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Articles by Melissa Sweet

Health reform coalition warns that predicted budget changes are unhealthy

This statement was issued yesterday by the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance. Fair and equal access is an essential quality of our health system There seems to be a real danger that decisions to be made in the forthcoming Federal Budget may result in a less equitable health system. This would be a disastrous consequence [...]

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Is satire a useful tool for climate change communications? (And some F-bombing)

Some days the climate change debate is so awfully absurd that it’s a toss up between whether to laugh or cry. Most days, in fact. On one hand, we hear that leaders of the IMF, World Bank and UN are pushing for a price on carbon, and that Archbishop Desmond Tutu is calling for an [...]

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Predictions about demise of Medicare Locals are not good news for health or healthcare costs

The Federal Budget is looking like bad news for Medicare Locals – and this means bad news for the community’s health and the future of healthcare costs, says health policy analyst Jennifer Doggett. Below her article are links to recommended reading on recent health policy news – and some Twitter reaction to today’s headlines. Jennifer [...]

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Declaring a Twitter day of action – and listening – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

The Twitterverse is an endless source of news and conversations about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. In recognition of the vibrancy of the Indigenous health Twittersphere, Croakey is supporting an idea to declare May 1 as a day of Twitter action for Indigenous health. The idea is the brainchild of Dr Lynore Geia, a [...]

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Some questions about the new investments in diabetes care

Will we be able to tell if an increased investment in diabetes care is improving patients’ health? Only if we have meaningful data collection systems in place, suggests this latest update from the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service. *** Will diabetes projects deliver value for money? Katrina Erny-Albrecht writes: Diabetes is clearly on [...]

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An expert’s questions for the Australian Government on the “Scamiflu” saga

(A Federal Health Department response to this post was added on 18 April). “Most experts would agree that the modest benefits of Tamiflu and Relenza, as reported by the review, do not justify the increased adverse risks, let alone the money spent on them…” So says an NHS Choices analysis of an important systematic review [...]

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The real drivers of so much poor health – the inequitable distribution of power and resources

The implications of rising levels of inequality for the economy and indeed the future of capitalism are gaining plenty of attention thanks to the splash being created by a new book by economist Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century.  Piketty, professor at the Paris School of Economics, reportedly calls for a return to far [...]

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The NDIS must bring disruptive change without doing harm: mental health leader

Those responsible for implementing the NDIS should keep in mind the advice of a certain Roman emperor – “to make haste slowly”, says Frank Quinlan, the CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia. *** The NDIS and Mental Health: Make change quickly – but don’t rush Frank Quinlan writes: Around 27 BC, Rome’s first [...]

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Warning, warning – these are weird times when zombies are attacking the health system

In a sign of the general level of weirdness surrounding recent health policy debates, the AMA is calling on the Government to “put an end to the crazy policy speculation being floated in the media”. So weird and worrying are the signs, in fact, that Dr Tim Senior is fearing zombie apocalypse. And yes, you [...]

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A wealth of stories and lessons – from the Lowitja Institute’s recent CQI conference

Efforts to improve health promotion campaigns and healthcare services were profiled at the Lowitja Institute’s recent Continuous Quality Improvement conference, reports Marie McInerney. The conference yielded many pithy tips, including: ‘A good motto for CQI innovation: Steal shamelessly, share generously’; and ’Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; but include me and [...]

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