Medicines Australia and the Western Desert Dialysis Truck

The Purple House’s (Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku) dialysis truck has been a long time coming. But the wait is worth it.

Cross border issues with funding and the locations to where patients in the tri-state (WA/SA/NT) area have to move for dialysis means members of remote communities can be a long way from home.

This dialysis truck can move to any central Australian Aboriginal community to allow some dialysis patients from the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia to return home to country and spend time with family.

Despite the benefits this truck will bring I am a little annoyed by how the funding for this truck is portrayed.

There was no government money involved but that didn’t stop the politicians coming out for the handover of the vehicle to this Indigenous owned and controlled dialysis service.

But that isn’t what annoys me.

The money came from the pharmaceutical industry group Medicines Australia. And here is where it starts to annoy me.

Western desert dialysis truck

In all the reports including ABC TV news, Medicines Australia press release and even this article by the head of the WDNWPT applaud the generosity of the industry in donating the money for this $340,000 dialysis truck.

The reality is that it isn’t a donation where members have said “oh this is a good idea – lets chip in to help”. It is funded by the collection of fines from when Medicines Australia members (drug companies) break their own guidelines when spruiking their drugs.

If drug companies are thought to have breached the Code of Conduct they are asked to front the monitoring committee where if found guilty are fined what I consider to be peanuts for a large multinational company. The fines in 2010-2011 (see pages 11-12), totalled $160,000.

So drug companies continually breach their code of conduct, pay a fine which their industry body collects and then “donates” making the industry appear wonderful.

As Jarrad Hall commented on Twitter

I wonder if we little people can do that. I feel like donating to charity, I might go speeding later

I’d prefer some openness and honesty in saying where the money comes from.

But should Medicines Australia be allowed to hang on to these fines at all?

Western Desert Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku (WDNWPT) win the Team Excellence category in the HESTA Primary Health Care Awards

Congratulations to Sarah Brown and her team at Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku (making all our familes well) or as it is known – The Purple House – on winning this award.

“Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku” means “Making all our familes well” is owned and managed by the members of Kintore (NT) and Kiwirrkurra (WA) communities. It’s aim is to bring respite haemodialysis to remote areas to allow for respite visits back to country and family.

As well as the purple house in Alice Springs they have set up a respite house in Kintore and a mobile dialysis bus is nearly complete.

You can learn more about them at WesternDialysis.com.
The bush garden at the Purple House was also featured on Gardening Australia earlier in the year.

Related Post: Cross Border Health: Renal Disease

Indigenous News – Health

News

  • NPY Womens Council hold a dialysis forum in APY lands at 30th birthday celebrations. No men, no local health service? http://bit.ly/aiPX4z
  • Our black health gap: less spent on primary aboriginal health http://bit.ly/b03ls1
  • GPs can Close the Gap through better ID of Indigenous patients to improve their access to Medicare benefits http://bit.ly/dhTc09
  • Lowitja Institute & ANU have launched a new publication with recommendations on how GPs can help Close the Gap http://bit.ly/8YL7WX
  • 15,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with low vision and 3,300 who are blind http://bit.ly/d8T9HM
  • THE NT’s most remote bush health clinic has received a stamp of approval in AGPAL accreditation http://bit.ly/d9C1IX
  • Community groups organised a free bus to transfer Indigenous to regular medical appointments http://bit.ly/9RwoBx
  • VICTORIAN Aboriginals are missing out on crucial interventions to manage heart disease or discharge early from hospital http://bit.ly/daozdG
  • Nation’s psychiatrists have reignited call for a constitutional amendment to recognise Australia’s indigenous people http://bit.ly/cVv8Mf
  • More than three tonnes of kava has been seized in remote Arnhem Land communities in the past 18 months. http://bit.ly/aACxEk

The Indigenous News Updates are sourced from news and other articles from around the country that I have posted on Twitter.



The categories I use for Indigenous News Updates can be found here.

Image source: OpenClipArt.org, public domain.

If you like this post and what else you see on the blog please subscribe by RSS feed (the orange button) or by email. Visit my subscription page.

Indigenous News Update – Health

News

  • Paper considers linkage between native tobacco (pitjuri) and health outcomes http://bit.ly/aMsv8n
  • Mick Gooda says improving standards of mental health will be crucial in closing the gap in Indigenous life expectancy. http://bit.ly/d7XjE8
  • There are currently 140 Indigenous doctors practising in Australia and 150 Indigenous students studying medicine http://bit.ly/aCf0hX
  • Wilcannia strikes pioneering agreement with governments committing to specific targets to “Close the Gap” http://bit.ly/cfotwZ
  • 12-bed hostel for expectant Indigenous mothers to be built at Royal Darwin Hospital http://bit.ly/bNBvaX
  • The waiting game – kidney disease in Indigenous Australians http://bit.ly/deM1Mz

The Indigenous News Updates are sourced from news and other articles from around the country that I have posted on Twitter.



The categories I use for Indigenous News Updates can be found here.

Image source: OpenClipArt.org, public domain.

If you like this post and what else you see on the blog please subscribe by RSS feed (the orange button) or by email. Visit my subscription page.

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