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Articles by Jennifer Doggett

Government faces widespread criticism of Ebola response

It’s rare for the Australian Medical Association, the Public Health Association and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation to be singing from the same hymn sheet.  But their collective criticisms of the Government’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa have barely a discordant note.  Over the past two weeks, these organisations (and others [...]

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The rural health risks of the transition to Primary Health Networks

The transition from Medicare Locals to Primary Health Networks is one of the most significant challenges currently facing our health system. The success (or otherwise) of these new primary health care organisations will have far reaching and long term impacts on the health of our community. The outcomes of the PHNs will also be a [...]

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UNSW Council votes to continue investment in coal *UPDATED*

A recent joint statement from the Climate and Health Alliance and the Climate Council outlined the following four health impacts of coal mining for which there is clear evidence: coal mining and burning coal for electricity emits toxic and carcinogenic substances into our air, water and land; coal pollution is linked to the development of potentially [...]

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Deregulation of university fees: bad news for rural people and regional universities?

 What do changes to education policy have to do with access to health care in the bush? In the following piece Gordon Gregory, Executive Director and Alice Sisley, Project Officer, from the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) connect the dots between economic and health policies and warn that recent changes in the education sector could have [...]

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Private health insurance in primary health care – what do the experts think?

One of the major policy changes on the agenda of the Federal Government is the introduction of private health insurance (PHI) into primary health care.  This has been flagged by Peter Dutton in a number of speeches and media interviews and was also recommended by the Competition Policy Review.  While the exact role the Government [...]

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Medical Device Safety – it’s a team effort

The failure of some medical devices in recent years, such as the PIP breast implants and metal-on-metal hip prostheses, have raised questions about the safety of medical technologies more generally and the role of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (the regulatory agency responsible for allowing devices onto the Australian market).   Two Senate Inquiries and a number [...]

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More Queues than Ays: reflections on Q&A’s mental health episode

The ABC’s Q&A program for Mental Health Week last night focussed on mental health in rural and remote Australia. The program covered a broad range of issues, including historical trends for mental illness in Australia, the role of prevention and early intervention and whether mental illnesses are determined by genetics or environment (or a mix of both). [...]

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Do we need more psychiatric beds?

The theme of Mental Health Week this year ‘Act-Belong-Commit’ is particularly relevant to the challenge of ensuring people with mental illnesses can access high quality care in the community.    In the following piece Dr Samantha Battams, Associate Professor & Public Health Program Director at Torrens University in South Australia, discusses how governments, health professionals and [...]

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Is this the end of unproven breast imaging in Australia?

A recent story from the West Australian reports that a Perth clinic that falsely claimed to offer an alternative breast screening service which could detect cancer has been fined $75,000, while the controversial former doctor involved must pay a $25,000 penalty. In the following piece public health Lawyer Caitlin Kameron discusses the implications of the decision [...]

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The 7 wonders of health funding

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 [...]

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Womens Agenda

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