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adverse events

Jan 31, 2010

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Tim Mendham, executive officer of the Australian Skeptics, writes:

“One of the poster boys of the global anti-vaccination movement, Dr Andrew Wakefield, has been found guilty of being dishonest, irresponsible and misleading, with the possibility of being struck off the medical register.

Wakefield was a senior lecturer in the Departments of Medicine and Histopathology at the Royal Free Hospital and a reader in experimental gastroenterology. He was an honorary consultant in experimental Gastroenterology with a stipulation in his contract that he had no involvement in the clinical management of patients.

Continue reading “The Skeptics report on Wakefield findings”

health financing and costs

Jan 31, 2010

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The Australian Society of Ophthalmologists is claiming that its deal with the Feds over cuts to the cataract surgery rebate is a victory for patients.

Croakey is particularly taken by the line in their media statement that says: “The
 ASO 
has 
always
 argued 
that
 the
 interests 
of
 patients
 should 
be
 the 
primary 
consideration
”.

But of course!  (Naturally, Croakey does believe everything that she reads.)

The Consumers Health Forum, however, has quite a different take on the whole issue, arguing that the ophthalmologists and the medical colleges more broadly may ultimately prove to be the losers of what has been “an exploitative industrial campaign”.

Executive director Carol Bennett, who has previously written for Croakey on this issue, writes:

Continue reading “Who are the real losers in the cataract surgery campaign?”

health workforce

Jan 29, 2010

5 comments

Today in Ceduna, Minister Warren Snowdon launched a new national association for Aboriginal Health Workers. This report estimates there are more than 1,500 in the country.

The question I have is: why has it taken so long?

It is not an idle or facetious question. I’d really appreciate any insights you may have, whether micro or macro…

Meanwhile, those wanting to find out more about joining the association, should look here.

Update (2nd Feb)

Dr Sue Page, of the Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health, has sent in some relevant background:

“Largely because they are low income employees and small in number in any one employment field so nobody “owns” their issues.

However first state based organisation was registered nearly 15 years ago, and the process quickly became national which lead to the push for national competency standards to be developed. Note the new label drops use of the name “professional” which likely suits the NSW agenda of having them focus community education strategies rather than clinical service delivery. In NT they have been registered vaccination providers for years and years.

There is more info here.

The competency standards stuff starts early 1990s in most states, from 2002 at national level, as per this presentation and also here.




global health

Jan 29, 2010

5 comments

Australian Medical Association

Jan 29, 2010

5 comments

The World Health Organization is moving towards taking some action on the flow of health professionals from poor to rich countries. It is likely that Australia is one of its targets, argues health economist Professor Gavin Mooney.

He writes:

Continue reading “WHO moving towards stemming flow of doctors from poor to rich countries”

conflicts of interest

Jan 28, 2010

5 comments

As previously reported at Croakey, the World Health Organisation is facing some awkward questions in Europe regarding the pharmaceutical industry’s role in the pandemic influenza response, and here is the latest snippet in an issue which is likely to continue to hit the headlines.

Professor Robert Booy, a paediatrician and infectious diseases expert from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, argues below that focusing on such concerns risks obscuring the bigger picture, including the potential public health benefits of vaccination. He writes:

Continue reading “Why I have been vaccinated against pandemic influenza: an expert’s account”

illicit drugs

Jan 28, 2010

5 comments

health financing and costs

Jan 27, 2010

5 comments

If the Government takes a close look at the health component of the latest CPI figures, there are some clear lessons for policy, says Ian McAuley, a Centre for Policy Development Fellow and lecturer in Public Sector Finance at the University of Canberra. He writes:

“The movement in the CPI for the December quarter was 0.5 percent. Some media commentators picked up the fall in the health component, which dropped almost one percent in the quarter. If health had been excluded, the quarterly rise in the CPI would have been 0.6 percent.

This does not mean the Prime Minister’s initiatives to improve productivity in the sector have had a stunning early success.

Continue reading “What do the CPI figures really say about health?”

Australian Medical Association

Jan 27, 2010

5 comments

Health economist Gavin Mooney has two offerings for Croakey readers.

For those with an interest in citizen’s juries and their potential for informing health policy and related decisions, he has just released A Handbook on Citizens’ Juries, which sets out their pros and cons, how to run them, and gives some examples of their use in Australia. It is freely available here.

Mooney has also taken up the previous Croakey post on fee for service, and suggests that citizen’s juries may be able to help inform policy about remuneration systems. After all, if we don’t know what the community really wants from GPs, how can we know what is the most useful way of paying them?

Mooney writes:

Continue reading “A freebie book on citizen’s juries, and more debate about how best to pay doctors”