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CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION |

No “perfect storm”: Hazelwood coal mine fire inquiry points to broader health issues, planning implications

“Contrary to suggestions that the Hazelwood mine fire was the ‘perfect storm of events’, all of the factors contributing to the ignition and spread of the fire were foreseeable. Yet it appears they were not foreseen.” The main findings of the inquiry into this year’s Hazelwood coal mine fire in Victoria are focused on what [...]

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CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION |

The demise of the ANPHA: why it will be ‘drinks all round’ for the alcohol industry and others

A recent seminar at the University of Sydney examined the legacy of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) in an event also billed by some as “a wake for preventive health”. In the article below, Stephen Leeder, Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Sydney and Editor-in-Chief of The [...]

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CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION |

Taking care of each other online

One of the benefits of the Internet is its use as a tool to create communities among people who previously would have been isolated from each other.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the growth of online forums for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.  These are playing an increasingly important role in providing information, support and assistance [...]

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CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION |

Unhealthy haste? What are the implications of outsourcing Medicare, PBS claims and services?

Less than two weeks ago the Federal Government called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from the private sector to provide claims and payment services for Medicare (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), a $29 billion operation currently managed by the Department of Human Services. The EOI closes this Friday, 22 August. Such a privatisation [...]

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CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION |

For patients to be informed & empowered, they need access to medical records

Patients are often urged to take greater responsibility for healthcare decisions – but this is easier said than done when access to medical records is not consistently available. Consumer health advocate Anne Cahill Lambert’s recent experience illustrates some of the barriers faced by people seeking access to their records. *** Anne Cahill Lambert writes: I [...]

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CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION |

When does medical confidentiality become unjustified secrecy?

The Consumers Health Forum says Medicine Australia’s proposed new code of conduct has “failed to put in place transparency safeguards against the schmoozing of doctors to influence prescribing”. In the post below, CEO Adam Stankevicius says this is the latest step in a “disturbing trend towards unjustified and unacceptable secrecy” where the “camouflage of confidentiality” is also blocking access [...]

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CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION |

How the media shapes Indigenous policy & other insights on policy/comms from #NCO14

A presentation yesterday on the relationship between media coverage and Indigenous policy-making was timely in the lead-up to this week’s #IHMayDay Twitter day of action for Indigenous health. It will no doubt also serve as a pointer to the forthcoming Federal Budget on what sorts of cuts it may deliver to Indigenous funding (given Warren [...]

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CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION |

Why aren’t governments tougher on private health insurers?

When considering whether to approve increases in private health insurance premiums, the Government should prioritise the interests of policy holders rather than the industry’s shareholders, suggests one health policy analyst. “William Foggin” writes: It is that time of year.  The cricket season is over, and the AFL is getting under way.  And private health insurance [...]

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Medical Board responds to concerns about new social media policy

Earlier this week Croakey published an open letter from Victorian surgeon Jill Tomlinson to the Medical Board of Australia expressing concern about a “lack of understanding of social media communication” shown in its proposed guidelines for advertising regulated health services that will take effect next month. Of particular concern, she said, was that medical practitioners [...]

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Here is a treasure trove of ideas and resources on health communications

For those who weren’t able to follow the conversation at @WePublicHealth last week, summarised below are some of the useful ideas and resources shared by Ross Green and Eliza Metcalfe, who work in Knowledge Translation at the Centre for Community Child Health in Melbourne and tweet as @_HealthyComms. They made the case that health communications [...]

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