Deemed or Damned.
I pity the poor pensioners having their savings milked by the deeming rate. The government continues to skim the cream off the top by doing nothing. When interest rates increased years ago, the deeming rate quickly followed, which was logical. Now, this is not the case and there is little interest from Scomo. The government is scoring money which has not been earnt.
Colin Holmes, Ballarat.
Water is the future and shouldn't go to the highest bidder
The principle of whether water is a commodity, like shoes, is possibly the most important issue of today. Water tables are falling worldwide and Australia is no exception. Aquifers that took hundreds of years to develop are being pillaged by commercial extractors. This is affecting waterways, streams and rivers. At the same time climate change, population and drought have increased the need for water and demand has tripled over 50 years.
Governments once believed that they had a constitutional responsibility to manage water for future generations. Now water is sold to those with the deepest pockets.
When did governments stop thinking about the future?
Helen Hayes, Musk
Commission reveal familiar cases
Unfortunately, Amelia Morris' story of courage and endurance at the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System is familiar to clinicians. Particularly striking are the multiple diagnoses Amelia received resulting in the prescribing of bizarre combinations of medications and ad hoc deployment of therapies.
I have worked for many years as a consultant psychiatrist to two clinical units, one in the public system, the other in a private psychiatric hospital, treating patients with treatment-resistant disorders. In both contexts, the risk of patient suicide is high, as is the incidence of clinician burnout because of repeated verbal and physical assaults by patients.
Many of the most "difficult" or "treatment-resistant" patients suffer from developmental trauma which reflects a complex combination of biological (sometimes genetic) vulnerabilities and environmental traumas arising from childhood family relationships sometimes replayed across the generations. The proliferation of diagnoses obscures rather than clarifies treatment for this toxic legacy.
Symptomatic improvement may not suffice. Longer-term, formal psychotherapy is needed to help a patient avoid unwittingly repeating destructive patterns of behaviour, including chronic physical symptoms, self-sabotage, exploiting others, abandonment or abuse of children, violence or suicidal despair.
Many psychiatrists and psychologists lack the practical skills needed in this challenging area. To have any credibility, the royal commission's conclusions must address these clinical realities on behalf of all those affected.
Edwin Harari, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne