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BUILDING A NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM: A 21st Century Engineering Challenge

Jennifer Doggett September 5, 2011 18 Comments

Professor Pat McGorry, Executive Director, Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, will appear today from Europe via videolink to provide evidence to the Senate Inquiry into the Budget mental health initiatives.  Here is a summary of the main points of his presentation: One of our greatest symbols of nation-building is the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Construction lasted […]

Mental health funding protests are missing the bigger picture of equity concerns

Melissa Sweet August 8, 2011 12 Comments

Since the May budget, when the Federal Government announced that $1.5 billion in mental health investments over the next five years would be partly funded by a redirection of $580.5 million from the Better Access program, the cries of outrage have been growing. Any number of professional groups have been crying foul, including those representing […]

Some important questions about whether child health checks should be part of welfare reform

Melissa Sweet May 31, 2011 5 Comments

Does a medical model or a social health framework provide the most equitable and effective approach for improving the health of children (and thus of future adults and communities), particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds? This seems to be a critical issue to consider when evaluating the intent and impact of the Federal Government move to […]

Mental health and the budget: some positive steps, but plenty of sorry gaps too

Melissa Sweet May 24, 2011 8 Comments

Dr Lesley Russell from the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney, has had a close look at the budget’s mental health papers, and prepared a 12-page analysis which can be downloaded here. She has also provided an abridged version for Croakey readers. It seems that all is not quite what it […]

Supporting calls for Senate inquiry into a fairer distribution of health

Melissa Sweet May 18, 2011

Health economist Professor Gavin Mooney writes: There have been many comments on Crikey, Croakey and elsewhere on the budget. Here I want to endorse Martin Laverty’s call on Croakey for a Senate inquiry into an action plan for a fairer distribution of health. In doing so, I want to echo his concerns about the need […]

It’s time for a Senate inquiry into the social determinants of health

Melissa Sweet May 17, 2011 4 Comments

Finally, perhaps some of the rhetoric about the importance of “whole-of-government” approaches in health is going to be put into action. The recent budget announcements on mental health – with the new National Mental Health Commission to be based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – have been welcomed as a step in […]

A swag of recommended reading on health and medical news

A swag of recommended reading on health and medical news

Melissa Sweet May 13, 2011 1 Comment

Below are some links to recommended reading. They cover everything from the challenged role of doctors, and the federal health budget, to inequality, AMA chest-beating, health policy – and the NT Intervention, the NBN and remote Indigenous health… *** Questioning the role of doctors The Drum and The Conversation have embarked on an interesting collaboration […]

Your guide to budget health coverage @ Croakey

Your guide to budget health coverage @ Croakey

Melissa Sweet May 12, 2011 3 Comments

There has been a veritable deluge of budget coverage at Croakey in recent days. To help readers negotiate it all, here is a summary. The stories are grouped under the headings of mental health, Indigenous health, public health, general reaction, and cancer.

Some context to budget’s mental health announcements

Melissa Sweet May 11, 2011 4 Comments

Mental health is a particularly fraught area of public policy (as you may have noticed from recent Crikey/Croakey articles on the budget announcements). You could write a book about all the reasons for this, including the rivalries within and between the various professional groups, the stigma, the history, the difficulty of achieving that mythical “whole […]

More comprehensive analysis on mental health and the budget (it’s complicated)

Melissa Sweet May 11, 2011 4 Comments

There are many question marks over the likely impact of the budget’s mental health announcements, says psychiatrist Professor Alan Rosen. A particular concern is the lack of clear support for public, evidence-based, community mental health services, he says. But the formation of a Mental Health Commission should prove useful. The news on mental health: encouraging, […]