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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?

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 strongly resisted. It’s a classic case of emotion and scaremongering winning out over evidence-based studies.  In the following [...]

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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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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

New year, same approach: implications of the Fed Govt’s confidence trick on Medicare

Much happened on the health front in the closing weeks of 2014, not least with the appointment of a new Health Minister Sussan Ley. See some interim advice to the new Minister and judgements on the contributions of former Minister Peter Dutton from Croakey contributors. The Federal Government also finally came up with a Plan [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

Some pithy advice for Minister Ley, and sharp assessments of Minister Dutton

Now that we have a new Federal Health Minister, Sussan Ley, (who stands out in this picture for all the wrong reasons), what advice can we offer? And how will Peter Dutton’s time as Health Minister be remembered? Perhaps Minister Ley – who has promised to focus on improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

Surfs up – but watch your eyes!

Dr Melissa Stoneham writes: Growing up with five wave-riding brothers, spending every summer holiday at surf beaches and rocking along to songs such as Echo Beach and Summer Breeze, enabled me to spend my teenage years in amongst the surfing scene. Only recently have I actually started to ride my own board. I figured that [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

Tony Abbott’s Medicare “deforms” or How to Trick Senators 1.01

The Federal Government’s co-payments Plan B will add another layer of co-payment complexity to the Medicare system that neither doctors nor patients fully understand now. That raises a whole range of issues around unintended consequences, particularly for patients but also for our system, which has prompted this appeal to the Senate to learn from what’s [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

What makes a city liveable? Some answers from a new public health journal

A new online, open access journal, Public Health Research and Practice, has been launched by the Sax Institute. You can find out more about it below from editor Anne Messenger, who is also tweeting this week for @WePublicHealth. *** Anne Messenger writes: What does it mean to reside in a liveable city? Organisations globally consider [...]

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EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES |

The Health Wrap: holistic health systems; drug complexities; mental health, G20, Ebola, climate change

By Frances Gilham Striving for holistic health systems Conversations about Australia’s health system continued this fortnight, with the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association holding an ‘Integrated Care Simulation’, gathering 85 health leaders to workshop major health policy initiatives. Croakey reported on the event, saying a key theme that emerged from the role-playing exercise was the [...]

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