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Critical Care Controversies 2002 Conference, Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre, Tasmania.



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Speech Senator the Hon Kay Patterson Minister for Health and Ageing

Critical Care Controversies 2002 Conference

Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre, Tasmania 1 November 2002

This text was endorsed by the Minister for use in speaking at this event. Please check against actual delivery.

First of all, thank you for this Award for supporting Postgraduate Education in Intensive Care Medicine in Tasmania.

I am pleased that my Department was able to assist the Tasmanian Institute of Critical Care in a small way in convening this conference.

I am delighted to open this Critical Care Conference, and I welcome our distinguished visitors.

Tasmania is one of the best-kept secrets in Australia and I hope you are able to see something of its beauty and charm while you are here.

This Conference has brought together outstanding Australian and international clinicians, researchers and lecturers, and I congratulate Dr Yastrebov and the organising committee for the excellent program you have developed.

This is an opportunity for everyone to keep up-to-date and share your professional experiences.

I am very pleased that this regional location allows local health professionals access to our distinguished guests, and also provides our mainland and international visitors with insights into regional critical care medicine in Australia.

As you may know, I recently visited a number of mainland hospitals to thank them for providing top-quality emergency care after the Bali tragedy.

One of the positives to come out of this tragedy is that our community now has a better appreciation of the value of your work and the pressures you work under.

I would like to thank all those involved in providing excellent care in such difficult circumstances.

Today, I want to talk about clinical practice improvement, and the Commonwealth Government supports this through initiatives including:

The National Institute of Clinical Studies which works with clinicians to increase the effective application of evidence, ●

The Clinical Support Systems Program, which is leading the way in improving clinical practice in areas such as bowel cancer, stroke and heart care, and ●

The Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care. ●

As you know, care of the critically ill is evolving rapidly, and also depends very much on the abilities and judgement of the doctors and health professionals providing that care.

Further, critical care is delivered by a multidisciplinary team, and there is also the requirement that care be effective and cost-efficient.

Improving the evidence base for critical care could reduce these pressures and assist critical care workers to know they are providing consistent top-quality care.

I recently opened a session of the Emergency Department Collaborative sponsored by the National Institute of Clinical Studies, which is showing good results in applying evidence-based care in the emergency department.

The Collaborative involved over 40 hospitals across Australia, and it was exciting that three-quarters of the hospitals reduced the time patients wait to receive pain relief when they arrive in Emergency.

And there was also success in reducing the waiting time for patients who require thrombolysis.

These results show the real gains to be made in terms of quality of care from the application of evidence-based medicine in the area of critical and emergency care.

There is also exciting potential for these gains to spread throughout the hospital system in Australia.

I also recently announced the Government would pay a national subscription to the Cochrane Library, so that clinicians and consumers alike are able to access the full range of information free of charge.

I hope that this will assist you in further improving the evidence base underpinning your work.

I would also like to mention the National Institute of Clinical Studies Cochrane Users' Award.

This comprises a major prize of $5,000 and five smaller prizes of $1,000 for health professionals who use the Cochrane Library to improve clinical practice.

I congratulate the Tasmanian Institute of Critical Care for organising this Conference which I am delighted to declare open.

It is also a privilege to present awards to the following people, who are dedicated to ongoing research and education in critical care areas.

Professor Luciano Gattinoni 'for a major international contribution to the development of science and practice in critical care medicine"

Professor Tony Bell 'for a major contribution to the establishment of intensive care services in Tasmania'

Mr Neil Beer 'for a major organisational contribution to postgraduate education in intensive care medicine in Tasmania'

Professor Douglas Coursin who is awarded an Honorary Professorship of the Tasmanian Institute of Critical Care 'for major contributions to international postgraduate education in critical care anaesthesia and intensive care medicine'.

I congratulate the recipients and wish everyone an enjoyable and productive Conference.

ENDS

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Published on Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing web site 4 November 2002 Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing URL: http://www.health.gov.au/mediarel/yr2002/kp/kpsp021101.htm