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Articles by Melissa Sweet

Spreading the word about innovation in rural health

Jennifer Doggett writes: It’s a scenario familiar to anyone used to attending health conferences and workshops:  a presenter gets up and talks about a problem they are trying to solve in their city-based health service or program. Inevitably, after the presentation a hand will go up at the back of the room and someone will [...]

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Yet another attempt to put the social determinants of health on the political agenda…

Putting the social determinants of health on the political/policy agenda is no easy task, given the many barriers involved, not least the silos that so often impede the work of governments and service delivery. While broad-based coalitions are important in helping to address some of the barriers, they also raise their own challenges – as was [...]

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Is fear of social media stopping health services from listening to patients’ stories?

Michael Greco, a founding Director and the Chief Executive of Patient Opinion Australia, is tweeting for @WePublicHealth this week – so Croakey readers will have the chance to question him directly about the service on Twitter. To help kickstart the discussions, he answered a few questions below. It would be interesting to know why more health [...]

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In which Rob Oakeshott responds to a Wonky Health review of his book

In his recent Wonky Health column, Dr Tim Senior reviewed a new book by former MP Rob Oakeshott, The Independent Member for Lyne. The review noted that “health as a topic is notable for its absence”, and also suggested the book would have benefited from a deeper analysis of the root causes of inequalities and [...]

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The Koori Woman: You really need to know this history, Dude

Kelly Briggs writes: I woke up in a bad mood. Am pretty sure I’m not the only one who this happens to occasionally. Even the Dalai Llama probably has his off days. This was not the best day for me to wake up in a less than gleeful mood, because my first port of call [...]

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Wonky Health: What might public health advocates learn from reading Rob Oakeshott’s new book?

The interests of cashed-up industries are routinely put ahead of our health.  That’s hardly “hold the front page” news for those in the public health field, so it’s perhaps surprising we don’t hear more public health advocates calling for action on systems of political governance, including political donations. The malignant influence of cashed-up political donors [...]

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Some lessons from the National Suicide Prevention Conference

How can people with lived experience of suicide be included more meaningfully and effectively in research and policy work? This is one of the major issues raised by discussions at the 2014 National Suicide Prevention Conference. In his final report on the conference, Matthew Giles says participants also highlighted the need for a national suicide [...]

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That Abetz comment on abortion and breast cancer: symptom of a wider malaise?

The Prime Minister and Health Minister Peter Dutton have pointed out the lack of evidence to support Senator Eric Abetz’s recent inflammatory comments linking abortion and breast cancer. But should his comments be seen as an aberration? There are any number of other areas where the Government’s statements and actions are not informed by evidence. [...]

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A call for transformative decolonisation of the health sector

To overcome health inequities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Australia and New Zealand, health professionals and their institutions need to take a long, hard look at themselves and their biases, according to public health physician Dr Rhys Jones. Health professionals, health care organisations and educational institutions must commit to the lifelong, transformative ‘unlearning’ processes [...]

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Reflections of an economic migrant: one life should not be valued more than another’s

We live in troubled times when our political leaders place more value on some lives than others, says Dr Virginia Barbour, a medical editor who brings a global perspective to bear on her recent move to Australia. *** By Virginia Barbour It’s been a strange few weeks from the point of view of a relatively [...]

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