Paddy, I hadn’t read your stuff until it was “reviewed” …

Comment on An open LETTER to young Paddy Gibson, Sydney academic and saviour of blackfellas. by Ralph Folds.

Paddy, I hadn’t read your stuff until it was “reviewed” here but having done so I’d urge you to keep researching and writing. What you say is representative of a voice that should be heard, not that I particularly endorse it. What you write is, of course, also a commentary on you, but don’t be intimidated by the focus on that. It’s a two-way street and the open letter is far more interesting as a commentary on its author.

Recent Comments by Ralph Folds

At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
Gunner has made the right call on the location of the proposed gallery and offered substantial funding.
No other sensible and economically viable location has been proposed.
The gallery will probably operate at a loss as does the Desert Park.
To be sustainable the loss must be minimised and it must add value to our tourist businesses.
South of the Gap / at the Desert Part are not suitable locations.
The Greens are engaged in misguided economically damaging democracy.
They are doing the same by using their position on the Water Board to slow down mining development at Mt Pearce.
This action threatens the offer of generous funding.


The millions and the misery
Eugene’s Mate: “Unreasonably negative and incorrigibly antagonistic attitude towards Congress pathological denial of Congress’s achievements? Very unfairly, maligning Congress.”
Any organisation that gets more than $40m a year of taxpayer money, has $20m unspent and has a stake in CentreCorp with assets of more than $50m absolutely needs to be held accountable.
It worries me that you fall back on excuses such as saying that poverty is the main driver of renal disease (and of course Congress can’t change that).
How about, a sedentary lifestyle, living in squalor, poor diet, alcohol and smoking, all of which Congress should be able to do something about.
But they haven’t despite all the millions.
A new approach is needed.
Take diabetes:
Although there are other factors, diabetes is a major cause of end stage renal disease. Many of us have watched the progression from diabetes to end stage over the years.
I’ve personally seen it a dozen times or more.
Uncontrolled diabetes is rampant in our community and the deaths are mounting.
Congress has largely failed to stem the tide so we need to try something else.
That is a medical approach.
Instead of expensively trying to change behaviour and failing we need new drugs and medical devices.
That means more money for research and probably less for Congress.
Of course that is confronting and will get the reaction we see from you.
But Aboriginal health is bigger than Congress and is the priority.
A medical approach has the potential to save many hundreds of millions of dollars and improve Aboriginal lives on a large scale.
That claim cannot be made about Congress.


The millions and the misery
Evelyne, the research to quantify the extent of HTLV-1 was carried out years ago and the results were scary for Aboriginal people.
There will be a large death toll in coming years.
Very little is being done to discover a drug to treat it.
Your question has broader implications.
Should the taxpayer keep funding preventative programs to the extent we do when they are not working?
Wouldn’t Aboriginal health be improved far more by putting the money into the development of medical responses.
For example, there is an urgent need for implanted insulin delivery devices that require diabetics to do nothing.
There are several life threatening diseases, HTLV-1 being just one, that urgently need medical approaches such as drug treatments for prevention and/or cure.
Aboriginal health would be improved far more by redirecting at least some of the tens of millions wasted on Congress to researching new treatments.


The millions and the misery
Eugene’s Mate: Let’s cut to the chase.
The result of a failure of type two diabetes prevention and control programs is often end stage renal disease.
So the incidence of this terminal disease is a good measure of the success or failure of diabetes programs for which Congress has responsibility.
The NT has the highest incidence and prevalence of kidney disease in Australia.
The 2014 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Health Survey showed the prevalence of disease markers amongst Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory was 40% and non-Indigenous of 9%.
According to Menzies School of Health research “demand for dialysis has been sustained and incidence rates have not plateaued”.
In other words the incidence of end stage disease is out of control despite the tens of millions of funding provided to Congress.
Tens of millions now have to be poured into dialysis treatment.
Soon it will be hundreds of millions as the numbers of patients is soaring.
I am unable to agree that Congress has long been a leader and good practitioner in prevention and early intervention strategies and practices.


Three men escape from gaol
Paul Parker: Yes, low level security is appropriate but only for low security prisoners.
The prison is overcrowded and holding far more prisoners than its design capacity.
Medium security prisoners cannot always be housed in the medium security section of the prison.
They are sometimes sent to the low security cottages.
Similarly only low security prisoners are supposed to be in work gangs etc, but we see from escapes that this is not always the case.
This mistake cost CEO Ken Middlebrook his job but it could happen again.
So while low security is appropriate for low security prisoners it is highly inappropriate for medium security ones.


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