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 […]

Winter hospital bed crisis – could we be doing better?

, Aug 11, 2015

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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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Nurse Practitioners: Challenges and Opportunities 2015 and Beyond

, Aug 04, 2015

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Primary health care is on the agenda with the release today by the Government of an options discussion paper ‘Better outcomes for people living Chronic and Complex Health Conditions through Primary Health Care’.  The paper was developed by the Primary Health Care Advisory Group, led by former AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton.  While the paper […]

The Health Wrap: Reclaiming #auspol; violence, inequity, resilience and love; defining research

, Jul 19, 2015

              By Kellie Bisset Reclaiming the policy debate Will the national reform summit, planned for next month by peak bodies in the welfare, ageing, business and union sectors, kick Australia’s policy debate into a more sensible sphere? Many would be hoping so and the process will at the very […]
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If GPs had more effective advocates, would we have a better health system?

, Jul 14, 2015

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The GP publication Australian Doctor recently took the rare step of publishing a front-page editorial – one of only a handful in its 30-year history – attacking both the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). The editorial says the speciality’s lack of political influence over the last ten years […]
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Following the fossil fuel money trail: from Gunnedah to Canberra

, Jul 13, 2015

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In 2012, the Namoi Valley Independent newspaper, serving Gunnedah and district in north-western NSW, ran a front-page splash under the headline: “A true community asset: Gunnedah Rural Health Centre finally a reality”. The story says the Centre received “a huge financial boost” thanks to a $1 million donation from Shenhua Watermark Coal. The donation is also […]
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Medicare Locals and the future of primary health care research

, Jul 05, 2015

The 30th of June saw the end of Medicare Locals, the primary health care bodies that evolved from Divisions of General Practice and were recommended by the Rudd Government’s National Primary Healthcare Strategy. After only four years (at most) of operation, these organisations had yet to reach their potential but many had made promising gains […]

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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National Ice Taskforce stakeholders seek comprehensive action

, Jun 03, 2015

UnitingCare ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis participated in the recent Prevention and Treatment roundtable sessions of the National Ice Taskforce hearings in Sydney. With Taskforce public consultations having now closed, the following provides a summary of his notes on the key issues raised by roundtable participants. Overall, the roundtable participants stressed the need for comprehensive, long-term […]

Parliamentary Library budget briefs: Health programs and primary care

, May 25, 2015

Each year Croakey provides a forum for analysis  of  the federal budget and its impact on health and health services. While we like to think that our parliamentarians and civil servants dip into this site for analysis and reaction, they are also provided with a series of briefs by the the Parliamentary Library. With permission and […]
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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 […]
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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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Health Budget 2015-16 – underwhelming at best

, May 13, 2015

After the drama of last year’s ‘slash and burn’ Budget, the Abbott Government’s second Federal Budget was designed to underwhelm the health sector and in this respect at least it delivered.  In fact, the lack of organisation at the Department of Health lock-up appeared to bother some groups more than the $2 billion of cuts […]
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Federal Budget Preview

, May 12, 2015

With the 2015-16 Federal Budget only hours away, Croakey has prepared the following summary of the announcements already made in the health portfolio and compared these against the recommendations made by key organisations in their Federal Budget submissions.   While some of the requests from the sector have already fully or partially met (indicated below) through […]
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The role of mental health nurses in primary health care

, May 11, 2015

From wimples and capes to suits and medical scrubs, the role of nurses in health care has changed as dramatically as their uniforms over the past 50 years. There is no area of health care today in which nurses do not play a critical role but the way in which they work, both independently and […]
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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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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 […]

Are co-payments dead? Or is that the sound of Medicare’s last gasps?

, Apr 26, 2015

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Dr Tim Woodruff, vice president of the Doctors Reform Society, writes: The GP co-payment is dead. So said the Prime Minister as he made his third retraction on the issue six weeks ago. However, co-payments are far from “dead, buried and cremated” – and analyses of recent policy announcements suggests we are heading ever faster […]