A Sydney Morning Herald story by Julie-anne Davies (28 December 2013), headed ‘Superbug showdown: the time is nigh to get serious about antibiotics’, highlighted the growing danger of growing resistance to antibiotics.
The 2,000 word feature covered the danger to patients of acquiring hospital acquired infections (HAIs) after being admitted to both local and overseas healthcare facilities.
An obvious need is for immediate and significant investment in the development of new antibiotics that may prove effective against HAIs, most importantly against those recently discovered superbugs which do not respond to any known antibiotics.
For the cleaning and hygiene industry, which does not rate a mention in Davies’ article, the opportunities are obvious. They are both immediate and long term. Immediate in the need to educate healthcare managements – government and public hospital – in the proven efficacy of superior cleaning practices in cutting HAI rates. And, long term, if new antibiotics are not found hygiene will have to be the defence frontline.
Unhappily, the Australian cleaning industry has failed to establish lobbying strategies to engender more profitable support of both the service and supply sides. The healthcare sector, one of the largest and potentially most profitable sectors – should be benefitting from our expertise. And, our industry participants should, in turn, be garnering concomitant returns.
Naturally, some service providers with healthcare sector intellectual property and on-site experience could be loathed to ‘help’ competitors but that is a short-sighted attitude.
INCLEAN welcomes comment from all industry bodies and interested executives on this topic. Contact editor Kim Taranto on 02 8586 6140.