August, 2015

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Alcohol and pregnancy: mixed messages undermining abstinence advice.

, Aug 18, 2015

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The complexities for public health messaging around women drinking during pregnancy have been highlighted by new research undertaken at the University of Canberra’s News and Media Research Centre. The study found that women are receiving, and actively interpreting, contradictory information about the risks of drinking alcohol while pregnant from a number of sources. The qualitative […]
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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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On the importance of place (and produce) for rural health

, May 26, 2015

Jennifer Doggett reports from Darwin: A picture of a mouldy lettuce and tired looking carrot selling for $6 in a remote area of Australia was a powerful reminder to delegates at #ruralhealthconf of the challenges involved in rural and remote health. Professor Alan Cass from the Menzies School of Health Research used this example to […]
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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 […]

Why Senator Madigan needs to know about non-invasive prenatal testing

, May 01, 2015

A private member’s bill sponsored by Independent Victorian Senator John Madigan seeks to remove Medicare funding for abortions “procured on the basis of gender selection”. Debate on the bill is due to resume this month. Before it does, writes Caroline de Costa in the post below, Senator Madigan – and all of us – should […]
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10 tips for using social media to promote health: reflections from Fertility Week

, Nov 20, 2014

Thanks to Rebecca Zosel, Health Promotion Advisor at the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA) for the reflections in the post below on engaging with social media during the 2014 Fertility Week. For more insights and tips about the role of social media in health promotion, check out Colin Cowell’s post at the Power to Persuade […]
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Is this the end of unproven breast imaging in Australia?

, Oct 06, 2014

A recent story from the West Australian reports that a Perth clinic that falsely claimed to offer an alternative breast screening service which could detect cancer has been fined $75,000, while the controversial former doctor involved must pay a $25,000 penalty. In the following piece public health Lawyer Caitlin Kameron discusses the implications of the decision […]
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Indigenous leaders plea to PM Abbott to step in on “chaotic” policy, funding environment

, Sep 04, 2014

Updated to include statement below from the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) on concerns about discriminatory changes to the way some Aboriginal organisations will be required to incorporate, and from the Close the Gap Steering Committee on cuts to anti-smoking programs. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders have called on Prime […]

The demise of the ANPHA: why it will be ‘drinks all round’ for the alcohol industry and others

, Sep 01, 2014

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A recent seminar at the University of Sydney examined the legacy of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) in an event also billed by some as “a wake for preventive health”. In the article below, Stephen Leeder, Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Sydney and Editor-in-Chief of The […]
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Is society being reshaped on a microbiological and epigenetic level by the way women give birth?

, Aug 28, 2014

The debate about the relative benefits and disadvantages of Caesarean Sections versus vaginal births is one of the most complex and contentious in the medical and health sphere.  In this fascinating piece, Hannah Dahlen, Professor of Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, approaches this issue from a microbiological and epigenetic perspective and discusses the evidence for a causal link […]

J’Accuse: call on health professionals to speak out on Australia’s asylum seeker policies

, Aug 18, 2014

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Australian psychiatrist and researcher Professor Louise Newman, director of the Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology at Monash University, has long led the way on the devastating impact of detention on asylum seekers, particularly children. She is spokeswoman for this open letter, signed by more than 200 prominent doctors, lawyers, academics and refugee advocates, that […]
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For Indigenous women and children with HIV, what are the issues?

, Jul 21, 2014

At a recent international conference in Sydney, Indigenous women shared some heart-breaking stories about the HIV-related stigma that they and their children have faced. As Marie McInerney reports below, the challenges faced by Indigenous peoples with HIV as they grow older was also discussed at the 2014 International Indigenous Pre-Conference on HIV and AIDS, which […]

Why New South Wales abortion law should be decriminalised

, Jun 27, 2014

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Abortion legislation in New South Wales and Queensland is the “most severe and antiquated” in Australia and the most urgently in need of rescission, says medical specialist Caroline de Costa. That’s why, she says, New South Wales Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi’s bill towards decriminalisation should be supported by politicians across the spectrum. *** Caroline de […]
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Living longer, but chronic disease toll rising: Australia’s 14th biennial health report card (and what of its own future?)

, Jun 25, 2014

We are living longer, have lower death rates for cancer and many other diseases, and a health system that people say they are mostly happy with. But chronic diseases related to our ageing population as well as to lifestyles and health habits are taking an increasing toll. That’s the verdict of Australia’s Health 2014, the […]
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The Health Wrap: budget blues; the importance of culture; evidence-based mental health campaigns; examples of digital innovation

, Jun 01, 2014

  By Frances Gilham Budget blues Budget debate and discussion continues to dominate the health news, with many commentators suggesting the proposals have ignored the evidence and don’t address structural system deficiencies. In an article for Medical Observer, UNSW academics have called for a trial period of the co-payment system so a comprehensive evaluation can […]
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Talking about Indigenous women’s health: the progress and the challenges

, May 30, 2014

In the wake of the Federal Budget, there has been a lot of gloom and uncertainty around Indigenous health funding futures. But it’s important to remember there are many people and organisations working for healthier futures, as was highlighted at a recent Indigenous women’s health conference. More broadly, a similar point was also made yesterday […]
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Latest ‘close the gap’ update on Indigenous health underlines alarm over #Budget2014 cuts

, May 23, 2014

The Close the Gap Campaign’s response to the COAG Reform Council’s latest report on Indigenous health sums up the terrible misdirection of the Federal Government’s 2014 Budget, which is inflicting pain in all the wrong places and puts at risk recent gains and its own priorities. “Mixed results on closing the gap confirms alarm over […]
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#IHMayDay: 1 day of Twitter action, 15+ hours on Indigenous health issues, 26m impressions, trending No 1 nationally

, May 04, 2014

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It was surely what Twitter was made for – a national day of Twitter action that had discussions about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues trending nationally – scoring nearly 26 million impressions (see The Influencers pic below) and more than once rating as the number one Australian Twitter topic (below). Indigenous and non-Indigenous […]
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Grim prospects for pregnant asylum seekers on Nauru (and links to the Four Corners Manus report)

, Apr 29, 2014

STEVE KILBURN: We couldn’t guarantee the safety of those people, and we still can’t. I sat for a while with a young Somali refugee, young guy. He’d had his head kicked in, his face was smashed, he couldn’t eat, he could hardly drink. And he was scared. And he was all alone [begins to cry]. […]
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Please join @WePublicHealth in a conversation about preventing violence against women

, Nov 24, 2013

To help mark a global campaign aiming to eliminate violence against women, Croakey readers are encouraged to join Twitter conversations this week with @WePublicHealth’s latest guest tweeter, Kristine Olaris.  Olaris, the CEO of Women’s Health East in Melbourne, is calling for people to contribute to discussions around 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which […]