[LINK] Pandemic pandemonium

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Wed Jun 10 11:16:59 EST 2009

At 10:30 AM 10/06/2009, Tom Worthington wrote:
>>... the anecdotal stories like the one David pointed to are still a 
>>worry. ...
>The story was useful in illustrating a mindset which needs to be 
>changed: that there is someone I can phone to fix my problem for me. 
>Health professionals do not have the time, nor are they equipped, to 
>explain how to deal with swine flu to each individual in Australia. 
>In the event of a pandemic, medical services will only be available 
>to the most seriously ill, everyone else will have to be cared for 
>by family and volunteers.

But that's my point perfectly. The advice given by the government, 
the Minister in fact, was to call the GP. It's not a matter of the 
caring after one is diagnosed, it was the confusion over the 
particular circumstance of a particular individual and the 
impressions about the need for testing. A website will not help an 
individual make a diagnosis. It has to be Real medical attention.

It's not a matter of "each individual in Australia". It's a matter of 
providing direct treatment and advice to those with symptoms. If we 
can't deal with this level of disease situation, we're sunk if there 
were a real medical emergency. When the terrorism threats were 
running high back in the 2001/2 time period, I was on a community 
advisory board for our local hospital system. I asked the CEO and 
ACEO what the public could count on should a similar situation occur 
here. I got almost a 'tut tut' pat on the head assurance that all 
would be well, that it was in hand. Now as soon as a measly flu bug 
hits, the whole system wants to throw up its hands and complain how 
bad things are for them when people show up at these VERY SAME 
emergency departments for help. So what would they do in this 'well 
in hand' system if there really were a bad situation? I shudder to 
think. I dare say we WILL be on our own and web pages will be the 
least of our concerns.

Sorry about the rant, Tom, but I think you and many others think that 
central information is the key to this, but it isn't for those who 
have the need for next tier action like medical care.


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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