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February, 2012


Gonski review has a lot to teach the health system: Consumers Health Forum

The cry of “nanny state” is often used to oppose public health measures that are in the public interest but threaten powerful private interests. Perhaps the cry of “class warfare” falls into the same category when it comes to social reforms that are in the broader public interest. That is one question arising from suggestions [...]

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UK quit smoking campaigns come under fire

Quit smoking campaigns in the UK that promote nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) are wrong to discourage the “cold turkey” approach, and could learn a lesson from Australian efforts, suggests Simon Chapman, professor of public health at the University of Sydney. *** Raising questions about the medicalisation of smoking cessation   Professor Simon Chapman writes: Two [...]

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Some health-based analysis of the Gonski review of schools funding

(Extra comments have been added to the bottom of the post, Feb 22) For those with a concern for the community’s health, the Gonski review of schools funding is important reading, not least because of its strong focus on equity. The report recommends that federal, state and territory governments, in consultation with the non-government school sector, [...]

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If health service executives are embracing social media, what does it say?

(This is the first in a series of two posts looking at social media and health). Health service leaders are not famous for embracing engagement with the media or general public. This observation is not intended as any personal slight as the situation is the inevitable result of the systems they work in, and the expectations [...]

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A call to prevent needless suffering: feedback from recent palliative care event

Claire Maskell of Palliative Care Australia recently wrote for Croakey about inequities in global access to palliative care and pain management. The article was a preview to the recent screening in Canberra of the award-winning documentary LIFE before Death.  It drew an audience of 200 people including parliamentarians, health professionals, members of the public and [...]

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Helping older patients with chronic diseases to navigate the health system

How can vulnerable elderly patients be helped to navigate the fragmented health system? In its latest Croakey update, the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service (better known as PHC RIS) reports there is encouraging evidence to suggest that professional health system “navigators” might be able to help elderly people with chronic health problems to [...]

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A proposal for busting unhealthy workplaces

While the previous post makes a suggestion for how the Federal Government could ensure healthier, fairer food policy, in the article below health policy consultant Margo Saunders suggests workplaces (including government departments) could be doing more to promote good health. She suggests that we need a bit of online activism, in the vein of The [...]

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Why Federal Cabinet should include a Minister for Food

Food policy is such an important – and contested – space that we should have a Food Minister, in Cabinet, according to Michael Moore, CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia, and Associate Professor Heather Yeatman of the School of Health Sciences at the University of Wollongong. *** Making the case for a Ministry for Food Michael [...]

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Doctors writing and righting the world: a Varuna event paying tribute to Dr Eric Dark

This post may be of particular interest to doctors who are interested in writing, or those interested in the links between medicine and creativity. It comes from Lis Bastian, Chief Executive Officer of Varuna, The Writers’ House, at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Lis Bastian writes: In March we’re holding the inaugural Dr Eric Dark Memorial Dinner [...]

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A survey on workplace safety that may be of interest to health professionals, teachers and police officers working in rural and remote areas

If you are a health professional, teacher or police officer working in rural or remote areas (with a population of less than 25,000 people), this survey about workplace safety may be of interest. You have until February 24 to complete it. *** Time to reduce violence against country professionals Dr Jenny May writes: Many rural [...]

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Womens Agenda

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