The GP co-payment had a brief period in the sun recently when the MRFF Action Group was formed to support the medical research fund. The health sector was quick to respond that while the Medical research fund was a positive development it’s funding source was unacceptable. In a press release Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive of AHHA [...]READ MORE
The UN Climate Summit will be held on the 23rd of September in New York and is expected to host at least 125 heads of state, including the President of the United States, making it the “largest gathering seeking to tackle climate change in history”. The meeting is a pre-cursor to a meeting in Paris next [...]READ MORE
The Australian Health Promotion and Chronic Diseases Network Conference was held in Alice Springs earlier this month. For those who missed it, Cat Street from the Australian Health Promotion Association provides a tweet by tweet guide. Cat writes: Day 1 of Equity @ The Centre 2014. I pay my respects to elders past and present and wish to [...]READ MORE
Today in an Editorial the Sydney Morning Herald published its intention to “campaign for the federal government to outline its vision for the country’s future, a plan that brings together science, innovation and education”. This may be in no small part due to the the federal government’s unclear commitment to science and innovation in Australia. Budget cuts to the CSIRO and other organisations seem to be in direct contradiction to the Prime Ministers statement that “science is at the heart of a country’s competitiveness”. A future vision for science in Australia is not made any clearer by the lack of a Minister for Science and an industry Minister who suggests that scientists who see this as an issue are “precious petals”.
Ahead of Q and A’s all scientist panel tonight, Dr Andrew Weatherall shares his thoughts on the Minister’s comments.
Dr Weatherall writes:
At first I thought it might be some breakthrough. Possibly the phrase “precious petals” had been deployed by a minister with some of the responsibility for science as he described his excitement at some new bit of amazing research.
No. Of course not. He was taking another swipe at the very group he is alleged to be “passionate” about. It’s a passion we should trust passion because he is the “grandson and son of a scientist”. Maybe claiming scientific ancestors is the new equivalent to “some of my best friends are women”.READ MORE
I recently had the privilege of participating in the Consumers Health Forum’s ‘Health in a time of change’ national workshop in Melbourne. The Workshop brought together a large number of consumers and other health stakeholders to debate current issues in health policy and advocacy. Copies of many of the presentations are available here, including an overview [...]READ MORE
Mainstream health promotion has failed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, according to Karen McPhail-Bell, a PhD candidate at Queensland University of Technology. In the article below, she argues that those working in the field could learn from strengths-based programs like The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health’s Deadly Choices. It offers lessons for all health promotion practice, she [...]READ MORE
One of the more puzzling aspects of the current debate over health funding is the lack of new or innovative policy options being proposed by the Government and others from the conservative side of politics. Given the level of panic being invoked about our alleged health funding crisis (disputed by many economists) it would seem logical that policy makers should be searching for viable options to combat the so-called health spending tsunami.
Yet apart from the GP co-payment, there are few, if any, realistic policy options being put on the table for discussion. The co-payment proposal has clearly not been accepted by either consumers or health care providers (for good reasons, as discussed at length here and here). But since the failure of the Government to convince stakeholders that increased primary care co-payments are the way forward, there has been no ‘Plan B’ on offer to reform health funding arrangements to meet the changing needs of the community.
The only contribution to the debate from the right thus far has been a proposal for individual health savings accounts (based on the Singapore model) from David Gadiel and Jeremy Sammut at the Centre for Independent Studies. This option reflects the Government’s aim of encouraging consumers to contribute more in direct funding to their health care but would be a radical change to our current system and unlikely to gain the support of the current Senate. Health savings accounts have also been criticised by a number of experts for widening existing inequities in access to health care and increasing overall costs.READ MORE
Racism is a sensitive and challenging issue but one which needs to be addressed by all of us working within the health system if we are to ensure all people can have equal access to health care. In this thoughtful analysis of casual and everyday racism, collaborators Daniel Reeders and Suzanne Nguyen discuss how experiences of everyday racism correlate with health over time in Aboriginal Australian and culturally diverse people in Victoria. They discuss strategies to address the health impact of discrimination and empower young people around their experiences of everyday racism. They write:
A recent piece by Dr Jacqueline Nelson and Dr Jessica Walton in The Conversation is headlined “Explainer: what is casual racism?” We’ve been working together for about a year on an initiative led by Suzanne that is tentatively titled “Defining Everyday Racism Project” or DERP for short. (See postscript for our bios.)
Our collaboration began on Twitter, where Suzanne was tweeting about her creative and online initiative The Two Chairs, which has toured around Australia inviting people to sit in the chairs and reflect on their understandings of race in Australia. While sitting on these chairs, one of the very first things we discussed was the difference between casual racism and everyday racism.READ MORE
Good policy relies on robust, comprehensive and accurate data and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is one of the most respected source of data for health and social policy makers in Australia. However, its status may be compromised due to the upcoming merger between AIHW and other agencies. In a post originally published at the Power to Persuade blog, Richard Madden the former director of AIHW reflects on what’s at risk if AIHW were to lose its welfare functions. He writes:
The 2014 Commonwealth Budget includes a proposal to merge the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) with a range of other health bodies into a Health Productivity and Performance Commission. This endangers AIHW’s independent data collection and reporting.