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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

Trading away health? The story of a health impact assessment that made a splash

A health impact assessment of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement recently made headlines and won some political attention for the wide-ranging public health concerns raised. What were the factors that contributed to this splash? *** Fiona Haigh and Katie Hirono write: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a large regional trade agreement currently in the [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

BMJ publishes ‘clusterbomb’ of evidence on benefits of tobacco plain packaging, but fight with companies ‘far from over’

The British Medical Journal today published the findings of a series of studies in a special Tobacco Control supplement showing that Australia’s plain packaging laws are delivering on their promise. Cancer Council Victoria’s Professor Melanie Wakefield, whose team led the evaluation, said research shows plain packaging reduced positive perceptions of cigarette packs among teenagers and [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

Choosing Wisely with The Naked Doctor

In his latest post for Croakey, The Naked Doctor, Justin Coleman, previews the Choosing Wisely campaign, due to launch in Australia in April.  This campaign focuses on cutting down the numbers of unnecessary medical tests and treatment and has been successful in the USA and Canada in reducing non-evidenced based interventions.  While a number of medical colleges [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

Where to after “profoundly disappointing” Closing the Gap report? Justice targets, renewed funding, and much much more

Pressure is growing on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to add justice targets to the nation’s Closing The Gap strategy to work to reduce the current rate of Indigenous incarceration – although he showed no signs of interest today as he handed down the “profoundly disappointing” 2015 Close the Gap report card. See the summary (pic, [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

Health policy reform: principles for reform & how to get there

It’s hard to pick where health policy will go now under the Federal Government, with a new Minister and the likely shift (mark 3?) on a GP co-payment – if not because they accept the evidence against it but because of the politics. But there was an interesting intervention in the lead up to this [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

‘Good government starts today’ What about good health policy? (asks the AMA for all of us)

It wasn’t a good start for Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s new, improved government after he survived the Liberal party room spill motion, with confusion from the get go about whether or not the GP co-payment proposal was finally going the way of his knighthood selections and the Parental Payment Scheme. The word, at least for [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

Queensland policies on mental health: doing harm & breaching the law?

The use of ‘locked wards’ in acute mental health services is not backed by evidence and is associated with greater risk of patient self-harm and increased violence and aggression, according to a new analysis by UTS researcher Jon Wardle. Wardle suggests that Queensland Government support for locked wards policies may be in breach of the [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

Water fluoridation: why is it still being debated?

** Updated 24/3/15 with additional post and links to new National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) review. For most Australians, the public controversy over fluoridating their water supply is a distant memory, if they remember it at all, but there are still parts of Australia where this demonstrably safe and effective health measure is [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

‘Removing the Emperor’s Clothes’ review: how Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws were won

As this post below points out, we get a lot of books about party politics and politicians, and not so many about public policy. But last year at least saw the publication of Removing the emperor’s clothes: Australia and tobacco plain packaging by Simon Chapman and Becky Freeman (which made the list of 2014′s recommended reads by Croakey [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

Tired, sluggish, bloated? Time to detox? “Don’t buy the hype”

Thanks to Loretta Marron OAM, CEO of Friends of Science in Medicine for this very timely post. *** Loretta Marron writes: Feeling tired, sluggish and bloated? Recycling bin rattling with empty bottles & cans? Belt a bit tight? What about  that New Year’s Resolution to live healthier this year? This might be the perfect time [...]

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