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JENNIFER DOGGETT | August 01, 2014 | ALCOHOL | 1 |

Alcohol-related harms unacceptable – new research shows

A new report into the impact of alcohol-related harms on our community has found that alcohol kills four times as many Australians every year as those killed on our roads. Michael Thorn, Chief Executive, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, outlines the findings of the new research and calls for urgent policy and legislative action to reduce the current rate of harms. He writes:

Alcohol kills.

Fifteen Australians every day, 5,554 Australians every year.

That’s four times the number of people killed on our roads each year, an unacceptable alcohol death toll that continues to climb.

Death, disease, illness and injury.  The report, Alcohol’s Burden of Disease in Australia, jointly funded by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and VicHealth, reveals the devastating extent of alcohol’s impact. It’s the first such study in ten years, and the findings are disturbing.

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FRONJACKSONWEBB | August 01, 2014 | ASYLUM SEEKER HEALTH | |

A year on, Christmas Island’s child detainees lose health and hope

Elizabeth Elliot writes: If a visit to Christmas Island sounds like fun, think again. A remote tropical island in the Indian Ocean – billed as a birdwatcher’s paradise and a haven for snorkelling – has a dark side. It is “home” to 1102 detainees seeking asylum, including 174 children; many are infants and 26 boys [...]

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | August 01, 2014 | CHRONIC DISEASES | |

Is an annual fee the answer to paying for healthcare?

The way we fund and pay for healthcare can have a significant impact on both the equity and the efficiency of our health system. A single, unified funder for all health care is often held up as the ‘holy grail’ of health funding systems but this goal may be unachievable in the context of our existing federated [...]

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | July 31, 2014 | DENTAL CARE | |

AHCRA Communique highlights the role of primary health care

In mid-July thirty-seven member organisations of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) came together from around Australia for the National Health Reform Summit to assess the key needs and issues in the Australian health system. Sixty participants were challenged and informed by a range of stimulating speakers from diverse organisations and perspectives.

At the end of the Summit, the following Communique was released by AHCRA members. The Communique outlines key areas of concern for AHCRA members and agreed priority issues for action over the next 1-2 years.  Overall, the Communique echoes the concerns expressed by a broad range of health experts and stakeholder groups about the Government’s policy direction, in particular in relation to the potential for the creation of a two-tier system through a weakening of universal primary health care infrastructure and the increased involvement of private health insurance.  The Communique also calls for greater attention to reducing waste within the health system and for greater consumer and community involvement in health care.

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MATES in Construction – harnessing the mateship culture to prevent suicide

Matthew Giles reports: As part of the 2014 National Suicide Prevention Conference in Perth last week, Suicide Prevention Australia presented the LiFE Awards for Excellence in Suicide Prevention.  Among the usual crowd of public health professionals, doctors and academics was John Brady, a former construction worker and small business owner, whose organisation MATES in Construction [...]

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | July 29, 2014 | GENERAL PRACTICE | |

“Primary care leadership needs to wake up and start a revolution.”

Australia is not the only country with a health system under pressure from rising health care costs and increasing demand from a growing and ageing population.  A spate of recent research and policy papers from Europe shows that this part of the world is debating many of the same issues that confront governments, policy makers [...]

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | July 28, 2014 | CHRONIC DISEASES | 1 |

2014 the year of the co-payment: lessons from the NHS

What can we learn from the UK’s recent experiments in primary health care about co-payments, economic incentives and the impact of creating barriers to access? Margaret Faux, from the University of Technology, Sydney, outlines some important messages for Governments and policy makers wishing to head down the same path as the National Health Services.  She writes:   This year two of the best among the developed [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | July 27, 2014 | INDIGENOUS HEALTH | 1 |

Learning how to prevent suicide by listening to the voices of experience

Matthew Giles reports: One of the concepts that will endure beyond the bounds of the 2014 National Suicide Prevention Conference is the value of learning from the lived experience of suicide. Throughout the conference, attendees and presenters alike emphasised the need to include in research and prevention programs the voices of people who have survived [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | July 27, 2014 | #IPCHIV14 | |

“We have a voice, and people are listening” – wrapping #IPCHIV14 and #AIDS2014

Marie McInerney reports: Among the stars at AIDS 2014, the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, were Bill Clinton, Bob Geldof and, perhaps lesser known outside HIV circles, Professor Françoise Barré Sinoussi, outgoing President of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and the Nobel Laureate who co-discovered HIV. So Simoussi’s formal visit to the Indigenous Networking [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | July 26, 2014 | HEALTH IN ALL POLICIES | |

Politics as a resource for health

Evelyne de Leeuw, Associate Professor, Public Health and Health Policy at La Trobe University writes: Globally, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) constitute the main causes of morbidity, mortality and disability. This has been recognised by the United Nations as a major international crisis. The international community has started to coordinate its efforts to deal with the crisis. [...]

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