July, 2015

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The medical aftermath of a day that changed the world: The Fallout

, Jul 31, 2015

Paul Smith, deputy editor of Australian Doctor, writes: Next week marks the 70th anniversary of the Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Some 80,000 people, the vast majority civilians, were killed instantly. At Australian Doctor we thought the bomb was worth writing about. So that is what we’ve done, with The Fallout – a multi-media project we’ve made […]
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Physicians and public health experts issue last-ditch warnings against #TPP: “lives are at stake”

, Jul 28, 2015

So here’s a question, or two. For months, we’ve been hearing many different experts and health organisations warning about the risks to health from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which Trade Minister Andrew Robb hopes might be finalised during talks in Hawaii this week. Q: Have any health ministers, in any jurisdiction, taken steps […]

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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Coke really is part of the solution! And not just for obesity…

, Jul 03, 2015

Outsourcing our foreign aid to the Coca Cola corporation sounds like something The Chaser would come up with but in fact it’s a proposal being seriously floated by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.  In the following piece Dr Melissa Stoneham discusses this idea and explains why Coca Cola’s impact on health in developing countries is no […]
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Climate change & refugees: as Pope Francis leads the way, will Australia get a miracle conversion?

, Jun 19, 2015

Australia is playing the ultimate outsider in two of the most pressing global issues that have this week seen our devoutly Catholic Prime Minister Tony Abbott at odds with the Pope on both asylum seekers and climate change. As the New York Times reported: VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical […]
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Climate change: a great threat to health, but not as generally conceived

, Jun 02, 2015

Climate change was called this century’s greatest threat to health in the longest paper ever published in The Lancet; and this paper is frequently cited by people advocating for increased action in this area. This sentiment has been echoed in the recent Doctors for the Environment Australia report, No time for Games: Children’s Health and […]
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All roads leading to Darwin for #NRHC15 – stay tuned for more reports from #ruralhealthconf

, May 15, 2015

As the photos below illustrate, all roads lead to Darwin this month for the 13th National Rural Health Conference, which Jennifer Doggett will be attending and covering for the Croakey Conference Reporting Service. In previewing the conference below, she reports that #NRHC15 is being held in difficult times for those with a concern for a […]
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Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone: reflections on clinical and research involvement

, May 14, 2015

The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week declared Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission. “The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over.” it said in this statement. However it warned that while it is confident that Liberia has interrupted transmission, outbreaks persist in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, creating a high risk that […]
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Will we add more years to our lives? The flawed longevity assumption

, May 08, 2015

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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‘You’ve saved a life, now what?’ A field report from Nepal on the critical role of rehabilitation

, May 04, 2015

Wesley Pryor is an Australian Adviser in Rehabilitation in Global Health for Handicap International, currently working in Nepal in the midst of the post-earthquake disaster where the organisation is responding to the chronic needs of thousands of injured people with massive, long term effects. The teams anticipate hundreds of amputations, up to a thousand required […]
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“One year after Ebola” – and what have we learnt? #LongRead

, Apr 13, 2015

‘No matter how many facts are told, no matter how many details are given, the essential thing resists telling.’ This evocative quote is cited in the Croakey long-read below, which contains many fascinating insights into the issues surrounding the “unprecedented”, ongoing Ebola outbreak in west Africa, including the challenges of recovery and of public health […]
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Trading away health? The story of a health impact assessment that made a splash

, Mar 24, 2015

A health impact assessment of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement recently made headlines and won some political attention for the wide-ranging public health concerns raised. What were the factors that contributed to this splash? *** Fiona Haigh and Katie Hirono write: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a large regional trade agreement currently in the […]
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Trading health? The role of health in foreign policy

, Mar 03, 2015

In contrast to the widespread criticism of Australia’s response to the West African Ebola outbreak, our lack of action in combatting the chronic illnesses in developing countries receives little or no attention. In the following piece, Samantha Battams, Program Director of Public Health at Torrens University, discusses the role of health in foreign policy and […]
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World Medical Association urges climate change action as PM Tony Abbott gets a timely Xmas gift

, Dec 19, 2014

The World Medical Association is urging governments to commit to an ambitious and binding climate agreement to protect public health, after last week’s COP20 negotiations in Lima, Peru concluded with limited progress toward a deal in 2015. See the full statement below, which commits to “ensuring that the medical community is actively engaged in advocacy […]
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#MYEFO Budget update brings more cuts to foreign aid, health agencies

, Dec 15, 2014

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 […]
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Climate change hits the headlines, despite the intense control efforts at G20

, Nov 15, 2014

The Australian Government’s efforts to distract the world from its inaction on climate change have been blown out of the water as the G20 leaders meeting kicked off in Brisbane. US President Barack Obama’s speech at the University of Queensland, stressing the importance of climate action, pledging $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to […]

What are the critical health issues for G20 leaders?

, Nov 13, 2014

Global meetings like the G20 Leaders Summit are not generally reported through a health lens, although the decisions undertaken at the conference can have profound ramifications for health, at a local and global level. For example, yesterday’s landmark agreement  between the US and China ,which included the announcement of further emission reduction goals, lends some hope […]
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Memo to G20 leaders: the three best buys for health equity (and it takes only five minutes!)

, Nov 13, 2014

The Brisbane Global Cafe, which is billed as a “pre-G20 thought-leadership forum”, is underway with “75 of the world’s sharpest, provocative and most innovative minds”. The five themes for its two days of discussions are: Improving Human Life; Powering Future Economies; The Digital Age – Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Tourism’s New Frontiers; and Cities of the […]

Unpacking the IPCC’s latest climate change report, news on heatwaves and a warning on mental health

, Nov 06, 2014

The latest report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released this week, citing “clear and growing” human influence on the climate system. The IPCC synthesis report, which the Climate Council says is the most comprehensive assessment of climate change ever undertaken, warns that if left unchecked, climate change will increase the […]
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Government faces widespread criticism of Ebola response

, Oct 31, 2014

It’s rare for the Australian Medical Association, the Public Health Association and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation to be singing from the same hymn sheet.  But their collective criticisms of the Government’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa have barely a discordant note.  Over the past two weeks, these organisations (and others […]