Church ignores the law
TASMANIAN Archbishop Julian Porteous says the Catholic Church will not follow the law by reporting any suspicion of child sex abuse. It seems that Mr Porteous and his ilk see themselves above the law simply because they believe in a mythical being and live a life of fantasy. Imagine the CEO of Disneyland or any other fantasy organisation blatantly declaring they will not follow the law to protect children.
Looking at the world's religions, are there any that work to better people's lives as much as secularism does? It's time religion was relegated to where it belongs and is treated like any other organisation, including losing its tax-free status.
Victor Marshall, Meander.
THIS week's Four Corners report focussed on some of the differences in health outcomes seen between regional and metropolitan areas in Australia.
Much of the program covered instances of medical error in regional Australian hospitals, and this included the Launceston General Hospital.
Medical mistakes are tragic, especially when they lead to loss of life or limb.
As doctors and health practitioners, we have an absolute duty to report them openly and honestly, learn from them and put systems in place that minimise the chances of recurrence.
Quality and safety divisions both within our hospitals and nationally are tasked with this responsibility. Mistakes are inevitable in any human activity, and sadly healthcare is no exception. Mistakes occur in Australian hospitals whether they be in capital cities, regional cities or small towns.
And whilst it is true that illness is more severe and health outcomes are poorer in regional cities than in capital cities; there is no evidence to suggest the quality of healthcare is less or mistakes more frequent in regional hospitals in comparison with their capital city counterparts.
I have worked as an intensive care doctor in Launceston for 23 years.
Over that time our ICU has cared for well over 10,000 patients.
Every episode of care and its outcome has been submitted to the Australian and New Zealand quality registry; our outcomes are the equal of any hospital in the country; and in common with the rest of Australia, some of the best worldwide.
Many other units at the LGH submit to national quality registries, and their results are the same. The LGH indeed has problems. People wait too long in the emergency department for beds, and too long for elective surgery.
The fundamental problem in my view is that the hospital has insufficient beds. And proposed cuts in hospital funding are extremely concerning.
But the commitment of staff and the quality of care they deliver is outstanding, and not in any doubt.
Many of our doctors, allied health practitioners and nurses are nationally recognised as leaders in their fields as researchers, examiners and presidents of learned societies.
I have always been both proud and humbled to work with them. Our community should feel assured that the LGH is a world-class facility. It is just too small.
Scott Parkes, Launceston General Hospital Medical Staff Association chairman.
North East Rail Trail
YES, it is a no-brainer to even consider pulling up the rail tracks. The Bicycle Network should keep to the facts. The bicycle riders you quote (The Examiner, September 12) are mountain bikers.
They come for the wild racing through the forests of Derby and have no interest in leisurely rolling through the countryside.
As for road cyclists, they would not even consider riding on a gravel rail base as their bicycles are unsuitable for anything other than bitumen. Rail travel is a pleasant way for people young and old to enjoy a day out. Let's keep it that way.
Peter McMurray, Lilydale.
Proposed Place Names Bill
Our language, our culture, our rights. A Political stunt on Aborigines in lutruwita, that's what this proposed Place Names Bill 2019 will be if it manages to get past the lower and upper houses of Parliament.
Fines for using proper place names of lutruwita (Tasmania) what a crock. And dismantling the Nomenclature Board and letting one minister decide appropriate names? It's not only the Aboriginal people who are going to miss out and pay some huge fines but the broader community as well, many people have embraced the proper place names of this country and use them just as much as Aboriginal people do.
Shame on this government and their many backward steps with the original people of this country lutruwita warr.
Tessa Atto, Ravenswood.
Transgender law reform
TASMANIA'S transgender laws are some of the most scrutinised in Tasmanian history. So, why does the government continue to assert these laws have "unintended consequences" and need "further review"?
The principles behind our laws were subject to public consultation in 2016.
The laws themselves were examined in detail by Tasmania's official parliamentary drafters and were subject to intense scrutiny in parliament and throughout the community. Now, in line with the government's request, the new laws are being considered by the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute through a process that involves yet more public consultation. The TLRI has said there will be few if any, "unintended consequences". Perhaps the government's call for further review is that it fears the TLRI won't tell it what it wants to hear? Whatever the reason, the problem is the government's truculence about this legislation, not the legislation itself. It's time for opponents to stop jumping at shadows and let transgender and gender diverse Tasmanians get on with living their lives.