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My Rolls-Royce drugs need government fuel to drive them

My Rolls-Royce drugs need government fuel to drive them

The coalition of health bodies who are gathered under the banner of the Consumer Health Forum are releasing a letter calling on Nicola Roxon to reverse the deferral of PBS funding for a list of seven new drugs. This list includes gilenya, as I have previously discussed, the multiple sclerosis medication that I am currently […]

Disability - a modest proposal...

Disability - a modest proposal...

Disability has emerged as an election buzzword, with both sides pledging increased funding for support and making positive noises (although no firm commitment, pending a Productivity Commision report) on the question of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. However, there has been disappointment at Bill Shorten’s announcement of an “aspirational” target for disability-friendly design standards in all new […]

Qld Parl gets a conscience vote - but not on abortion

Qld Parl gets a conscience vote - but not on abortion

I noted around six months ago that the Queensland Premier was refusing to allow a conscience vote on legislation to reform Queensland’s abortion laws and address the situation faced by a young couple in Cairns who were currently facing criminal charges.  The Premier justified this by suggesting that it couldn’t be guaranteed that the Parliament wouldn’t […]

December double dissolution threat a joke

December double dissolution threat a joke

Judging from what I’ve read, it seems I am more open than most in thinking there is a credible possibility that the Prime Minister might call an early double dissolution election – assuming the political environment at the time suits it (and assuming he gets a trigger).  A chance to strengthen their Lower House majority […]

Queensland Parliament has no choice but to act on abortion laws

Queensland Parliament has no choice but to act on abortion laws

The Queensland government has tried their best for a quite a few years to ignore the calls to change the state’s laws on abortion. However, whatever your views are on abortion, the issue in Queensland can no longer be avoided by the Queensland Parliament. The situation for individual women seeking an abortion and for doctors […]

Inquiry on disability, health and our migration laws (after nine months gestation)

Inquiry on disability, health and our migration laws (after nine months gestation)

A public and political outcry in November last year, regarding a Doctor being  denied Australian permanent residency because his son had Down Syndrome, led to the Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, announcing a Parliamentary inquiry into the health requirements in the Migration Act. Nearly six months later, on May 15 this year, the terms of reference […]

Has swine flu made people believe crazy stuff?

Has swine flu made people believe crazy stuff?

In amongst the current epidemic of articles about swine flu, some have been examining the likely role of factory farming in generating harmful strains of flu virus. This article on New Scientist’s site – “Is Swine Flu a bioterrorist virus?” – is another example.  Having used the headline to pique your interest, the writer waves […]

Closing the Gap between rhetoric and reality

Closing the Gap between rhetoric and reality

April 2 is Close the Gap Day – an annual reminder of the commitment to eliminate the massive difference in average life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. A sign of the initial success of this campaign is the growing number of governments and political leaders who have signed on to it, making a public […]

Win-win for Families! Cheaper grog, while mega-donations stay secret

Win-win for Families! Cheaper grog, while mega-donations stay secret

I in no way cast aspersions on the genuineness of Family First Senator Steve Fielding’s concern about alcohol abuse. But he certainly has a very strange idea of what constitutes a good outcome when it comes to reducing it.  His vote in the Senate resulted directly in alcoholic soda pops being made substantially cheaper, while […]