August, 2015

The Health Wrap: The Vegemite news spread; On your bike (sans helmet); a chronic problem; funding medical research and teens’ troubling mental health.

, Aug 17, 2015

                  This week’s Health Wrap is compiled by my colleague Megan Howe, the Sax Institute’s Publications Manager. Enjoy the Wrap and tweet us via @medicalmedia or @meghowe68 if you have any ideas for future issues. By Megan Howe The Vegemite news spread The use and abuse of […]
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As we fiddle with GST rises to fund health, South Australia sees big ‘short-sighted’ cuts to public health

, Jul 20, 2015

As New South Wales and South Australia launch discussions on the merits of lifting the rate of the GST from 10 to 15 per cent “in order to pay for the increasing cost of healthcare”, they might want first to consider their health care priorities. Associate Professor Samantha Battams reveals below “a sad state of […]

The Health Wrap: Speaking out on asylum seeker health; federal funding row; miracle medicine; lighting up tensions, access to abortion.

, Jul 04, 2015

                This week’s Health Wrap is compiled by my colleague Megan Howe, the Sax Institute’s Publications Manager. Enjoy the Wrap and tweet us via @medicalmedia or @meghowe68 if you have any ideas for future issues. By Megan Howe Life’s good….for some To start the Health Wrap on a […]
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The Good GP never stops learning: the RACGP video that made doctors cry – and patient advocates wince

, Jun 18, 2015

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has launched a promotional video as part of a community awareness campaign – and the early reviews are mixed, particularly depending on which side of the consulting desk you sit and how you feel about diversity and gender issues. Thanks very much to GP Dr Edwin Kruys for […]
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The Health Wrap: A budget health check; medical school war of words; eyes on Ebola; pharmacy deal dispensed; all things equal

, May 24, 2015

                This week’s Health Wrap is compiled by my colleague Megan Howe, the Sax Institute’s Publications Manager. Enjoy the Wrap and tweet us via @medicalmedia or @meghowe68 if you have any ideas for future issues. By Megan Howe A budget health check The Federal Budget’s impact on health […]
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Memo to Canberra: How are other countries finding billions for health care? Ending fossil fuel subsidies

, May 22, 2015

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There’s confusion about what is or isn’t on the table for cuts after Health Minister Sussan Ley conceded the Senate won’t pass increased patient contributions for PBS drugs, but said the $1 billion ‘savings’ will have to be found elsewhere. See more below for how it unfolded. But if the Minister and the Federal Government […]
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Right to die campaigner Rodney Syme accuses RACP of “stifling debate” on euthanasia

, May 20, 2015

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Dying with Dignity campaigner Dr Rodney Syme has accused the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) of “cowardly” and “insulting” behaviour and of trying to stifle debate, after withdrawing his invitation to speak at its upcoming annual conference. “The outcome is an act of academic censorship of the worst kind – they did not know […]
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The verdict is in: Time to better protect Australian children from toxic lead exposure

, May 19, 2015

The National Health and Medical Research Council today released its revised Statement and Information Paper summarising the evidence on the effects of lead on human health, in which it lowered the level of lead in blood at which the sources of exposure are to be investigated and reduced, from ten to five micrograms per decilitre […]
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Will we add more years to our lives? The flawed longevity assumption

, May 08, 2015

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Treasurer Joe Hockey copped quite a lampooning when he raised the prospect of  people living until they are 150 to explain why Australians should accept cuts to government benefits and pay a greater share of their health costs. But Dr George Crisp says we all are too happy to accept the idea that longevity still […]
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Using a systems approach to tackle obesity: insights from the UK

, May 08, 2015

This is the first of a series of articles covering the CEIPS Seminar Series, monthly seminars that showcase systems approaches and complex public health interventions. This article originally appeared on the CEIPS blog and has been reproduced here with permission. It is written by Rebecca Zosel, public health practitioner, advocate and consultant, who tweets from […]
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#Budget2015 prescription to cut health costs: invest in prevention

, May 07, 2015

There’s little doubt that “spiralling health costs” will get plenty of Budget Bingo hits when Treasurer Joe Hockey delivers the 2014-15 Budget next Tuesday, 12 May. Here then is a very timely article from Mary Barry, CEO National Heart Foundation, in response to the Productivity Commission’s recent research report on Efficiency in Health. She notes […]
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Seeing stars: time to cut through the breakfast ‘cereal spin’, plus the launch of #ChoosingWisely

, Apr 29, 2015

Today saw the launch of the #ChoosingWisely campaign in Australia which aims to encourage conversations between health professionals and patients about tests, treatments and procedures that may provide little or no value, and which may cause harm. See the series of Croakey posts on the initiative, some tweets from the launch at the bottom of […]
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NSW: where polluters trump public health concerns

, Apr 19, 2015

The recent NSW election has put the spotlight on the State Government’s prioritising of vested interests ahead of public health, according to Jude Page, NSW branch president of the PHAA. The health impacts of polluting motorways, coal mine expansions, and coal seam gas exploration deserve far greater scrutiny and action, she argues. Her article also […]

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

, Mar 27, 2015

                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 […]

BMJ publishes ‘clusterbomb’ of evidence on benefits of tobacco plain packaging, but fight with companies ‘far from over’

, Mar 19, 2015

The British Medical Journal today published the findings of a series of studies in a special Tobacco Control supplement showing that Australia’s plain packaging laws are delivering on their promise. Cancer Council Victoria’s Professor Melanie Wakefield, whose team led the evaluation, said research shows plain packaging reduced positive perceptions of cigarette packs among teenagers and […]
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Paying tribute to Dr Nigel Gray, a pioneer of global tobacco control

, Jan 11, 2015

Tributes to the late Dr Nigel Gray AO are being inscribed here on the Cancer Council Victoria website, and the World Health Organization has also published a warm acknowledgement of one of the “pioneers and cutting edge thinkers” of its global tobacco control network. In the article below, Rob Moodie, Professor of Public Health at the Melbourne […]
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Walkley Awards: catch up on some of Australia’s best journalism

, Jan 06, 2015

The siege of the Lindt cafe in Sydney late last year showcased some of the best and worst aspects of journalism in Australia, with surely the top prize for poor taste going to our most powerful media man, Rupert Murdoch, for his tweet just hours after its tragic resolution: Much already has been written about the […]
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Some pithy advice for Minister Ley, and sharp assessments of Minister Dutton

, Dec 23, 2014

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Now that we have a new Federal Health Minister, Sussan Ley, (who stands out in this picture for all the wrong reasons), what advice can we offer? And how will Peter Dutton’s time as Health Minister be remembered? Perhaps Minister Ley – who has promised to focus on improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres […]
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Tony Abbott’s Medicare “deforms” or How to Trick Senators 1.01

, Dec 16, 2014

The Federal Government’s co-payments Plan B will add another layer of co-payment complexity to the Medicare system that neither doctors nor patients fully understand now. That raises a whole range of issues around unintended consequences, particularly for patients but also for our system, which has prompted this appeal to the Senate to learn from what’s […]
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#MYEFO Budget update brings more cuts to foreign aid, health agencies

, Dec 15, 2014

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Australia’s leading international aid organisations have responded with dismay to another round of drastic cuts to foreign aid announced in the Federal Government’s Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), which also contains news of more cuts to health agencies. Treasurer Joe Hockey said foreign aid had taken “by far” the biggest hit in the latest […]