the health system such as mental health patients in hospitals and a loss of expertise to the mainland.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Man admits to rape

A MAN who raped a woman at Ulverstone will be sentenced on May 3.
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The man yesterday pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Burnie to one count of rape.

The woman was his ex-partner, the court heard.

The man was looking after a child when the woman had a shower one day last year, crown prosecutor Tony Jacobs said.

She then went into her room wearing only a towel to find the man sitting on the bed.

She asked him to leave and he put his arms around her, Mr Jacobs said.

“Her towel fell off and he pulled her over to the bed.”

When the rape was taking place, Mr Jacobs said, the woman told the man to stop but he continued for at least two minutes, and the woman said for five minutes.

Mr Jacobs said the woman had started seeing another man after the relationship broke up and the man was “too angry to stop” once the rape started.

Katie Edwards, for the man, said her client was very much in love with the complainant.

She said they broke up because she was seeing another man.

Until the crime took place, Ms Edwards said, he had believed there was a real chance of them getting back together.

“When the towel fell, or, in his mind, was perhaps removed, he took it as an indication.

“He believed his advances were not being rejected.”

Ms Edwards said the woman mentioned the other man’s name and that led to “his anger and loss of control”.

“He indicated he was too angry to stop … and continued for approximately two minutes before realising what he was doing and stopping himself.

“He knew what he was doing and he was angry,” Chief Justice Ewan Crawford said.

He remanded the man in custody for sentencing.

The man cannot be named for legal reasons relating to the protection of the identities of sexual assault victims.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Special service pays homage to servicemen

Lieutenant Commander Troy Battishall of Submarine Headquarters at HMAS Stirling (western Australia) guest speaking at the Strathdevon in Latrobe Anzac Day service.THE legacy of Teddy Sheean was upheld yesterday when several submariners visited a special Anzac service at Strathdevon Aged Care Home.
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The service was held by the Navy submariners to help reinforce their own ties to Latrobe, through Teddy Sheean , and to pay their respects to some of the returned servicemen who currently live at the home.

Strathdevon spokeswoman Roz Hill said it was the first time the home had held a service with the Navy representatives, but said they spoke eloquently.

“They did an excellent job,” she said.

“They (the submariners) spoke with a lot of depth and said a lot of things they (residents) could relate to.”

Mrs Hill said it was very important the residents got to be included in an Anzac Day service because it was close to their hearts.

“Some of the guys here are returned servicemen.

“And we’ve got some ladies here who lost husbands in the war.”

Chief Petty Officer Darren Thompson said it was important for submariners to be involved in the Anzac services at Latrobe.

“We have a submarine named after Teddy (Sheean),” he said.

“So it’s important for us to have representatives here at Latrobe.”

Chief Petty Officer Thompson said not many people were aware of the submariners’ role in the events at Gallipoli so it was great they could shed some light.

“Not many people know, but we had a submarine, the A2, who actually barged her way through and was causing havoc behind the Turkey lines,” chief petty officer Thompson said.

See our extensive Anzac Day coverage, both online and in paper, tomorrow and Thursday.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Readers turn to app when weather turns wild

Katrina Newall, of Port Sorell, took this photo of hail in her backyard yesterday. TWIST AND TURN: Sharni Williams photographed the twister and stormy skies over Port Sorell yesterday.
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WHEN Paige Smith stepped outside for her lunch break yesterday, she got quite a surprise.

”She just knocked off to go to lunch,” her mum Fiona Smith explained.

”When she saw all of these people looking up in the sky and there were two twisters.”

The Squeaking Point woman snapped the weather phenomenon with her iPhone and submitted them via

”They were huge,” Ms Smith’s mother said.

Airlee Barwick, of Port Sorell, also witnessed the twisters and submitted a photo via the app.

”It happened about 1.30pm,” Miss Barwick said.

”We were just standing and we saw them, and then there were two.

”It just got really black and then they started forming,” she explained.

Miss Barwick said the twisters were moving east and said she took the photos quite a distance from where they appeared to be.

”They were quite massive, we are quite away from the water and they were over the water.

”It was crazy to watch, you could just see them moving.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Health fears aired at community forum

Neroli Ellis.
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The panel of experts and front-line workers.

Tonight we’re issuing a series of updates from the Community Health Forum being held in Devonport and organised by the Australian Nursing Federation. Hit ‘refresh’ to see the latest updates between 6.45pm and 8.30pm.

We’ll also be moderating reader comments on this article during the evening.

8.42 – Closing comments. Neroli Ellis thanks health staff for speaking out despite being warned not to do so.

8.36 – Brenton Best takes mic after urging from those in the crowd. Says he is not there to defend the govt, he is there to listen to concerns. Also says he has told premier he would have preferred a more collaborative approach with Tassie health trade unions.

8.33 – Retrenched health worker questions pollie pay hikes while health crisis continues.

8.32 – Brett Whiteley calls on upper house to reject the budget bill if the health cuts go head.



















This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

VIDEO: In the line of fire

MEMORIES: War veteran Jim Whitehead, of Ulverstone.Veteran Jim Whitehead spoke to
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This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Woman found dead: son charged with murder

A MAN has been charged with allegedly murdering his 77-year-old mother at Newnham.
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Today at about 9.50am a 77-year-old woman was discovered dead within her unit at Alanvale.

Police and Ambulance were called and attended the scene.

While conducting investigations at the scene Police were approached by a 52-year-old man.

It was determined that the man was the son of the deceased and resided with her.

As a result of investigations the 52-year-old man was formally charged with one count of murder.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Armed siege at Risdon

Police have been called to Risdon Prison were an armed siege is reported to have taken place.Police have been callled to an armed siege at Risdon Prison.
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Nine Huon maximuim security prisoners have released their hostages and their homemade weapons have been seized.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Weather cancels Kommunity Kids event

TODAY’S Kommunity Kids fun day and barbecue at East Devonport has been postponed due to inclement weather.
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The event, which was expected to start at 3pm, has been rescheduled to May 14.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.