August, 2015

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Pension funds pressure pharma companies to disclose trial data

, Aug 02, 2015

The AllTrials campaign had a big win recently when a group of 85 asset managers and pension funds said that they would request that the pharmaceutical companies they invest in declare their clinical trial data. This campaign calls for all past and present clinical trials to be registered and their full methods and summary results […]

The Health Wrap: Windfarm woes, the vaccination conversation, hope for medicinal cannabis, improving organ donation rates

, Jun 19, 2015

                  This fortnight’s Health Wrap has been prepared by my colleague Ellice Mol, Digital Communications Manager at The Sax Institute. Send your ideas for The Health Wrap to me on Twitter via @medicalmedia. By Ellice Mol  Huff and puff on windfarms Prime Minister Tony Abbott sparked renewed discussion […]
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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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Inawintji’s Story on Living Black tonight: “the high price to pay for staying well”

, Jun 16, 2015

Access to healthy and affordable food and good health care is a big issue for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those living in remote communities. The recent National Rural Health Conference in Darwin has called for a Senate Inquiry into food security for remote communities, while the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjar (NPY) Women’s […]
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Australia’s ice ‘epidemic’: ‘service cuts, scare campaigns, stigma not the answer to complex issue’

, May 21, 2015

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The Federal Coalition last week announced it was launching a new advertising campaign aimed at educating families and the broader community about the dangers of the drug ice, or crystal methamphetamine. Health Minister Sussan Ley said it would assist the National Ice Taskforce, announced last month by the Prime Minister. See its key points in […]
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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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Sharing the Patient’s Voice with Health Professionals

, May 12, 2015

One of the most significant changes to our health system over the past two decades is the increasing role of consumers and the community.  Consumers are now involved at some level in most areas of health care, from the design of research trials to the execution of health promotion campaigns.  Once controversial, few would now argue against […]
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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 […]

Vending machines – exercising your choice?

, Apr 06, 2015

Many thanks to Dr Melissa Stoneham and the Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia for this latest instalment of Journal Watch. *** Melissa Stoneham writes: Vending machines – they are certainly versatile. You can get almost anything in them today. In Perth and Adelaide right now, 4 hot chip vending machines are being trialled. In […]

Marching doctors

, Jan 20, 2015

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It’s often said that if you don’t know history, you are cursed to repeat it. Consumer health advocate Martyn Goddard has been around long enough to remember the last time that doctors were up in arms and marching in the streets against a conservative government. It’s a tale that might usefully refresh the memory of […]
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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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Antibiotic Awareness Week: On the path to least resistance

, Nov 18, 2014

This post below from Professor John Turnidge,  Senior Medical Advisor at the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, marks Antibiotic Awareness Week (Nov 17-23). It outlines how the Commission’s release of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard is another significant step along the path to ‘least antibiotic resistance’, but reports also on […]
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Ideological warrior takes on the Harper review of competition policy: Wonky Health in action

, Oct 27, 2014

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In his latest Wonky Health column, Dr Tim Senior investigates the implications for healthcare of the Harper Review into competition policy. He examines the ideology and the evidence that motivates both proponents and critics of competition in healthcare, and concludes “to continue pushing an agenda in the health system promoting choice and competition is done […]
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Do you support the No Ads Please campaign? It’s a fair question to ask your doctor, say consumer health advocates

, Oct 14, 2014

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More than 200 health professionals have taken a pledge to ban pharmaceutical reps from their rooms since the launch last week of the No Advertising Please campaign, and it’s interesting to read some of their comments. For example: GP Dr John Boffa wrote: Academic detailing influences the prescribing of doctors substantially and it should only […]
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Launched: crowdfunding campaign for an app promoting greater accountability in healthcare

, Oct 09, 2014

Delia Scales, a former nurse whose personal experience of cancer treatment made her acutely aware of health system failings, is on a mission to create greater transparency and accountability in healthcare. Scales, founder of the WikiHospitals news and information site, today launched a crowd-funding campaign to create an app that aims to provide: • An […]
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Is this the end of unproven breast imaging in Australia?

, Oct 06, 2014

A recent story from the West Australian reports that a Perth clinic that falsely claimed to offer an alternative breast screening service which could detect cancer has been fined $75,000, while the controversial former doctor involved must pay a $25,000 penalty. In the following piece public health Lawyer Caitlin Kameron discusses the implications of the decision […]
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No “perfect storm”: Hazelwood coal mine fire inquiry points to broader health issues, planning implications

, Sep 04, 2014

“Contrary to suggestions that the Hazelwood mine fire was the ‘perfect storm of events’, all of the factors contributing to the ignition and spread of the fire were foreseeable. Yet it appears they were not foreseen.” The main findings of the inquiry into this year’s Hazelwood coal mine fire in Victoria are focused on what […]

The demise of the ANPHA: why it will be ‘drinks all round’ for the alcohol industry and others

, Sep 01, 2014

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A recent seminar at the University of Sydney examined the legacy of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) in an event also billed by some as “a wake for preventive health”. In the article below, Stephen Leeder, Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Sydney and Editor-in-Chief of The […]
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Taking care of each other online

, Aug 25, 2014

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One of the benefits of the Internet is its use as a tool to create communities among people who previously would have been isolated from each other.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the growth of online forums for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.  These are playing an increasingly important role in providing information, support and assistance […]

Unhealthy haste? What are the implications of outsourcing Medicare, PBS claims and services?

, Aug 19, 2014

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Less than two weeks ago the Federal Government called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from the private sector to provide claims and payment services for Medicare (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), a $29 billion operation currently managed by the Department of Human Services. The EOI closes this Friday, 22 August. Such a privatisation […]