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‘Drink Coke, Exercise More?’: where conflict of interest is a Real Thing

The New York Times prompted much public health concern this week with a report in its Well section that Coca-Cola “is backing a new ‘science-based’ solution to the obesity crisis: to maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories.” It said: “The beverage giant has teamed up with influential scientists [...]

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#cripcroakey: introducing Croakey readers to the wonderful, wild world of disability politics, policy & people

Croakey is excited to be working with El Gibbs, who is today launching a crowd-funding campaign  – #cripcroakey – to fund a series of articles on disability and health. El brings great insights and expertise and a compelling voice. She has over 15 years experience in the community and not-for-profit sector, working in policy and [...]

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Blocking #marriageequality: ‘It is frustrating, hurtful, incredibly exhausting & deeply personal’

Prime Minister Tony Abbott put an end this week to hopes for marriage equality this year in Australia, with the decision by the Coalition party room to not allow a conscience vote on the issue – effectively sealing its defeat were it to come to Parliament. Now the focus is on whether a decision might [...]

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The power of words: ‘why we need to stop talking about inequality’

As Australian moves to bring about marriage equality again floundered on Tuesday, this post below from New Zealand campaigner Kirk Serpes looks at the need to shift away from problem-focused messaging that’s aimed at “raising awareness” to tackle some of the most complex issues: poverty, inequality and crime. He discusses how “framing” is a powerful [...]

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Winter hospital bed crisis – could we be doing better?

Most non-urgent elective surgery in Adelaide’s public hospitals was cancelled last week and some patients transferred to neighbouring regional hospitals after SA Health faced its busiest day (so far) this winter. In the post below, Professor Jon Karnon asks what could have and should be done better to both prevent and manage demand, with the [...]

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On the risks to health, environment that must be dealt with in the TransPacific Partnership Agreement

Counting down to next week’s ‘home stretch’, The Economist says the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) looms as the most important free-trade agreement in years. “If completed, it will be the largest regional trade deal ever, with its members accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the world economy.” It also poses significant risks for environment and [...]

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Will #COAG calls for new focus on primary care, keeping people out of hospital mean reform goes beyond GST, Medicare levy hikes?

‘Frankly, if we can have a conversation rather than a scare campaign, our country will be so much better off,’ said Prime Minister Tony Abbott as the 40th Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting wound up on Thursday. Chance would be a fine thing perhaps – particularly with lifting the rate of the GST and [...]

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Private health & private hospitals: how does the new landscape look for patients & equity?

(Updated 23 July to add Medibank response). Australian Medical Association president Brian Owler today issued a stern warning over “more aggressive” negotiations emerging between private health insurers and funds in Australia, demonstrated by the dispute on rates and quality of services between Calvary Hospital Group and health insurer Medibank Private. Owler was particularly concerned over [...]

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What’s the problem with hospital funding and why lifting the GST is ‘like prescribing medicine before completing the diagnosis’

Momentum has been growing ahead of today’s meeting of State Premiers and Prime Minister Tony Abbott for increasing the goods and services tax from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, in large part to cover health care funding gaps. Emeritus Professor Stephen Leeder from the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at University of Sydney outlines [...]

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What does marriage equality mean for the Australian health system?

The recent decision by the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) on marriage equality has been heralded as a milestone in addressing discrimination against people in same-sex partnerships and also broader issues of injustice affecting the lesbian, gay and bi-sexual, transgender, intersex, queer and allied (LGBTIQA) communities.   The implications for health care may not [...]

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