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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The power of words: ‘why we need to stop talking about inequality’

, Aug 12, 2015

As Australian moves to bring about marriage equality again floundered on Tuesday, this post below from New Zealand campaigner Kirk Serpes looks at the need to shift away from problem-focused messaging that’s aimed at “raising awareness” to tackle some of the most complex issues: poverty, inequality and crime. He discusses how “framing” is a powerful […]

Winter hospital bed crisis – could we be doing better?

, Aug 11, 2015

Most non-urgent elective surgery in Adelaide’s public hospitals was cancelled last week and some patients transferred to neighbouring regional hospitals after SA Health faced its busiest day (so far) this winter. In the post below, Professor Jon Karnon asks what could have and should be done better to both prevent and manage demand, with the […]
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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 […]

On the risks to health, environment that must be dealt with in the TransPacific Partnership Agreement

, Jul 24, 2015

Counting down to next week’s ‘home stretch’, The Economist says the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) looms as the most important free-trade agreement in years. “If completed, it will be the largest regional trade deal ever, with its members accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the world economy.” It also poses significant risks for environment and […]
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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 […]
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The Health Wrap: Indigenous incarceration disgrace, let’s talk about smoking, Budget fairness test, all things Evidence

, Jun 09, 2015

  By Kellie Bisset The disgrace of Indigenous incarceration rates Following the successful crowdfunding of Croakey’s #JustJustice campaign, it’s timely to reflect on the release of the Amnesty International Report  A brighter tomorrow: keeping Indigenous kids in the community and out of detention in Australia. The report found that Indigenous youth incarceration is at its highest level in 20 […]
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Professor David Sackett, a ‘giant’ of evidence-based medicine, dies aged 80

, Jun 04, 2015

The BMJ recently described evidence-based medicine as ‘one of the most important medical advances in the past 150 years, alongside the discovery of vaccines and antibiotics’. However, until quite recently the idea of basing clinical decisions on scientific and mathematical data was a controversial concept, resisted by many in the medical profession who argued that […]
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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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‘Friends of the MJA’ call for reversal of AMPCo decisions to sack editor, outsource to Elsevier

, May 22, 2015

A Friends of the MJA group has been set up to protest the recent decision by the Australian Medical Publishing Company (AMPCo) to sack the Medical Journal of Australia’s editor-in-chief Professor Stephen Leeder and outsource production and sub-editing to global publishing giant Elsevier. The group’s Steering Committee is calling for: a reversal of the decision […]

Prof Andrew Wilson announced as new Chair for Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC)

, May 22, 2015

(Note from Melissa Sweet on 24 May: See bottom of post for a comment by Professor Andrew Wilson on his appointment). Health Minister Sussan Ley today announced the appointment of Professor Andrew Wilson as the new Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), the independent expert body whose primary role is to recommend new […]
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Australia’s ice ‘epidemic’: ‘service cuts, scare campaigns, stigma not the answer to complex issue’

, May 21, 2015

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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Not all “Captain Chaos” but much confusion, concern on post-Budget health issues

, May 19, 2015

There’s plenty of confusion, contention and concern emerging still out of last week’s Federal Budget on health, with particular uncertainty around after hours GP services. Here’s a quick wrap on some of the issues – complete with glossy illustration from the government’s (once far more dreary-looking) official Budget website pages. Health doesn’t get a big […]
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#Budget2015: Health takes a hit, devil may be in the detail – rolling reactions

, May 12, 2015

Health has taken another hit in the 2015-16 Federal Budget, with nearly $2 billion cut from the health system over the next five years. There’s particular concern around $1 billion in “savings” from a range of flexible funds and grants for preventative health research, chronic disease prevention and rural outreach (click twice to enlarge pic below), […]
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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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Greens leader Richard Di Natale: GP #publichealth specialist – “no doubt health policy be front & centre”

, May 07, 2015

Senator Richard Di Natale, former GP and public health specialist, was widely described as “little known” in the mainstream media when he was elected leader of the Greens yesterday. But he is well known in health circles, where his election and likely focus on health issues was warmly welcomed in many quarters. The Australian Medical […]
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5 major climate change pressures on health: peak medical, science orgs call on Aust govts to act now

, Apr 30, 2015

Australia’s peak medical and science organisations today joined forces to call for action from all Australian governments to plan for and address the impacts of climate change on human health. The call came as the Australian Academy of Science launched its new report: Climate Change Challenges to Health: Risks and Opportunities, which has been endorsed […]
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A new Centre of Research Excellence on Policy and Health Equity

, Apr 24, 2015

Today the Hon Julia Gillard will launch a new Centre of Research Excellence on Policy and Health Equity. In this article Fran Baum and Sharon Friel introduce us to the work and goals of the new Centre.  Fran Baum and Sharon Friel write: Many Australians will live shorter lives than others, not because of their […]
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Launching #JustJustice: Mick Gooda calls for action on a “public health catastrophe”

, Apr 09, 2015

The over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is a “public health catastrophe”, and Mick Gooda, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, plans to make it a priority issue for the remainder of his term. At Croakey we are delighted that Mick Gooda is supporting our new crowd-funding campaign – #JustJustice -which […]