tip off

MICHELLE HUGHES | April 09, 2014 | COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINES | 3 |

End of the road for homeopathy?

A new report from the NHMRC regarding the evidence base for homeopathy raises questions regarding the funding of a range of homeopathic treatments.  Many thanks to Lorretta Marron, CEO, Friends of Science in Medicine for this overview.

Will homeopathy finally disappear into history?  The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) “concludes that the assessment of the evidence from research in humans does not show that homeopathy is effective for treating the range of health conditions considered”. It’s now official: according to Australia’s peak medical research body, homeopathy doesn’t work!

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FRONJACKSONWEBB | April 08, 2014 | FEDERAL BUDGET 2014-15 | 1 |

Rationing care vs increasing taxes – the health system sustainability myth

Stephen Duckett writes: In the lead-up to the May budget, the seemingly inexorable rise in health spending has unleashed a “sustainability panic”: rhetoric that health system costs are out of control and drastic measures are needed to make the system affordable.

Sustainability panic is often used to justify shifting the burden of controlling health spending from the wider society to a vulnerable few – people with [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | April 08, 2014 | EDUCATION | 7 |

Train in vain: How the Queensland contract dispute leaves junior doctors floundering

 Croakey has previously reported on the crisis engulfing senior medical staff in Queensland.  As the turmoil continues, the knock on affect of a potential mass exodus of medical staff on junior doctors and medical training is coming into focus.  Many thanks to Dr Gemma Robertson for this personal perspective on the loss of senior doctors in Queensland.

I remember my first day as a junior doctor vividly. That first shift is, all at once, terrifying, exhilarating, and mortifying.

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MELISSA DAVEY | April 07, 2014 | CLIMATE CHANGE | 1 |

The Health Wrap: Workplace mental health, an Indigenous health mix-bag, and health budget predictions

By Melissa Davey Employee well-being is being addressed, but needs work Mental health in the workplace is becoming an increasingly discussed issue as mental illness becomes less stigmatised, and workplaces are seen as key partners in its prevention and treatment. Writing for Croakey, Jaelea Skehan and Brian Kelly say it is promising to see workplaces given a [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | April 06, 2014 | INDIGENOUS HEALTH | |

A wealth of stories and lessons – from the Lowitja Institute’s recent CQI conference

Efforts to improve health promotion campaigns and healthcare services were profiled at the Lowitja Institute’s recent Continuous Quality Improvement conference, reports Marie McInerney. The conference yielded many pithy tips, including: ‘A good motto for CQI innovation: Steal shamelessly, share generously’; and ’Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; but include me and [...]

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | April 06, 2014 | CHRONIC DISEASES | 3 |

Finding savings in healthcare: moving from theory to reality

With a tough federal Budget fast approaching, many in the health sector are offering up suggestions for where the Abbott Government might find savings. Some of these options were outlined in an article published in Croakey earlier this week.

They include:

  • cutting the price paid for generic drugs and encouraging substituting brand name drugs with generics,
  • expanding the range of tele-health services that can be funded under Medicare,
  • ensuring treatments listed on the Medical Benefits Schedule are effective and offer value for tax-payers, reducing use of those that are wasteful, and  
  • reducing the price paid for prosthesis, such as hip and knee replacements.

These options and more were discussed in detail at a roundtable, hosted by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA), on options for finding savings in health and improving quality in health care. Dr Anne-marie Boxall, Director, Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research at the AHHA and co-author of Making Medicare, provided the following report from the Roundtable. She writes:

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | April 04, 2014 | CHRONIC DISEASES | |

Comprehensive Primary Health Care – what works? A Research Symposium

Comprehensive and integrated primary care is well documented in the research literature as providing the most cost-effective and equitable mechanism for preventing and managing chronic disease.  Yet despite a growing body of research supporting this form of care, it often appears to be put in the ‘too hard’ basket of governments and policy makers.

This is particularly strange given that we already have a large number of successful examples of this form of care around the country in the form of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs). As NACCHO Char Justin Mohammed outlined in the previous post, ACCHO’s have played an essential role in achieving improvements in the health status of Indigenous people. 

There is a great deal that the mainstream health sector could learn from ACCHOs and yet this knowledge transfer does not appear to be occurring. The reasons for this, along with a broad range of other issues, were discussed at a recent Research Symposium held at the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University. 

Racism, cultural cringe, and a dominant private sector paradigm were suggested by participant and ‘critical friend’ Tony McBride as reasons why the broader health sector has not learnt as much as it could from ACCHOs. 

In the following piece, Professor Fran Baum and Dr Toby Freeman, from the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University Adelaide, report on this issue and the broader findings of the Symposium.  They write:

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | April 04, 2014 | HEALTH INEQUALITIES | |

New report shows economic benefits for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations

A new report has demonstrated the economic benefits of the 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and reveals they provide a range of quality employment and education opportunities for Aboriginal people and boost local economies.  

Justin Mohamed, Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations launched the report at the National Press Club in Canberra this week.  “Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations are major contributors to closing the appalling health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians by providing culturally appropriate primary health care to Aboriginal people,” Mr Mohamed said.

“We now know that they are even more valuable – providing employment and training opportunities to our people which in turn boost local economies and tackle some of the huge barriers to Aboriginal people achieving economic independence and quality of life.

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MELISSA SWEET | April 03, 2014 | CROAKEY NEWS | |

Introducing “The Croakey Koori” and “Wonky Health” – please support

If you are a regular or even an occasional reader of Croakey – or even if you are visiting for your first time today – I invite you to support two new writing-for-health projects. They are: • The Croakey Koori Kelly Briggs, a Gomeroi writer from Moree (famous on Twitter as @TheKooriWoman), is fund-raising via [...]

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FRONJACKSONWEBB | April 02, 2014 | INDIGENOUS HEALTH | 1 |

Bad news: negative Indigenous health coverage reinforces stigma

Melissa Stoneham writes: Think of Aboriginal health and you’ll probably recall messages of large gaps in life expectancy, increasing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease and asthma. Or that the last ten years has been a “wasted decade” for Aboriginal people.

It won’t be too much of a surprise, then, to learn that 74% of media articles about Aboriginal health are negative. That’s the [...] 

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