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MARIE MCINERNEY | November 17, 2014 | CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE | |

Big Food, public health and sharing a table: food for thought or empty nutrients?

Just how much should public health engage with Big Food to tackle obesity?  Canadian health research leader Professor Diane Finegood, CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research,  led an initiative that provided “safe” (or private) spaces for Big Food to talk to public health – and says the results were surprising. Delivering the keynote [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | November 15, 2014 | CLIMATE CHANGE | |

Climate change hits the headlines, despite the intense control efforts at G20

The Australian Government’s efforts to distract the world from its inaction on climate change have been blown out of the water as the G20 leaders meeting kicked off in Brisbane. US President Barack Obama’s speech at the University of Queensland, stressing the importance of climate action, pledging $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | November 14, 2014 | EBOLA | |

Australia’s Ebola response: A worrying insight into our lack of preparedness for other infectious disease threats?

Melissa Sweet writes: While G20 leaders are under pressure to step up the global response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, experts warn that Australia’s tardy response raises concerns about our overall preparedness for global health threats. The Consumers Health Forum of Australia has supported a call from the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | November 14, 2014 | CLIMATE CHANGE | 1 |

Health groups continue to raise their voices as G20 gets underway

As the G20 gets draws closer, health groups are continuing to raise their voices regarding the health implications of topics under discussion.  In the most recent press releases a broad group of health organisations have come together to condemn the impact of coal on health and release a position paper on health and energy choices, [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | November 13, 2014 | CLIMATE CHANGE | |

What are the critical health issues for G20 leaders?

Global meetings like the G20 Leaders Summit are not generally reported through a health lens, although the decisions undertaken at the conference can have profound ramifications for health, at a local and global level. For example, yesterday’s landmark agreement  between the US and China ,which included the announcement of further emission reduction goals, lends some hope [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | November 13, 2014 | GLOBAL HEALTH | 2 |

Memo to G20 leaders: the three best buys for health equity (and it takes only five minutes!)

The Brisbane Global Cafe, which is billed as a “pre-G20 thought-leadership forum”, is underway with “75 of the world’s sharpest, provocative and most innovative minds”. The five themes for its two days of discussions are: Improving Human Life; Powering Future Economies; The Digital Age – Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Tourism’s New Frontiers; and Cities of the [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | November 12, 2014 | ABORTION | |

Change needed in NSW abortion law

Professor Caroline de Costa, James Cook University writes: In June this year Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi placed a bill on notice in the upper house of the NSW parliament to initiate debate on decriminalising abortion in the state. There is a growing wave of public  support for this long overdue change in NSW. The [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | November 12, 2014 | ALCOHOL | |

We need more than gimmicks to face up to alcohol and other drugs

Just because ‘there’s an app for that’, doesn’t mean anyone is going to use it.  Responding to the promotion of another simplistic app that purports to challenge young people about the impacts of their drinking, UnitingCare ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis considers what works in supporting people to change their behaviour and some of the challenges [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | November 11, 2014 | INDIGENOUS HEALTH | |

A call for funding certainty for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisations

While there has progress in closing the gap between the health status of Indigenous Australians and that of non-Indigenous Australians, there is still much to be done. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report Australia’s Health 2014 shows that a large gap in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians still exists.

Perhaps the starkest indicator of this is that Indigenous children aged 0-4 years die at twice the rate of their non-Indigenous counterparts.  Life expectancy is 10 years lower for Indigenous boys and 9 years lower for Indigenous girls than their non-Indigenous counterparts. One third of Indigenous people have three or more long-term conditions. Incidence of diseases such as asthma and diabetes is significantly higher amongst the Indigenous population.

This fourth instalment of our series on issues in rural health by the NRHA describes why improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples requires commitment, planning and funding security.

From the National Rural Health Alliance:

The greatest and most persistent challenge to Australia’s social policy is improving the health and wellbeing of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It has been a top priority for the NRHA ever since it was established.

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MICHELLE HUGHES | November 11, 2014 | CO-PAYMENTS | |

Medicare spending on general practice is value for money

By Helena Britt, University of Sydney; Christopher Harrison, University of Sydney; Clare Bayram, University of Sydney; Graeme Miller, University of Sydney; Joan Henderson, University of Sydney, and Julie Gordon, University of Sydney Last year taxpayers spent A$6.3 billion on GP services through Medicare, about 6% of the total government health expenditure. This was a 50% [...]

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