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THE CONVERSATION |

And still the evidence and argument mount against a $7 GP co-payment.

The Senate’s Community Affairs References Committee on Friday published its findings on out of pocket costs in Australian healthcare, saying that imposing additional costs would make it harder for people, particularly in vulnerable groups to access primary care, which would not only be at the cost of their own health but to the whole system, [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

Worried about the flu season? Here’s the story behind the figures

Heath Kelly writes: Tuesday’s reports suggesting a particularly severe flu season could easily be overstating the case. The figures, released by Influenza Specialist Group say there have been more than 20,000 cases of flu nationally so far this year, double last year’s number. The release highlights the fundamental problem with trying to get a picture of [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

More than a health issue: addressing the social determinants of obesity

Lareen Newman and Michele Herriot write: Almost two-thirds of Australian adults and one in four children are overweight or obese. Excess weight is responsible for 7,200 deaths each year in Australia, as well one in five heart attacks, half of diabetes, and other problems such as reproductive complications and back pain. Economically, obesity costs Australia A$38 billion a year, through more [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

Why bad food is good for business

Rosemary Stanton and Christina Pollard write: Many people eat badly because far too much of their energy is provided by nutritionally worthless junk foods and drinks. Part of the problem is the push by the food industry to get us to buy food that may be bad for us but good for its business. In the [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

A year on, Christmas Island’s child detainees lose health and hope

Elizabeth Elliot writes: If a visit to Christmas Island sounds like fun, think again. A remote tropical island in the Indian Ocean – billed as a birdwatcher’s paradise and a haven for snorkelling – has a dark side. It is “home” to 1102 detainees seeking asylum, including 174 children; many are infants and 26 boys [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

Media reports of HIV can be part of the problem – or the solution

Trevor Cullen writes:  Research has shown that if used effectively, the media can play an important role in lessening fear and stigma about HIV – the biggest obstacles to seeking information and treatment about the disease. Yet media coverage of this important health issue remains patchy and sensationalist. Take the case of the western Victorian dentist who discovered [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

NAIDOC Week 2014: Someone was here, and they’re here to stay

  How to capture the scope and scale of this year’s National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week 2014 (6-13 July)? It can’t cover everything, of course, but social media was a great window to events and initiatives taking place last week across the country, many of which raised important health issues and [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

GP co-payment would increase emergency department wait times

Mark Mackay, Campbell Thompson, Dale Ward, David Green, Don Campbell, Geoff McDonnell, Leonid Churilov, Malgorzata O’Reilly, Mark Fackrell, Nigel Bean, Peter Taylor, Robert Adams, Shaowen Qin and Keith Stockman write: The introduction of a GP co-payment could see average emergency department visits increase by between six minutes and almost three hours, our modelling shows, as more [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

Living longer, but chronic disease toll rising: Australia’s 14th biennial health report card (and what of its own future?)

We are living longer, have lower death rates for cancer and many other diseases, and a health system that people say they are mostly happy with. But chronic diseases related to our ageing population as well as to lifestyles and health habits are taking an increasing toll. That’s the verdict of Australia’s Health 2014, the [...]

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THE CONVERSATION |

Young people already at risk in crowded housing market: what next under #2014Budget?

Young people in Australia are more likely than any other age group to live in precarious, unaffordable, or overcrowded accommodation and to have been recently forced to move house. In this article for The Conversation, Shelley Mallett from the Brotherhood of St Laurence looks at their current reality and how much worse it is likely [...]

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