|MAO ZEDONG SAYS "SNEEZE ON THE|
FOREIGNERS WHEN TRAVELING AND
LEAVE THEM GIFT OF CHINESE TB"
Their strategy is to entice tourists from inland and more rural cities - a strategy they claim is "a first" for the Chinese market.
This strategy, combined with the gutting of major health programs in Cairns, is a recipe for a tropical health disaster in Cairns. And despite attempts to get a response from the local LNP member, Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King and the other North Queensland MP's, the silence from them and the Queensland Government is deafening.
Tuberculosis is rampant in Mainland China, and in fact the major source of risk is from these so-called "second tier" and below cities where medical care is below first-tier city standards. (Funny, like Cairns). With over 5million cases of TB, China has 25% of the world's number of "drug resistant" TB patients! Major TB specialists have been quoted saying "to really control TB in the world, you've got to control TB in China". And yet most, including health specialists in China, admit that the Chinese efforts at control are mostly a failure.
Chinese efforts at control of TB focus mostly on their domestic travelers. This includes airport screening of passengers - both by scanning passenger's temperature, the posting of TB-trained nurses in waiting rooms and luggage halls, and even boarding aircraft arriving in "first tier" cities from known TB hotspots. One tourism "professional" at TTNQ has said "we want to welcome the Chinese, not intimidate them". They're used to TB screening in their OWN country, and would be completely understandable about an Australian effort. Sadly, ignorance of China at our tourism leaders continues unabated.
The UK government now requires mandatory pre-departure screening tests from 67 known TB hotspots, as well as arrival screening.
And in Queensland, in order to give our new Chinese tourists a big Aussie welcome, we're dismantling what little TB screening we have. We have governments at both the state and federal level more interested in stopping diseased bananas and pineapples than stopping diseased humans! Sadly, this is because big business has more influence with Aussie politicians than the people they are supposed to be representing!
Two major decisions by the Health Minister Lawrence Springborg will be catastrophic for Cairns. Firstly, the dedicated tuberculosis unit in Brisbane has been ordered closed. And with it the loss of health professionals skilled at recognising and treating this disease. And in its place is the order to "decentralise" tuberculosis and other communicable disease services to the local hospital boards. These boards are ill-equipped to handle the detection and tracing that would be necessary, as outlined by the World Health Organization, if an outbreak were to occur in Queensland.
It's well accepted fact that the Cairns region is grossly underfunded in current health services. And so far, the local health board led by LNP tool "UnSir" Bob Norman has been only REACTIVE - throwing money at problems that get press attention while ignoring those that haven't yet made the funny papers. The new rule for lengthy medical lists? Get your malady on Seven News, and the Norman flunkies will throw some money at it tomorrow. So far not a particularly intelligent health-management strategy. No one in the community should feel safe from tuberculosis and other air-passenger-carried diseases with this group of LNP nodders running the hospital!
We're just weeks away from our first planeloads of expectorating Chinese "freaks and weirdos" (copyright, Gavin King) and we're dismantling the tools necessary to protect the citizens of Queensland. Let's just hope Gavin and Leah keep their kids out of spitting distance from a case of incurable tuberculosis.
(Thanks for the push from Alison Alloway)