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PUBLIC HEALTH |

It’s about the wellbeing of all of us, not just doctors, say peaks on concerns re AMA copayment deal

(This post has been updated to link to include the AMA’s co-payment proposal and some Twitter reaction) “When it comes to health costs, no decision about us should be taken without us.” The national peak community and health consumer groups – the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), Consumers Health Forum, and Public Health Association [...]

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PUBLIC HEALTH |

Wonky Health: What might public health advocates learn from reading Rob Oakeshott’s new book?

The interests of cashed-up industries are routinely put ahead of our health.  That’s hardly “hold the front page” news for those in the public health field, so it’s perhaps surprising we don’t hear more public health advocates calling for action on systems of political governance, including political donations. The malignant influence of cashed-up political donors [...]

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PUBLIC HEALTH |

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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PUBLIC HEALTH |

J’Accuse: call on health professionals to speak out on Australia’s asylum seeker policies

Australian psychiatrist and researcher Professor Louise Newman, director of the Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology at Monash University, has long led the way on the devastating impact of detention on asylum seekers, particularly children. She is spokeswoman for this open letter, signed by more than 200 prominent doctors, lawyers, academics and refugee advocates, that [...]

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PUBLIC HEALTH |

That Abetz comment on abortion and breast cancer: symptom of a wider malaise?

The Prime Minister and Health Minister Peter Dutton have pointed out the lack of evidence to support Senator Eric Abetz’s recent inflammatory comments linking abortion and breast cancer. But should his comments be seen as an aberration? There are any number of other areas where the Government’s statements and actions are not informed by evidence. [...]

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PUBLIC HEALTH |

Reflections of an economic migrant: one life should not be valued more than another’s

We live in troubled times when our political leaders place more value on some lives than others, says Dr Virginia Barbour, a medical editor who brings a global perspective to bear on her recent move to Australia. *** By Virginia Barbour It’s been a strange few weeks from the point of view of a relatively [...]

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PUBLIC HEALTH |

“The accidental logic of health policy in Australia” – some progressive ideas for reform

A new book aims to provide an antidote to policy failures arising out of “an ideology built upon faith in markets and a distrust of governments”. The authors of the health chapter, Professor Fran Baum and Professor Judith Dwyer, summarise below their contribution to Australian Public Policy: Progressive Ideas in the Neoliberal Ascendency.  “Overall, our message echoes [...]

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PUBLIC HEALTH |

Our conversation about racism should not stop now the RDA is safe

You may have heard the sound of corks popping on Twitter yesterday when news broke that the Federal Government has dropped planned changes to the Racial Discrimination Act that had been opposed by many public health experts and community groups and members. On Monday night, Liberal MP Ken Wyatt told ABC TV’s Q and A [...]

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PUBLIC HEALTH |

Primary health care and public health lessons from classical opera

Inspired by Pinchgut Opera’s public health analysis of Salieri’s The Chimney Sweep, is this light-hearted look at five famous characters from classical opera, as they may have been treated by a (best practice) comprehensive primary health care service.  Scroll down for the identity of these dramatic patients and the public health lessons they can teach [...]

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PUBLIC HEALTH |

Alcohol-related harms unacceptable – new research shows

A new report into the impact of alcohol-related harms on our community has found that alcohol kills four times as many Australians every year as those killed on our roads. Michael Thorn, Chief Executive, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, outlines the findings of the new research and calls for urgent policy and legislative action [...]

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