08
Apr
08

Alice Springs hospital presentations resulting from stab wounds

The PM program (found here) has reported a significant drop in stab-wound related presentations to Alice Springs hospital.  The comments from Dr Jacob Ollapallil, head of surgery, are remarkable.  The cost benefits must be significant, not to mention the emotional and other health related problems that have been diverted. 

Because of the extent of reform across a broad range of policy areas it would be difficult to ascertain the direct source of this reduction.  The assertion that it is attributed more or less to alcohol restrictions is a difficult claim to substantiate.  Other reforms such as welfare quarantining and the response at the bonding social capital level as a result of the intervention are other crucial factors.  With the impending review those measures that will be seen to be successful should be strengthened.  On the information before me I’m yet to be convinced that furthering alcohol restrictions is effective in the present policy circumstance.   

Having said that the report from the PM program is cause to be optimistic.  They are preliminary results but what has been demonstrated is that a significant and positive shift can occur within the space of a relatively short period of time (at least in the policy sense).

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