FIONA SCOTT’S ASYLUM-SEEKER COMMENT THE ‘SILLIEST OF THE CAMPAIGN’

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ony Abbott and Fiona Scott Tony Abbott and Fiona Scott

Fiona Scott suggested asylum seekers were making traffic worse and also exacerbating traffic queues. Photo: Screen grab, 4 Corners

Tony Abbott and Fiona Scott on the hustings in St Marys, western Sydney. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

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Immigration Minister Tony Burke says Liberal candidate Fiona Scott, who suggested that asylum seekers were causing road congestion and hospital delays in western Sydney, deserves the award for silliest comment of the election campaign.

“[Asylum seekers are] a hot topic here because our traffic is overcrowded,” Ms Scott, the candidate for Lindsay, told the ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday.

When asked to explain her view, she said: “Go sit on the M4, people see 50,000 people come in by boat – that’s more than twice the population of [western Sydney suburb] Glenmore Park.”

During an immigration debate at the National Press Club on Tuesday, Mr Burke and opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison were asked whether they supported Ms Scott’s comments.

Mr Morrison leapt to her defence.

“I think what Fiona’s referring to I think is a broader population impact … [of] the population pressures on western Sydney and in places of Melbourne I think put real constraints on the cost of living,” he said.

“They put real constraints on the infrastructure that people can access and the services they can provide. I think Fiona has always been a passionate advocate for those things, and while the actual intake of refugees and asylum seekers into Australia is not as great as our general skilled migration program, the way that people are just frankly being dumped into the community by this government because the detention centres are full in a very unplanned way … I don’t think that’s the way to run a program.”

Mr Burke mocked Ms Scott’s remarks.

“The answer to your question is no. The comments would, I think, rate as some of the silliest of the election campaign, were it not for what Scott had said about [the] boat buy-back. The competition has been fierce. And it’s no surprise given what Scott said himself that he at least feels compelled to defend someone who says something a little bit less extreme.

“There are genuine issues in western Sydney that go to infrastructure, that go to planning … and more specifically with Sydney, of all of our cities, one where we keep putting the jobs at one end of the city and the houses at the other end of the city.

“But let’s be serious. In a context of the immigration program, where we’re dealing with 12 million people coming in and out every year – this is the cause of traffic? I think Scott deserves full marks as a loyal son of the Liberal Party for the answer that he just gave.”

Ms Scott, who is challenging Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury in Lindsay, came to prominence last month when Opposition Leader Tony Abbott controversially said she had “sex appeal”.

Asked about Ms Scott’s comments on Tuesday, Mr Abbott said he did not accept the reporter’s “characterisation” of her remarks, but accepted that asylum seekers were putting a strain on society.

“Obviously when you’ve got something like 50,000 illegal arrivals by boat that’s a big number,” Mr Abbott said at a press conference in Adelaide on Tuesday.

“We have all sorts of pressures that are created.”

The Opposition Leader then listed Australian towns that housed fewer people than the number of asylum seekers that had come by boat since Labor took power.

“The point of the matter is if we stop the boats we have less pressure on the budget,” Mr Abbott said.

“We have less pressure on our facilities for dealing with illegal arrivals, we have less pressure on our relationship with Indonesia.”

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said Ms Scott’s comments were “shockingly ignorant” and said there were only a few thousand refugees in the area.

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QANTAS UNVEILS NEW SEATS, POP-UP RESTAURANTS

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The new Qantas business class seats for the airline’s A330 aircraft. The Marc Newson-designed seats will allow passengers to remain reclining during take-off and landing.

Qantas is confident its new business-class seats unveiled recently will be the best in Australia and Asia.

The Marc Newson-designed seats are more like the sort of “private suites” found in some first-class cabins and convert to beds that lie totally flat. The seats have a Panasonic entertainment system with 16-inch screens, a large work table and generous storage area.

Passengers will be allowed to remain reclined during take-off and landing.

The seats will be introduced on the airline’s Airbus A330s flying east-west in Australia and to Asia from the end of next year.

Each seat in the staggered 1-2-1 configuration will have a high level of privacy and direct aisle access. They will also have Wi-Fi and an AC power socket.

“Qantas invented business class and these new business suites reflect what we know our customers want, whether they are flying for work or leisure,” chief executive Alan Joyce said.

“We have created a product that has enough space to dine while working or, if you want to rest, to leave the seat in a recline position from take-off to landing.”

New economy seats are also on the way for 10 A330s on international routes and refurbished economy seats for the 20 A330s on domestic routes.

The airline is also introducing a series of “pop-up” dining experiences at airports in Australia, starting with gourmet pies at its Sydney Qantas Club.

The pop-ups, with different food at each, will also appear in the Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth lounges throughout the year.

In Sydney between 3pm and 6pm on September 12, Qantas will serve Bert’s Pies, a creation by Alex Woolley, head chef at the two-hatted Sydney restaurant, est.

Hospitality and entertainment group Merivale held a competition among its chefs to create the ultimate meat pie and Woolley’s creation was judged the best.

Woolley said: “I’ve always believed that someone who truly loves pies makes the best pies. It took me, and the taste buds of est’s 17 chefs, three weeks and 80 pies to perfect our version using classic flavours and good quality ingredients”.

Qantas has not released details of the other pop-ups but the domestic executive manager, customer experience, Samantha Taranto, said: “Qantas has a great reputation for partnering with Australia’s best suppliers and challenging the notion of traditional airline food.

“Pop-up restaurants are just another way Qantas is pushing the boundaries in how they source, prepare and serve food to ensure customers enjoy a quality and unique dining experience while travelling.”

Meanwhile, Tigerair has introduced an in-flight menu that includes hot breakfast items for the first time.

The “Tiger Bites” menu includes hot bacon and egg turkish roll and freshly baked banana bread. Lunch items include a triple chicken club sandwich platter, and a feta and Mediterranean roast vegetable wrap.

Tigerair Australia commercial director Carly Brear said: “Our new menu may not have been designed by Neil Perry (Qantas’s consulting chef) nor is it served on designer plates, but it is designed with value and the customer in mind. Menu items start from just $4.

“Recently we launched a new-look website (meals can be ordered online) and mobile app and there are many more exciting changes to come over the coming months.”

QANTAS CANCELS FREIGHTER PLANE

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Qantas has ditched plans to add a near-new Boeing 747 freighter aircraft to its fleet, due to continued weakness in the international air-cargo market.

The latest figures from the peak airline body show that while the global air-freight market grew modestly in July, cargo demand in the Asia-Pacific region fell 1.4 per cent, due partly to sluggish business activity in China.

Qantas had intended to take on the freighter this year, to replace a contract it has with US air-cargo company Atlas Air to lease an older jumbo and crew – known as a wet lease.

A wet lease Qantas has on another Atlas Air jumbo is also up in 2015.

The freighter was to have been painted in the Qantas livery.

Last week Qantas’s annual results gave an insight into the weak state of the freight market. Its freight division booked a 20 per cent fall in pre-tax profit to $36 million in the year to June, which the airline said reflected an 11 per cent fall in its international cargo capacity.

Qantas took full control of air-cargo business Australian Air Express late last year after an asset-swap deal which involved Australia Post buying the airline’s half share of road-freight business Star Track Express.

Its freight unit now has 13 cargo aircraft including three 747s, one Boeing 767 used on the trans-Tasman route, and four 737 freighters.

A large portion of freight is also carried in the bellies of Qantas and Jetstar passenger jets.

Despite encouraging growth in Europe, International Air Transport Association boss Tony Tyler said the weakness in the Asia-Pacific region and a deteriorating political situation in the Middle East gave “ample reason for concern”.

“It is premature to say that air cargo may be emerging from the doldrums of the past 18 months,” he said.

This year, airlines in the Asia-Pacific region have experienced a 2 per cent fall in air freight.

The air-cargo market tends to be the canary in the coalmine for airlines. In the midst of the global financial crisis in 2008, demand for freight fell considerably further and more quickly than passenger traffic.

Deutsche Bank analysts have warned that the near-term outlook for the global air freight market, particularly on big export lanes in Asia, remains bleak because of an oversupply in capacity.

Airlines are expanding their fleets of large aircraft such as A380 superjumbos, which will boost capacity in what is considered an already oversupplied market.

Separately on Tuesday, Qantas released traffic statistics which show that yields – or return on fares – from its international operations fell in July, due to foreign airlines such as Singapore Airlines boosting capacity on routes to Australia in response to the alliance with Emirates.

Yields from domestic operations, including Jetstar, were flat in July, compared with the same month last year.

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Bike lane triumph for Lord Mayor

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IN an ironic twist, Barry O’Farrell’s push to take control of transport in Sydney’s CBD may finally complete Clover Moore’s network of bike lanes.

Despite the Premier’s hostility to the Lord Mayor’s plans for the city, a committee set up by Mr O’Farrell gave fresh momentum on Wednesday to building the extra bike lanes needed to finish the city’s grid.

The Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee was set up in May by the Premier, who declared that the city was being “held hostage” to Cr Moore’s political constituency.

“It’s very clear Clover Moore’s pitch for re-election is built around more bike lanes and making the CBD as unfriendly to cars as possible,” Mr O’Farrell said at the time.

In response, Mr O’Farrell set up a new committee, to be chaired by the Director-General of Transport for NSW, Les Wielinga, to take control of transport planning in the city.

The committee would feature another six members, three nominated by the government and three by the council.

But at its first meeting on Wednesday afternoon, that committee left Cr Moore beaming after it endorsed her agenda and gave new impetus to implementing it.

All seven committee members resolved to finish the design of the city’s bike network by May next year.

And they agreed to report back on a separate “access plan” for the CBD to co-ordinate bus, pedestrian and potentially light rail movements finished by March.

The executive manager of City Access and Transport Strategy at the Council, Terry Lee-Williams, said the committee’s joint approach should have happened long ago.

“We have until now had no formal mechanism for the two organisations to work together collaboratively,” he said.

Cr Moore said the commitment to work together on the completion of the bicycle network was “terrific”.

“This is a great move that we are working together on this important initiative for the city,” she said.

Cr Moore’s $76 million planned bike network through the city remains unfinished. In particular, there is no east-west crossing of the CBD, with the King Street cycleway running only two blocks from Sussex to Clarence street.

In August Fairfax Media revealed that while the Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, says Sydney’s bike lanes are in the wrong spot, his department has no such concerns.

The committee also discussed changing traffic lanes on College Street, between Oxford street and William Street.

Roads and Maritime Services proposed removing a pedestrian crossing and a lane of parking heading east on College Street in order to give more space to turning vehicles.

But Cr Moore raised safety concerns for students at Sydney Grammar School that the committee agreed to investigate.

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Blanchett injured in stage fight

html,body { border: 0px; }html,body { border: 0px; }Cate Blanchett was left bleeding from the head last night when a fight scene in a preview performance of the Sydney Theatre Company’s flagship production of A Streetcar Named Desire went badly wrong.The Oscar-winning actress was struck with a prop, forcing the abrupt cancellation of the show.Blanchett, who is playing sexual predator Blanche DuBois, was performing a scene with Joel Edgerton, who plays Stanley Kowalski, a part immortalised by Marlon Brando.A witness, who was at last night’s performance at the Sydney Theatre in Walsh Bay, said Edgerton accidentally hit Blanchett in the head with a ’60s-style radio. The impact could be heard in the audience and the actress and STC co-artistic director fell down on all fours. Several people said they could see blood streaming down the back of Blanchett’s head. She went off stage to fetch clothes for Stanley’s wife, Stella (Robin McLeavy), and used some of them to try to staunch the flow of blood.”He [Edgerton] was supposed to throw it [the radio] out the window, but it sort of slipped and hit her in the head �0�9?�0�7 she was so good, she just went straight on,” said the witness who declined to give her name.The show continued for about a minute until Blanchett was required to climb some stairs. At this point she realised she was hurt and left the stage.Edgerton continued to perform and was lying in a bath when a technician appeared on stage and stopped the show.”They just kind of went ‘Joel can you leave the stage please’,” another witness said.The audience were initially told there would be an intermission. But after they had gathered on the footpath outside the Sydney Theatre they were told the performance had been cancelled.Last night a spokesman for the STC said: ”Cate’s fine. I’ve just spoken to her and she’s fine.”She was confident tonight’s show would go on.with Ellie Harvey

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Chilli a hot prospect as medication

HILLI could one day replace aspirin for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to University of Tasmania scientists who are looking at the way the spicy fruit affects the blood.A research fellow at the university’s school of life sciences, Kiran Ahuja, said the two active ingredients in chilli – capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin – have the potential to lower blood glucose and insulin levels, reduce the formation of fatty deposits in artery walls and prevent blood clots.Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in developed countries.”We have tested capsaicin and that shows an effect on platelet aggregation, or the clotting of blood,” Dr Ahuja said.She said her research, which used chilli paste to minimise seasonal or batch variation, had not come across any side effects of chilli. In fact some studies had suggested chilli actually reduced the damage caused by aspirin.When it came to early-stage diabetes, when the pancreas overproduced insulin in an attempt to help the body absorb glucose, Dr Ahuja’s research suggested consuming chilli resulted in the body producing less insulin, while the glucose was still used efficiently.”It may actually delay or prevent the onset of diabetes,” she said.But for those wondering just how much chilli to add to their stir fry, Dr Ahuja said that’s still to be established.”It depends on how hot the chilli is, as the hotter it is, the more capsaicin it has.”Dr Ahuja, who has been working in this research area since 2003, has received $16,400 in funding from the University of Tasmania to continue the project, which will include comparing the effectiveness of chilli and aspirin on blood thinning.She also hopes to establish what amount of chilli would have the same effect on blood clotting as a standard dose of aspirin. The work is due to be completed by late next year.

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Export threat as consortium refuses to share

HE Treasurer, Wayne Swan, said yesterday the eyes of the Government were firmly fixed on a dispute at the Newcastle coal terminal that threatens to jeopardise future port expansion plans and cost the country millions in lost export earnings.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission this week lost patience with the BHP-led consortium at Newcastle over its refusal to sign up to a new agreement on sharing port facilities.The dispute is typical of arguments over who gets to use port and rail facilities. Because this infrastructure is often owned by a monopoly, regulators need to ensure that other parties have access.At Newcastle, the ACCC has had a temporary approval in place for years, allowing development of the port facilities. But it has revoked the approval because, it is understood, of differences with BHP over who should control use of the crowded facilities.Mr Swan said he was ”extremely concerned” at reports that the expansion plans could be jeopardised, and would contact the Infrastructure Minister, Anthony Albanese, about the issue.”It goes to the core of our productive capacity, and our capacity to export,” the Treasurer said.Later, Mr Albanese said the Commonwealth had had discussions with the NSW Ports Minister and urged a timely resolution of any outstanding issues. The chairman of the ACCC, Graeme Samuel, told ABC Radio the parties had plenty of time to meet a deadline about a new agreement to share the facilities.”We’ve come to the conclusion that it is no longer in the public interest, there’s no longer an overwhelming public benefit in having this so called transition arrangement in place,” Mr Samuel said.The NSW Ports Minister, Joe Tripodi, said the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group – led by BHP – had helped out on signing a new agreement with the State Government because the state insisted it build a new coal loader to its full capacity.”That’s the sticking point, the Government will not change its position on this, that we are not allowing a coal-loading business to sit on capacity while there’s so much demand from coal producers to have export capacity through the port,” Mr Tripodi said.

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Newsagents to bid for Lotteries as sale talks stall

TALKS between the State Government and newsagents over the sale of NSW Lotteries have broken down and relations have become acrimonious following a decision by the agents to bid for the asset.The Newsagents Association of NSW and the ACT had been pressuring the Government to introduce onerous conditions on the sale that would protect newsagents for up to six years.But this week the association told the Government it was planning to enter a consortium to bid for the lotteries, leaving it open to the claim that by pushing for conditions on the purchaser, it could have been driving down the sale price for its own benefit.The sale is expected to fetch more than $500 million.”The NSW Government will no longer discuss with [the association] potential legislative amendments or licence conditions given probity requirements and the need to ensure a fair process for all bidders,” the Treasurer, Eric Roozendaal, informed the association yesterday in a letter obtained by the Herald.In a surprise move this week, the association told the Government it was launching a consortium of all newsagents to bid for NSW Lotteries, arguing that maintaining present resale arrangements for lottery products ”is in the best interests of the people of NSW”.In meetings with some MPs this week, the association said the sale proposal and the associated regulations would not provide sufficient protection for the viability of many newsagents.”Our consortium represents all NSW Lotteries agents and enshrines the role of small businesses being the provider of lotteries products and services in NSW,” it said in a briefing note given to the MPs.The Government receives about $350 million a year in royalties and taxes from NSW Lotteries. This is forecast to fall by about $50 million a year following the sale.The State Opposition put its weight behind the lotteries sale last year, but it is now opposing the privatisation and claiming that newsagents need greater protection.

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DNA to be obtained by force if necessary

THE State Government has moved to strengthen legislation so that force can be used to obtain the DNA of those listed on the child protection register who refuse to provide it voluntarily.It follows pressure from the police, who said some offenders on the register have refused to co-operate since the Government’s move last year requiring them to provide their DNA.”Offenders who come into regular contact with police are adept at skirting around the law as a way of frustrating authorities and avoiding detection,” the Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, said. “These new laws will strengthen the process for taking DNA from offenders who have a history of harming children and continue to pose a risk to the community.”Lawyers cautioned that the courts already hold these powers, and that the police could make their case to the courts and let a judge decide.”It is unreasonable to give police that sort of power,” said Stephen Blanks of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties. ”The power to compel DNA samples should be up to the courts.”Under the proposed legislation, police will be able to detain people on the register who fail to co-operate and, if necessary, take a DNA sample by force. Additionally, if people on the register refuse to present themselves at a police station to provide a DNA sample, then police will be able to obtain a warrant for their arrest.”It is important that we take a DNA sample from everyone who has ever committed a serious crime against a child,” Mr Hatzistergos said.Offenders who go to prison for indictable offences automatically have their DNA taken under laws introduced in 2000. But those who committed offences earlier, or interstate offenders now living in NSW, do not have their DNA on file.People on the register must let police know where they live and work, and also what car they drive. This information allows police to keep tabs on them and gives police an important way of targeting repeat offenders.

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Finally, hospitals that make you feel better

ands up all who have ventured into hospitals and have ever: 1) been lost trying to navigate their way around; 2) had their dignity and privacy shredded by curtains masquerading as sound barriers; 3) left sleep deprived after all the racket; and 4) picked up a hospital-acquired infection.Keep your hand up if you feel you’ve ever won the public hospital lottery – a private room. Not so many hands waving. This is about to change with a revolution coming to hospital design.The new generation of hospitals being built – including multibillion-dollar public hospital projects such as the Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, the Gold Coast University Hospital and the new Royal Adelaide Hospital – are signalling the demise of multi-bed wards. Single-bed rooms will account for 60 to 75 per cent of accommodation in these new hospitals.The new public/private Mater Mothers’ Hospital in Brisbane, which delivers 10,000 babies a year, is already basking on the public relations map as ”the premier maternity facility in the southern hemisphere”. All 90 beds in the private section are single. In the public part, 39 per cent are singles – 61 per cent are two-bed rooms.Australian health facility guidelines call for 30 per cent of beds to be single roomed – and the guidelines aren’t mandatory. What has tipped the balance to accepting the single room movement, despite higher construction costs, is the work of an American architecture professor, Roger Ulrich, the guru of evidence-based design.Just as evidence-based medicine sought to analyse studies and make findings about what treatments, procedures and drugs were most effective for patients, Ulrich asked how hospital design affected medical errors, infection rates, falls, pain, stress, sleep, privacy and patient satisfaction.His work has influenced the design of Sydney’s newest public hospital – the $145 million Auburn Hospital – and its collaborating architects, Silver Thomas Hanley and Hassell, have engaged Ulrich as a consultant on two of their projects, the $1.76 billion Fiona Stanley and the $1.5 billion Gold Coast University hospitals.NSW could do with some good news about its hospitals. The Garling inquiry’s endorsement of our public hospitals as one of the better public health care systems in the developed world was overwhelmed by the evidence of a system in crisis.It told of elderly women, and men, stuck in mixed-gender wards in our premier teaching hospitals. And doctors whose hand hygiene was so poor Garling wrote: ”A sizeable proportion of them trail infection around like sparks in a dry wheat field on the black soil plains at Mullaley, bringing great risk to the patients.”Ailing infrastructure was highlighted again by the publication last month of a damning photo of a possum, and its offending poo, inside a unit at Hornsby Hospital. And even when NSW did embark on new hospitals, there were spectacular bungles. Failing to listen to clinical staff, the new $100 million Bathurst Base Hospital was riddled with construction and design failures, from operating theatres that were too small to inadequate communications and alarm systems.Professor Guy Maddern, from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, says clinicians had to be involved with the planning of facilities. ”Most of us get quite frustrated because they [architects] don’t fully understand what might be coming with respect to new treatments or interventions. For example, no one built for the explosion in minimal access surgery.”What has already arrived is the era of bringing technology to the room, rather than trolleying the patient to the technology. Studies show this reduces medical errors. Operating theatres are also changing. They need to be bigger to cater for more technology and staff, Maddern says.”I suspect with the ageing population it is going to require more reliance on hospital-based care than we have had for the last 20 years. Although the procedures are less invasive, the patients are not as fit medically. The architects say most patients should be managed by single rooms. That greatly enhances the potential for infection control, but if people don’t wash their hands �0�9?�0�7”In his home town, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital will be staggeringly different. ”Currently there would be 5 per cent single rooms. They are talking 60-70 per cent single.” And the redevelopment of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide has 40 per cent single occupancy, 40 per cent two-person, with 20 per cent given to traditional room numbers.Associate Professor Jane Carthey, director of the Centre for Health Assets Australasia at UNSW, says Australia has some of the best and most creative health architects in the world. But she queries the wholesale adoption of Ulrich’s recommendations, as they rely substantially on overseas research. She also believes he doesn’t sufficiently emphasise other important factors such as environmental sustainability and working conditions.In Australia, the nature of our public system means funds are limited. ”The amount we spend on health care is approximately 9.3 per cent of GDP compared with the US, which spends well over 15 per cent,” Carthey says.When it came to single rooms, the evidence was that most patients preferred them, they were less noisy, less stressful and there was less exposure to infections. But much of the research comes from countries with higher rates of hospital-acquired infection than experienced in Australia.”Western Australia and South Australia are both building major hospital projects and have relied on overseas evidence. In reality they have had to make judgments based on information provided by overseas experts regarding what would work for our system, which is quite different to the US system in particular,” Carthey says.”I think we need more single rooms, but whether it’s 100 per cent or 75 per cent, or fewer, I don’t know. I don’t believe anybody knows this, as so little Australian-focused research on this issue has been done; also the issue must be considered in terms of what we can actually afford to build.”While some architects champion technology as a way to help nurses overcome all the walking that results from single-patient rooms – by using monitors feeding information to the nurses in satellite locations – it was not a model that all nurses preferred.Nurses, especially student nurses, often prefer to work together in a central spot where they can support each other and share expertise, Carthey says. As for remote monitoring: ”Nurses have to be visible to patients, so that the patients feel cared for. Some patients, especially older ones, feel neglected if they see nurses and other staff less often, and this seems to be the case where there are many single rooms on a ward.”Sarita Chand, a principal of BVN Architecture and one of the country’s foremost health centre designers, says Ulrich’s research validated what many architects had been intuitively designing. But she agreed with Carthey that the Ulrich patient-focused model did not adequately address staff working conditions.The Australian Building Code has always required natural light in overnight patients’ rooms but there’s no such code for staff, she says. ”We have staff sitting for 20 years of their life in offices without windows. Staff work areas and offices are required to have access to natural light in Europe.”That meant hospitals needed to be designed with a thin architectural footprint, with courtyards funnelling natural light into offices and treatment and diagnostic areas – not the fat footprints seen in 1970s-era hospitals such as the old Prince of Wales at Randwick and Royal North Shore. This type of building would also address sustainable design issues for hospitals, which are huge consumers of energy.”Hospital buildings are the most expensive buildings, the most complex buildings �0�9?�0�7 they are buildings where humans are at their most vulnerable and technology is at its highest,” Chand says. She knows the pros and cons of the two camps – those comforted by visible technology; those wanting resort style ”hospitals in disguise” – but she is in no doubt that technology is crucial in managing a health system dealing with chronic staff shortages.”Clever use of technology can improve clinical processes, it can organise better and safe patient flow, and avoid duplication,” she says.To her mind, hospitals have lost their status as valuable landmarks; the importance that comes with places of birth and death. ”My crusade is to get better design into hospitals, and for them to regain their status as being valued elements in the community.”

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