August, 2015

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#cripcroakey: introducing Croakey readers to the wonderful, wild world of disability politics, policy & people

, Aug 14, 2015

Croakey is excited to be working with El Gibbs, who is today launching a crowd-funding campaign  – #cripcroakey – to fund a series of articles on disability and health. El brings great insights and expertise and a compelling voice. She has over 15 years experience in the community and not-for-profit sector, working in policy and […]

Syphilis in remote Indigenous communities: can we eradicate it this time or is the risk now greater?

, Aug 12, 2015

A recent syphilis outbreak in Central Australia has prompted renewed calls for urgent investment in sexual health services for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote regions. As this recent article at The Conversation outlines, 134 cases of the sexually transmitted disease have been reported in the Barkly and Katherine regions over the […]

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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A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Taxes go Up!

, Aug 05, 2015

Reducing our society’s consumption of sugar is likely to lead to a range of health benefits, including a reduction in the current high rate of overweight/obesity and in related diseases such a diabetes.    The latest piece in the JournalWatch series by Dr Melissa Stoneham reviews a report on the first cost-effectiveness study of a ‘soft drink […]
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Nurse Practitioners: Challenges and Opportunities 2015 and Beyond

, Aug 04, 2015

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 […]
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Will #COAG calls for new focus on primary care, keeping people out of hospital mean reform goes beyond GST, Medicare levy hikes?

, Jul 23, 2015

‘Frankly, if we can have a conversation rather than a scare campaign, our country will be so much better off,’ said Prime Minister Tony Abbott as the 40th Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting wound up on Thursday. Chance would be a fine thing perhaps – particularly with lifting the rate of the GST and […]
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Private health & private hospitals: how does the new landscape look for patients & equity?

, Jul 22, 2015

(Updated 23 July to add Medibank response). Australian Medical Association president Brian Owler today issued a stern warning over “more aggressive” negotiations emerging between private health insurers and funds in Australia, demonstrated by the dispute on rates and quality of services between Calvary Hospital Group and health insurer Medibank Private. Owler was particularly concerned over […]
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What’s the problem with hospital funding and why lifting the GST is ‘like prescribing medicine before completing the diagnosis’

, Jul 22, 2015

Momentum has been growing ahead of today’s meeting of State Premiers and Prime Minister Tony Abbott for increasing the goods and services tax from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, in large part to cover health care funding gaps. Emeritus Professor Stephen Leeder from the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at University of Sydney outlines […]
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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 […]

Federal health budget review: “There is a failure to realise that health is central to the well-being and wealth of individuals and nations”

, Jul 08, 2015

Many thanks to Dr Lesley Russell for this insightful analysis of the federal health budget. Dr Russell writes: Every year since 2007 I have done a detailed analysis of the health provisions in the federal budget.  I do this in the light of current and past strategies, policies, programs and funding and support my work, […]
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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 […]
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Federal Budget impacts on Indigenous issues – new report

, Jul 03, 2015

The health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is Australia’s most urgent and serious health challenge.  Despite this fact, Indigenous issues barely rated a mention in the Federal Government’s most recent Budget.  This, however, does not mean that Indigenous communities are unaffected by the Budget measures.  In fact there are a broad range of impacts […]
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Redesigning Australia’s health workforce with Physician Assistants

, Jun 30, 2015

We are often keen to adopt the latest medical technology or new ‘wonder drug’ from other countries but seem less eager when it comes to importing their innovations in health workforce practices.  Yet if we are to meet our health care needs in the future, we will need a health workforce that is continually evolving […]
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“Suddenly, nothing happened!” Health Minister Sussan Ley leaves mental health reform “in limbo”

, Jun 19, 2015

Health Minister Sussan Ley yesterday announced the Federal Government’s next step in taking the National Mental Health Commission’s landmark Review “from paper to policy” – with the first meeting held of an expert reference group “tasked with guiding the implementation of its recommendations”. She said the 13-person Expert Reference Group (see the full list in […]
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What’s wrong with the Government’s Medicare ‘male-over’?

, Jun 05, 2015

Women make up 55% of all medical graduates, 57% of all doctors under 30, 59% of endocrinologists, 58% of pathologists, 53% of paediatricians, 50% of rheumatologists, 49% of obstetricians and 43% of GPs.  In fact, it is only in the surgical and procedural specialities that women are out-numbered significantly by men.  Women overwhelmingly dominate the […]
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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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Memo to Canberra: How are other countries finding billions for health care? Ending fossil fuel subsidies

, May 22, 2015

There’s confusion about what is or isn’t on the table for cuts after Health Minister Sussan Ley conceded the Senate won’t pass increased patient contributions for PBS drugs, but said the $1 billion ‘savings’ will have to be found elsewhere. See more below for how it unfolded. But if the Minister and the Federal Government […]
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Freedom of Tweets – A social media advocacy campaign to unlock the secrets of nutrition governance

, May 21, 2015

Social media is opening up the processes of public health advocacy and efforts to hold governments to account, according to Dr Mark Lock, a Research Fellow in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. As part of the Aboriginal Voice Integration and Diffusion or AVID Study, Dr Lock is examining […]
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Health funding: time for the states to impose a “hospital” levy on property?

, May 20, 2015

The Federal Government appears to have gotten away, politically at least, with the massive cut it made in last year’s Budget to funding promised to the states for hospitals, says the Grattan Institute’s John Daley. For all the protests, he says most of the states will respond as they usually do, “with piecemeal increases to […]
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#JustJustice: new approaches urgently needed for people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)

, May 19, 2015

When Croakey’s #JustJustice campaign was launched last month by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda, it prompted this heartfelt tweet from Sue Miers, the Chairperson of the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Australia: In the post below, Anne Messenger, Editor of Public Health Research & Practice at the […]