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 […]
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The power of words: ‘why we need to stop talking about inequality’

, Aug 12, 2015

As Australian moves to bring about marriage equality again floundered on Tuesday, this post below from New Zealand campaigner Kirk Serpes looks at the need to shift away from problem-focused messaging that’s aimed at “raising awareness” to tackle some of the most complex issues: poverty, inequality and crime. He discusses how “framing” is a powerful […]
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Public health must get over its conceit and find a voice. So there!

, Jul 31, 2015

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Public health advocates need to get over the conceit that their work will inspire political action simply because it is worthy, according to Michael Thorn, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, and guest tweeter this past week at @WePublicHealth. In the article below, he explains some of the background to a new campaign, […]

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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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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Lifting the lid on Nauru and doctors concerns, as Labor moves towards asylum seeker ‘turnbacks’

, Jul 23, 2015

Hopes for more humane asylum seeker policies in Australia took a blow last night with confirmation that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten wants this weekend’s Labor national conference to endorse turning back boats. Whether he prevails remains to be seen, but the move comes in a week where the Senate inquiry into the Nauru detention centre […]
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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 […]
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#JustJustice: Let’s work together to Change the Record on Indigenous prison, violence rates

, Jul 20, 2015

‘Smarter justice, safer communities’ is the headline objective for the Change the Record campaign, launched earlier this year by the National Justice Coalition, a group of leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, community and human rights organisations. In this article below, published as part of Croakey’s #JustJustice series, the Coalition’s Shane Duffy & Kirstie Parker […]
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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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Coke really is part of the solution! And not just for obesity…

, Jul 03, 2015

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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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#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 […]
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Tom Calma urges Justice Reinvestment to bring #JustJustice for Indigenous people

, May 26, 2015

Australia needs to follow international leaders in Justice Reinvestment programs if it is to address the high rate of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, says leading social justice and human rights advocate Professor Tom Calma. Lending his support to the #JustJustice campaign, Professor Calma, former Social Justice Commissioner, said better research is also […]
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Memo to Canberra: How are other countries finding billions for health care? Ending fossil fuel subsidies

, May 22, 2015

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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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A call for women MPs to come together, across party lines, on abortion reform in NSW, Qld

, May 22, 2015

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Significant reform in 2008 in Victoria of the state’s abortion law was achieved – say Professors Heather Douglas and Caroline de Costa – because women MPs overwhelmingly voted, across party lines, to support the Bill. In the article below, they say New South Wales women MPs should now get behind Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi and […]
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Australia’s ice ‘epidemic’: ‘service cuts, scare campaigns, stigma not the answer to complex issue’

, May 21, 2015

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The Federal Coalition last week announced it was launching a new advertising campaign aimed at educating families and the broader community about the dangers of the drug ice, or crystal methamphetamine. Health Minister Sussan Ley said it would assist the National Ice Taskforce, announced last month by the Prime Minister. See its key points in […]
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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 […]
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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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#Budget2015: Health takes a hit, devil may be in the detail – rolling reactions

, May 12, 2015

Health has taken another hit in the 2015-16 Federal Budget, with nearly $2 billion cut from the health system over the next five years. There’s particular concern around $1 billion in “savings” from a range of flexible funds and grants for preventative health research, chronic disease prevention and rural outreach (click twice to enlarge pic below), […]
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Close the Gap campaign says Indigenous health must be quarantined from #Budget2015 cuts

, May 09, 2015

The Close the Gap Campaign has released its position paper on the Federal Budget 2015-16, calling on Government to restore cuts of up to $534.4 million over five years from the rationalisation of Indigenous Affairs programs, grants and activities administered by the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Health portfolios. Co-Chairs Mick Gooda and Kirstie Parker said Indigenous […]
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Will we add more years to our lives? The flawed longevity assumption

, May 08, 2015

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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 […]