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#Budget2014: Searching for the detail and evidence amidst the pain

I can’t imagine what it took for Korey Gunnis – sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, chronic asthma, hearing loss, anxiety disorder and clinical depression – to ask the Treasurer Joe Hockey this question  on national TV. But it went to the heart of the 2014-15 Budget. How was he supposed to cope [...]

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New Deal or No Deal: #Budget2014 and the risks for younger Australians

In Croakey’s continuing coverage of the 2014-15 Federal Budget, John Mendoza looks at the raft of harsh measures it plans to impose on young people – from the unprecedented withdrawal of unemployment benefits through to significantly higher university fees – and argues that “no other group in our community has ever before been so singled [...]

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#Budget2014 health measures to have bigger impact on women

The impact of the Federal Budget on women goes way beyond so-called ‘specific interest’ measures like the paid parental leave scheme and changes to family benefits, says Kristine Olaris, CEO of Women’s Health East in Victoria, who warns that GP co-payments and additional charges for prescriptions and tests will further increase gender inequality in Australia. [...]

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Audit Commission proposals on mental health, homelessness “without context, understanding”

The recommendations of the Federal Government’s National Commission of Audit on mental health are “without context or apparent understanding” and will only add to the inequity that people with a mental illness already experience, says Sebastian Rosenberg, Senior Lecturer at Sydney University’s Brain and Mind Research Institute. See his post below on the recommendations on [...]

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Audit Commission’s sweeping reforms for health, welfare – worrying signs for the future and some scare tactics?

Croakey readers will no doubt be aware of the sweeping changes to health, welfare and other services that have been proposed by the Federal Government’s Commission of Audit, including an end to universal health care and a much tougher GP (and Emergency Departments) co-payment scheme than previously touted. Further on health, it recommends “requiring” high [...]

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The Health Wrap: What the evidence uncovered; reaching out to vaccine skeptics; health funding waiting games

By Kellie Bisset What the evidence uncovered Evidence has turned the tables on two issues this past fortnight: whether our multimillion national investment in antiviral drugs is justified; and whether significant spending on alternative treatments such as homeopathy is a good use of money. First, to antiviral drugs, and the release of a Cochrane Review [...]

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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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Petition launched to recognise Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders as a disability

In the article below, journalist Mardi Chapman previews the Australasian Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) conference, which began in Brisbane today. And in the second article, Scott Wilson, Director of the SA Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council, reflects on the progress that hasn’t been made in Australia since he attended the 2nd International FASD conference in [...]

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DISABILITIES |

What it takes to improve the lives of disabled people in remote communities: a case study from Warburton

A program to bring families and health professionals together on Country has been helping disabled people in a remote community, according to a presentation at the NACCHO Summit in Adelaide yesterday. The program helps to build trust, relationships and respect, and supports participants to identify the solutions that will best help them as “the experts [...]

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DISABILITIES |

Linking you into the new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan – and some of the reaction

The importance of tackling racism and addressing the social determinants of health are central features of the new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023. (Download here and read the Ministerial statement here.) The plan takes a strengths-based approach focused on health, social and emotional wellbeing, and emphasises the centrality of culture in the health of [...]

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