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Prof Andrew Wilson announced as new Chair for Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC)

Health Minister Sussan Ley today announced the appointment of Professor Andrew Wilson as the new Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), the independent expert body whose primary role is to recommend new medicines for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). In a statement, the Minister also announced that new legislation would be [...]

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Freedom of Tweets – A social media advocacy campaign to unlock the secrets of nutrition governance

Social media is opening up the processes of public health advocacy and efforts to hold governments to account, according to Dr Mark Lock, a Research Fellow in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. As part of the Aboriginal Voice Integration and Diffusion or AVID Study, Dr Lock is examining [...]

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Australia’s ice ‘epidemic’: ‘service cuts, scare campaigns, stigma not the answer to complex issue’

The Federal Coalition last week announced it was launching a new advertising campaign aimed at educating families and the broader community about the dangers of the drug ice, or crystal methamphetamine. Health Minister Sussan Ley said it would assist the National Ice Taskforce, announced last month by the Prime Minister. See its key points in [...]

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Health funding: time for the states to impose a “hospital” levy on property?

The Federal Government appears to have gotten away, politically at least, with the massive cut it made in last year’s Budget to funding promised to the states for hospitals, says the Grattan Institute’s John Daley. For all the protests, he says most of the states will respond as they usually do, “with piecemeal increases to [...]

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The verdict is in: Time to better protect Australian children from toxic lead exposure

The National Health and Medical Research Council today released its revised Statement and Information Paper summarising the evidence on the effects of lead on human health, in which it lowered the level of lead in blood at which the sources of exposure are to be investigated and reduced, from ten to five micrograms per decilitre [...]

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Not all “Captain Chaos” but much confusion, concern on post-Budget health issues

There’s plenty of confusion, contention and concern emerging still out of last week’s Federal Budget on health, with particular uncertainty around after hours GP services. Here’s a quick wrap on some of the issues – complete with glossy illustration from the government’s (once far more dreary-looking) official Budget website pages. Health doesn’t get a big [...]

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Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone: reflections on clinical and research involvement

The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week declared Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission. “The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over.” it said in this statement. However it warned that while it is confident that Liberia has interrupted transmission, outbreaks persist in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, creating a high risk that [...]

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#Budget2015: Health takes a hit, devil may be in the detail – rolling reactions

Health has taken another hit in the 2015-16 Federal Budget, with nearly $2 billion cut from the health system over the next five years. There’s particular concern around $1 billion in “savings” from a range of flexible funds and grants for preventative health research, chronic disease prevention and rural outreach (click twice to enlarge pic below), [...]

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The Health Wrap: Painkillers & prescriptions, Medicare review, Münchausen by internet, science deniers, climate change & more

                This week’s Health Wrap has been written by my colleague Ellice Mol, another new Sax Institute staff member. Ellice is our Digital Communications Manager, is a dab hand at producing digital content and has also worked in radio, video and film production. We hope you enjoy the [...]

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Will we add more years to our lives? The flawed longevity assumption

Treasurer Joe Hockey copped quite a lampooning when he raised the prospect of  people living until they are 150 to explain why Australians should accept cuts to government benefits and pay a greater share of their health costs. But Dr George Crisp says we all are too happy to accept the idea that longevity still [...]

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