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Articles by Melissa Sweet

Are co-payments dead? Or is that the sound of Medicare’s last gasps?

Dr Tim Woodruff, vice president of the Doctors Reform Society, writes: The GP co-payment is dead. So said the Prime Minister as he made his third retraction on the issue six weeks ago. However, co-payments are far from “dead, buried and cremated” – and analyses of recent policy announcements suggests we are heading ever faster [...]

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A MayDay call to action for health professionals: sign this letter and stand up for #SOSBlakAustralia

This Friday (May 1), rallies will be held around Australia and in other countries to protest against the forced closure of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. In the open letter published below, Dr Melissa Stoneham of the Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia and colleagues urge health organisations and professionals to sign this letter, join the [...]

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Please join a #Periscope chat today about #JustJustice, public health, journalism, and more…

A new live-streaming app, Periscope (owned by Twitter), has had some bad press because of the trolling that is already occurring (see, for example, this article by journalist and academic Jenna Price, and this one by television presenter Jo Stanley). However, Periscope also has potentially interesting and useful applications for public health and journalism, amongst other [...]

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What are the challenges and priorities facing the new Primary Health Networks?

This post compiles some reaction to the Federal Government’s recent announcement of the successful tenders for 28 of the 31 Primary Health Networks (more details here; map of boundaries here - or see the list at the bottom of this post). The PHNs will have Community Advisory Committees, and their six key priorities for targeted work are mental [...]

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Diagnosing some important health gaps in the Intergenerational Report

Science broadcaster Karl Kruszelnicki has expressed “deep regret” over his role in promoting the Federal Government’s Intergenerational Report, citing its inadequate attention to climate change. However, this photo taken just a few days ago in a shopping centre in Mackay in regional Queensland shows that he is still being used to promote the report. Meanwhile, a [...]

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NSW: where polluters trump public health concerns

The recent NSW election has put the spotlight on the State Government’s prioritising of vested interests ahead of public health, according to Jude Page, NSW branch president of the PHAA. The health impacts of polluting motorways, coal mine expansions, and coal seam gas exploration deserve far greater scrutiny and action, she argues. Her article also [...]

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Putting the spotlight on the first 1000 days, to improve children’s futures #LongRead

The first 1000 days is the name of a global movement that recognises the importance of the period between conception and a child’s 2nd birthday as a unique window of opportunity to shape healthier futures. The right nutrition and care during this 1,000 day window can have a profound effect on a child’s ability to [...]

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Help change the conversations around Aboriginal health, with some #JustJustice

The over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is a profound threat to the health and wellbeing of communities, families and individuals, according to Summer May Finlay, a Yorta Yorta woman who works in Aboriginal health and is a PhD candidate. In the article below, Finlay encourages Croakey readers to engage with the recently [...]

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In full: the four volumes of the Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which the Government has been sitting on for five months

Last year, more than 2,000 individuals and organisations made submissions to the 2014 Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which was undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission to terms of reference provided by the Federal Government in early 2014. The final report, dated 30 November, makes clear the Commission expected the report to [...]

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How we’ve ended up with a bankrupt health debate…

Health policy news has been making headlines of late. There’s been: • the Federal Government’s long-awaited announcement on the new Primary Health Networks; • the move to financially penalise conscientious objectors to childhood vaccination (the merits of this approach have been questioned by some public health experts); • calls for action on mental health reform in the wake [...]

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