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JENNIFER DOGGETT | September 11, 2014 | EDUCATION | |

Defining and responding to everyday racism

Racism is a sensitive and challenging issue but one which needs to be addressed by all of us working within the health system if we are to ensure all people can have equal access to health care.  In this thoughtful analysis of casual and everyday racism, collaborators Daniel Reeders and Suzanne Nguyen discuss how experiences of everyday racism correlate with health over time in Aboriginal Australian and culturally diverse people in Victoria. They discuss strategies to address the health impact of discrimination and empower young people around their experiences of everyday racism. They write:

A recent piece by Dr Jacqueline Nelson and Dr Jessica Walton in The Conversation is headlined “Explainer: what is casual racism?”  We’ve been working together for about a year on an initiative led by Suzanne that is tentatively titled “Defining Everyday Racism Project” or DERP for short.  (See postscript for our bios.)

Our collaboration began on Twitter, where Suzanne was tweeting about her creative and online initiative The Two Chairs, which has toured around Australia inviting people to sit in the chairs and reflect on their understandings of race in Australia. While sitting on these chairs, one of the very first things we discussed was the difference between casual racism and everyday racism.

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | September 11, 2014 | FEDERAL BUDGET 2014-15 | 1 |

Are the AIHW’s welfare functions at risk?

Good policy relies on robust, comprehensive and accurate data and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is one of the most respected source of data for health and social policy makers in Australia. However, its status may be compromised due to the upcoming merger between AIHW and other agencies.  In a post originally published at the Power to Persuade blog, Richard Madden the former director of AIHW reflects on what’s at risk if AIHW were to lose its welfare functions.  He writes:

The 2014 Commonwealth Budget includes a proposal to merge the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) with a range of other health bodies into a Health Productivity and Performance Commission. This endangers AIHW’s independent data collection and reporting.

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MELISSA SWEET | September 10, 2014 | INDIGENOUS HEALTH | 1 |

The Koori Woman: Ending the silence on trauma and mental health

Kelly Briggs writes: I recently attended The Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Conference of Australia & New Zealand in Perth. I mainly kept my schedule to see any Indigenous topics and themes being spoken about, and at some point I too was going to present a story on my lived experience with mental illness. The day before I [...]

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | September 10, 2014 | EDUCATION | 1 |

Abolition of Indigenous tutoring scheme will impact on the Government’s education commitment

The Abbott Government’s decision to abolish the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS) has been described by Australia’s peak Indigenous doctors’ representative body as undermining the Government’s support for Indigenous education, particularly tertiary education.

The ITAS acknowledges Indigenous educational disadvantage, providing supplementary tutorial support to Indigenous students in order to increase participation and graduation rates. The scheme enables Indigenous Australian students to access up to a maximum of 2 hours per week per subject additional tutorial assistance during the teaching period and up to a maximum of 5 hours in total during the examination period.

CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association (AIDA), Ms Kate Thomann, expressed her concern about the ITAS changes and the lack of consultation or notice given about the changes.

Ms Thomann says many of AIDA’s student members have indicated that without the support provided by ITAS they would either have never enrolled in medicine in the first place or believe they would have dropped out early.

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | September 09, 2014 | CROAKEY LONGREADS | 2 |

Beyond the stethoscope: Restoring hope, heart and healing in medicine

In discussions about the flaws of our current health system, we rarely consider the impact of funding systems on the wellbeing and experiences of doctors. Forced into rush consultations by Medicare and waiting room economics, Lucy Mayes’ moving essay looks at the stress doctors experience by being unable to take ‘time to care’, leading to burnout and [...]

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | September 09, 2014 | HEALTH FINANCING AND COSTS | 2 |

Outsourcing Medicare: Is it as easy as π?

Following on from the range of issues raised by Croakey contributors about the outsourcing of MBS and PBS payments, Margaret Faux discusses the most appropriate role for the private sector in supporting core government functions and the risks involved when private sector interests conflict with the central role of government. She writes:

In a U.S managed care styled initiative, private insurers have been given the right to tender to manage the operation of the government’s new Primary Health Networks, which will soon replace existing Medicare Locals. And recently, the government’s expression of interest from the private sector to provide outsourced claims and payment services for the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS) was closed.

There’s nothing new or surprising about governments outsourcing service provision to the private sector. Recognising that key policy issues can sometimes be better addressed by tapping into private sector innovation and expertise is an important role of government. But when outsourcing amounts to the abrogation of core functions of the state, the inherent risks can be high.

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New national approach to rural and remote health research

Participants in the 4th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium in Canberra last week committed to a National Strategy and Action Plan for maximising the value of rural and remote health research. Below is a statement issued by the National Rural Health Alliance after the symposium, and it is followed by some conference tweets (which [...]

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KELLIE BISSET | September 08, 2014 | CLIMATE CHANGE | |

The Health Wrap: How are we doing on healthcare policy? Is climate change the next public health emergency? Lessons from Ebola

  By Kellie Bisset Healthcare spending – how does Australia compare?  In the wake of so much talk recently about Australian healthcare costs being unsustainable, a series of articles this past fortnight has sought to address how we stack up internationally in what we spend and what we deliver. The Conversation kicked off a series on [...]

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JENNIFER DOGGETT | September 07, 2014 | CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE | |

Alternative health cost-saving measures – new book

Whether or not the Abbott Government gets its way on GP co-payments, the sustainability of our health system is likely to remain very much on the political agenda, Dr Agnes Walker, from the Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health, reviews a new book which aims to identify the most cost-effective health system interventions. In line [...]

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MARIE MCINERNEY | September 05, 2014 | CHRONIC DISEASES | |

Housing affordability & health: who wins, who loses and why isn’t it on the political agenda?

Affordable housing plays a critical role in just about every social issue – from education outcomes to prison numbers – and on health, as the article below from Tania King, Emma Baker, and Rebecca Bentley explores. Yet it’s been pretty much off the agenda in the first year of the Abbott Government, apart from allocating [...]

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