August, 2015

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Listening, trust and partnerships: learning from primary health care successes

, Aug 17, 2015

The Annual Forum of the UNSW Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity – held in Sydney last Friday – could not have been more timely. Forum participants heard about the importance of building genuine partnerships with communities in successful primary health care initiatives, as journalist Amy Coopes reports below for the Croakey Conference News Service. Beneath her […]

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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Shame and Disgrace in the Governance of Food and Nutrition Policy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

, Jul 01, 2015

The failure of successive governments to act on improving food and nutrition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a “shame and disgrace”, according to University of Newcastle researcher Dr Mark Lock. In an exhaustive investigation of the fate of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition Strategy and Action Plan 2000-2010, he […]
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#IHMayDay15 Longread: Trending by breakfast, talking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, healing, justice, media & MORE

, Jun 24, 2015

#IHMayDay15 took over Twitter on May 29 with a day of action and listening on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It ran for more than 15 hours, was trending in Queensland by 8am and nationally through the day, featured 15 moderators and generated nearly 50 million Twitter impressions by […]

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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Inawintji’s Story on Living Black tonight: “the high price to pay for staying well”

, Jun 16, 2015

Access to healthy and affordable food and good health care is a big issue for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those living in remote communities. The recent National Rural Health Conference in Darwin has called for a Senate Inquiry into food security for remote communities, while the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjar (NPY) Women’s […]

We can cut Indigenous smoking and save lives – here’s how

, Jun 01, 2015

David Thomas writes: More and more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers are quitting and fewer young people are taking up smoking. In ten years, the proportion of former smokers who have successfully quit has jumped from 24% to 37%. In recent years, Indigenous families, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and governments have increased attention […]
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National Mental Health Review: in defence of headspace and the need for rigour, ongoing improvement

, May 07, 2015

The National Mental Health Commission’s exhaustive 2014 Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services was finally released last month after it was leaked to media including to Croakey. The review raises a number of concerns about headspace, the national youth mental health foundation, which critics in this Sunday Age report said is failing vulnerable young […]
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Journal Watch: Fighting the good fight over fast food – but still losing. Time to change tactics?

, May 05, 2015

If it’s easier to influence land-use policies on the grounds of aesthetics or reducing litter and traffic than on whether fast food restaurants should be located close to hospitals or schools, do public health advocates have to rethink their tactics? That’s the question arising out of this latest instalment of Journal Watch from Dr Melissa […]
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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 […]
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A list of five things to change the conversation about low value health care

, Apr 22, 2015

In this fourth article in our Choosing Wisely series, Dr Lynn Weekes  AM, CEO of NPS MedicineWise looks at how lists of five things can really change the conversation about low value health care and waste when the right people are part of the conversation.  Given the organisations involved, this initiative will have much to […]
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Choosing Wisely: choosing health services research

, Apr 10, 2015

In the third of a series of articles that Croakey is running on the Choosing Wisely campaign (see the other two here and here), Professor Jon Karnon highlights the role of health services research and argues that it has an essential contribution to make if this initiative is to be successful in improving the quality […]

Vending machines – exercising your choice?

, Apr 06, 2015

Many thanks to Dr Melissa Stoneham and the Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia for this latest instalment of Journal Watch. *** Melissa Stoneham writes: Vending machines – they are certainly versatile. You can get almost anything in them today. In Perth and Adelaide right now, 4 hot chip vending machines are being trialled. In […]

How GPs balance the dilemmas of prostate testing: study results

, Apr 01, 2015

The evidence suggest the harms of population screening for prostate cancer outweigh the benefits, so why does it remain so popular? It’s a complex issue, particularly for GPs who are on the frontline on decision-making, says Kristen Pickles from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney. Pickles led a recent study of 32 […]
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Q&A: What can we learn from the US Choosing Wisely campaign to cut down unnecessary tests, treatment?

, Mar 30, 2015

  Below is the second in a series of posts that Croakey is running on the ground-breaking Choosing Wisely campaign, which will launch in Australia on 29 April. The campaign focuses on cutting down the numbers of unnecessary medical tests and treatment and has been successful in the USA and Canada in reducing non-evidenced based interventions. […]
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2015 #ClosetheGap: focus on remote communities, funding cuts, & improving the Indigenous ‘Heart Health Story’

, Mar 19, 2015

*Post updated with new statement from Close the Gap campaign Close The Gap Campaign Co-Chairs Kirstie Parker and Mick Gooda have called on the West Australian and Federal government to properly assess the health and wellbeing impacts of closing remote communities in WA, saying decisions that are being made without consultation are “premature and damaging”. […]
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Your health in their hands: time for a zero tolerance approach to hospital hand-washing?

, Mar 17, 2015

The latest statistics (see above, from Hand Hygiene Australia) show that doctors in Australian hospitals comply with hand washing requirements less than 70 per cent of the time. In the post below, ACT MP and former dentist Dr Chris Bourke asks whether or not it’s time we adopted a ‘zero tolerance’ approach on failure to […]
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What is the value of a Medicare price signal?

, Feb 25, 2015

Health Minister Sussan Ley has re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to the GP co-payment, arguing that it is necessary so that people ‘value’ the health care they receive.  In the following piece, the Consumers Health Forum CEO, Adam Stankevicius, questions the Government’s association of price signals with value, given the fact that Medicare has provided Australians […]