Home' The Loxton News : July 4th 2018 Contents 2 NEWS
The Loxton News, Wednesday, July 4, 2018
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THURSDAY, JULY 5
Would you like to learn the German
language? U3A Riverland will be holding an
information session in the U3A clubrooms in
the Berri RSL premises at 2pm. Members and
non-members welcome. May even include
German cake as refreshments. For further
details contact Marian 0412 649 766.
LOCAL CLUB NEWS
LOXTON SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB
The Loxton Senior Citizens Club recently held
an afternoon of entertainment in aid of the
palliative care unit at the Loxton Hospital
The entertainment was provided by club and
guest artists. 52 visitors and club members
attended, raising $394. Thank you to all who
helped make this event a success.
Our club meets every Tuesday from 1pm
to 4pm at the hall on Tobruk Terrace with
various activities and afternoon tea.
New members and visitors welcome.
Inquiries to Margaret on 0488 517 368.
Thanks again for your feedback and
suggestions. (Usually they are sen-
sible and positive, but I am quite happy
for you to let me know if you think I’m
Recently, one bloke, who may have
ingested too many alcoholic beverages,
even bet me that I couldn’t incorporate
the words “erection, red wine and Roger”
in my next article. But, it seems I already
have, so that might be the easiest dollar
I’ve ever earned. The remainder of the
column will have nothing to do with any of
I heard on the news tonight that some
poor souls have been waiting for metro-
politan public hospital outpatient appoint-
ments for over 10 years.
Rural GPs and country patients have
been increasingly frustrated with long
delays in public specialist access, but this
is totally ridiculous and unacceptable.
Certainly we are well aware that some
specialties – like pain management, spinal
surgery, etc. – have had very long waiting
lists for a long while. Two years would not
But, we have also heard from a growing
number of our patients recently that they
have gone to Adelaide for their appoint-
ment, sat around all day (with little informa-
tion – let alone food) and been informed
late in the afternoon that they won’t be
seen after all so will need to re-book.
Do those metro-centric clowns have any
idea how annoying, inconvenient and cost-
ly that is if you dare to be crook and live
250km from Adelaide? At a minimum we
are talking about a full day off work, a six-
hour return road trip and $100 of fuel and
car parking – all for nothing!
But, we shouldn’t feel that it is only rural
people who are suffering from deficiencies
in what we loosely call the health “system”.
I was speaking with a former Loxton GP,
now working in Adelaide this week and he
had exactly the same complaints about
access to specialist services.
He practices in the leafy eastern sub-
urbs, but assured me that even in the
private sector many specialties are hard to
engage and private insurance, if you can
afford it, is not always the answer.
As I saw it, the advantages in keeping
private insurance, in deference to the spi-
raling premiums, were improving access
to services, ensuring choice of specialist
and keeping out of pocket expenses to a
minimum, but it seems that none of these
still apply with any certainty.
A friend with private insurance recently
had an extraction of a couple of impacted
wisdom teeth requiring some sedation (not
a full general anaesthetic) provided by an
After the procedure, she was ushered
out of the hospital before she felt well
enough to leave and given a bill for the
“gaps” (i.e. her out of pocket costs after
her private insurance had done its bit)
totaling well over a thousand dollars.
And many women who chose to have
their baby with a private city obstetrician
end up many thousands out of pocket
despite their private cover – and this can
blow out astronomically if there are com-
Good luck using your private insurance
to see the specialist of your choice. First
they must be able to work in a hospital
which is affiliated with your private fund,
then they need to be willing or able to fit
If you go to a private hospital with your
acute sports injury on a Saturday, it is
highly unlikely that you will have any choice
of orthopaedic surgeon (let alone anaes-
thetist) and many specialist groups these
days hire locums to cover weekends who
are likely to be less experienced than the
doctor you would prefer.
Meanwhile, to remain attractive, private
insurers are offering policies which include
all kinds of unproven paramedical thera-
pies or two pairs of eye glasses per annum
whether you need them or not and this
adds to our premiums at the expense of
their core services. No wonder people are
dropping private health in droves – adding
pressure to the public system.
Transforming Health has left us without
enough city hospital beds and there are so
many ambulances in the queue at the RAH
and FMC these days, I think they could sell
off most of the ambulance stations and
will probably need to invent a whole new
service, which provides critical care and
perhaps even emergency surgery in the
back of ambulances in hospital car parks.
Now I’ve fired myself up and while I’m on
a roll – I almost gave up writing this article
tonight because the internet is so slow that
I have been stopping to wait for the word
processor to catch up with my ridiculously
tardy typing speed and earlier today I
switched off my phone’s 4G because I was
getting “one bar” or “SOS only” in my own
home in the middle of town on the new
When I changed back to 3G, five missed
calls arrived including two reasonably
important messages from the hospital –
from two days ago.
Rest assured that we have a number
of layers of backup in our practice so my
cover was called and responded appropri-
ately in my stead, but this is rubbish.
I believe that the time has come for us
all to start agitating for better than this.
Join me and write to your local member (at
least) about the system failures.
Health is no longer a system?
ON LOCAL HEALTH
Health is no longer a system?
with Dr Peter Hamilton
and The Chaffey Theatre presents . .
For your chance to win a double pass for
Simply post this original coupon to:
PO Box 832, Renmark 5341
or drop into the Renmark office of
The Murray Pioneer
Drawn on Tuesday, July 10.
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Loxton News price rise
From today, the price of The Loxton
News will increase by 10 cents from
$1.50 to $1.60.
The increase is necessary to cover rising
It will be the first price increase in three
LOCAL SPORT: PAGES 13, 16-20
Chamber launches new logo
by Stephanie Thompson
The Loxton Chamber of Commerce
unveiled its new logo on Monday,
which aims to embody the group’s
success, progress and innovation.
Loxton Chamber of Commerce business
and events manager Sonya Altschwager said
the logo incorporates many of the group’s
“It is really important that the logo repre-
sents who we are,” she said.
“We’ve got the river flowing through it and
we’ve got the green for the agriculture.
“We have different sized spots to indicate
our broad and diverse membership and some
of the dots join together to indicate business-
Ms Altschwager said the same font as East
Terrace’s Loxton sign was used for the logo.
“That is iconic for our town,” she said.
Loxton Chamber of Commerce executive
committee member Annette Winter, of That’s
Graphic, designed the logo.
“We sincerely thank Annette for her efforts
in creatively translating our vision onto paper
and helping to develop our brand new image,”
Ms Altschwager added.
The Loxton Chamber of Commerce’s new logo was unveiled this week.
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