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The Health Wrap: Forgotten election issues, Indigenous funding reprieve, mind-eating ice, Medicare debate not dead yet

                It’s with pleasure I introduce this week’s Health Wrap from my colleague Megan Howe, who has joined the Sax Institute as Publications Manager. Megan knows more than a thing or two about health reporting – she has worked in the media for 25 years, most recently as [...]

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A call to remove alcohol from the Official Drinks Cabinet of sports

Anyone for cricket? Or, given the avalanche of alcohol advertising hitting our World Cup screens, perhaps it’s more appropriate to ask, anyone want to get legless? According to Danica Keric, Julia Stafford & Mike Daube from the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth at Curtin University in Perth, it’s also appropriate to ask: [...]

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The Health Wrap: RIP copayment; choice vs culture; future proofing research infrastructure; on matters of evidence

                By Kellie Bisset RIP copayment As Prime Minister Tony Abbott ended ongoing criticisms of the government’s GP copayment proposal by  declaring it “dead, buried and cremated”, health groups warned that the sting might just be in the tail. A Medicare rebate freeze until 2018 might save $1.3 [...]

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FactCheck: can you change a violent drinking culture by changing how people drink?

Peter Miller writes: “You can’t change a culture by simply changing drinking. It is, of course, justifiable to explore the effectiveness of small measures such as advertising restrictions, increases or decreases in price, relaxation or restriction of hours, but such things tinker at the margins of culture and it is doubtful that they will alter [...]

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Is the Dietitians Association of Australia in the pocket of Big Food?

Public health lawyer, author and blogger Michele Simon has been investigating conflicts of interest and the Dietitians Association of Australia.  Simon, president of Eat Drink Politics, a corporate watchdog consulting firm in the US, has released an Australian edition of “And Now A Word From Our Sponsors”, detailing close links between the food industry and DAA. [...]

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The Health Wrap: On Closing the Gap; persistent policy pickles; lessons for Oz in heated US vaccine debate?

By Kellie Bisset On Closing the Gap This fortnight, we learned that Australia’s progress in closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage was, in the words of the Prime Minister, “profoundly disappointing”. The release of the Closing the Gap report, which showed targets on life expectancy, early childhood access, reading and numeracy and employment have remained [...]

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“My feelings about climate change are a mixture of awe, hope, despair, frustration and anger.”

Could an old-fashioned technology – like hand-written letters – help to solve one of the most difficult public health communications challenges of the modern era? Science communicator Joe Duggan has been experimenting with a project - Is This How You Feel? - that seeks to create change by connecting the public with the emotions of climate scientists. [...]

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What can power, money and influence offer public health? The #NPC vs #QldVotes

The Prime Minister’s much-anticipated speech to the National Press Club today was a reminder – if we needed one – that public health concerns are not high on his agenda. You can read the full speech here, or try this summary by The Guardian’s Lenore Taylor. Or, some short versions from the Twittersphere: The Twittersphere also noted [...]

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On election eve, some health matters for Queensland voters

Whatever the outcome of the Queensland election, the predicted large swing to Labor – and away from the austerity politics of the Liberal National Party – will have national ramifications. That’s the asessement of sociologist and political analyst Dr Mark Bahnisch (who has also been tweeting for @WePublicHealth this week) in his election-eve wrap for [...]

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On #QldVotes and a shrinking public health sector

The World Health Organization has urged nations to strengthen the capacity of their public health workforces, as one of a raft of recommendations aimed at reducing the toll of noncommunicable diseases. However, the recommendation, in the WHO’s latest report on noncommunicable diseases, must sound rather hollow for those who have followed the shrinkage of the [...]

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