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It’s time to tackle inequalities in health: Bob Wells

Robert Wells, Director, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, writes: Mark Ragg’s analysis of the Australian health system is an elegantly simple document with a profound message. In all our argy-bargy about ‘blame games’, funding systems, ‘improved service delivery’ and ‘more appropriate models of care’, perhaps we have lost sight of a fundamental fact: the health […]

Is our health system doing a “reverse Robin Hood”?

Health and communications consultant Mark Ragg spent a fair bit of time wading through health statistics and reports to come up with his own personal assessment of the state of our health system. His conclusion, as reported in Crikey yesterday, is that the system is generally fine – but it’s not fair. “You do much […]

Why aren’t governments supporting web doctoring?

John Mendoza, Adjunct Professor of Health Science, University of the Sunshine Coast, wants more support for web-based mental health programs: “Gavin Andrews (see previous posts) is absolutely right in his assertion that the web offers great potential for the effective treatment of some mental health problems in our community. Australian researchers like Andrews and others […]

The web can help mental health: psychologist

Dr Peter Cotton, a psychologist, writes in response to Gavin Andrew’s recent article on web-based treatment programs for depression, anxiety and other disorders: “My initial response is that I think this is a very promising and potentially helpful development. It builds on, and is consistent with,  emerging research around the web-based delivery of programs for […]

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Debate and discussion about health issues and policy

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More questions about web doctoring and mental health

Dr John Ashfield, a rural psychotherapist, has added these comments to discussions about the role of web doctoring in mental health (see previous posts for more info): The use of internet technology must inevitably have a place in psychotherapy and psychological treatment of mental health problems and mental disorders – particularly in rural and remote […]

Health safety chief offers media some lessons

Professor Chris Baggoley, Chief Executive of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, sent this email in response to my recent post about the complexity of factors which contribute to errors in the media and health care industries: Hello Melissa While acknowledging that the consequences of actual harm arising from an opinion […]

The media and healthcare: sharing our mistakes

In a recent Crikey article, journalist Margaret Simons investigated how The Age newspaper came to publish a column “in error”. Reading about the many factors and circumstances – both systemic and individual – that contributed to the error – I was again reminded of how the media and health industries have so much in common, […]

Web doctoring: a sad comment on the state of mental health services?

Some hundreds of patients with depression, anxiety and other disorders have received online treatment using a sophisticated computerised cognitive behaviour therapy program from the St Vincent’s Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety Disorders in Sydney.  The treatment is effective in the short and long term, according to Gavin Andrews, professor of psychiatry at St Vincent’s Hospital. […]

…and yet more on medical turf wars

Some more comments on the recent Crikey story… Glenn Gardner, Professor of Clinical Nursing at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Health Service District and Queensland University of Technology: When we seek help in a hospital emergency department, we do so expecting timely and expert care. Research tells us that patients do not differentiate medical care […]

More on medical turf wars

Some interesting responses to my Crikey story today about the AMA and turf wars: John Menadue, Centre for Policy Development: For years, it has been clear to me that there is widespread agreement in the ‘health industry’ about the need for reform. That widespread agreement covers such issues as the priority for primary care, the […]