Category Archives: Health

IAN WEBSTER. The need for more balanced media reporting of alcohol and illicit drug problems.

  To those who work in the health system, ‘ICE’ is but one problem among many and pales into the background of the prevailing problems of addiction and misuse of alcohol and drugs.  

Posted in Health, Media | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Medical specialists – high fees and poor accountability.

So much of the public attention is on care in general practice, but specialist healthcare has some very serious problems. The first is excessive remuneration of many specialists. In some cases it could only be described as greed. The second … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

HAL SWERISSEN. Obesity: individual responsibility isn’t enough

When individual choices cost tax payers $5.2 billion in extra health and welfare services for obesity, the market has failed. When the market fails, it is legitimate for government to act.  

Posted in Health, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

PETER GIBILISCO. Where are the public intellectuals like Hugh Stretton.

“The worst kind of bad social science, Stretton argues, purports to select the things to be explained, and the ways of explaining them, without resort to values and valuation”  

Posted in Education, Health, Tributes | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

KAREN WILLIS AND SOPHIE LEWIS. Increased private health insurance premiums don’t mean increased value.

A topic of discussion at many barbecues this summer will inevitably be private health insurance. Is it worth it? Do we need it? Every year it gets more expensive. The average 4.8% increase in premiums just announced will have more … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. We are losing our sense of community

Markets are displacing society and community. Exclusion is winning out over inclusion. 

Posted in Education, Health, Housing | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

THOMAS BABOR, DAVID JERNIGAN, CHRIS BROOKES. Alcohol marketing: the simple truth

According to the World Health Organization, there are 3.3 million deaths attributable to alcohol use worldwide each year. Alcohol marketing, promotion and sponsorship are widespread in most of the world today and marketers are moving increasingly to digital and social … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Media, Politics, Sport, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on THOMAS BABOR, DAVID JERNIGAN, CHRIS BROOKES. Alcohol marketing: the simple truth

ALEX WODAK. Do large seizures of illicit drugs really make a difference?

Large seizures of illicit drugs always attract considerable publicity, and are no doubt very positive for the law enforcement agencies and politicians involved. But do they benefit the community?  

Posted in Health, Human Rights, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

RONALD MACKINNON. Do we as doctors always put our patients first?

After his retirement, Dr Chris McCaffrey requested that his gravestone be inscribed: ‘I was always on the side of the patient‘. 

Posted in Health | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on RONALD MACKINNON. Do we as doctors always put our patients first?

PHILIP CLARKE & PETER SIVEY. Why don’t we know how many people die in our hospitals?

Unfortunately no one yet has been able to overcome the federal/state divide in order to combine Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme data held in Canberra with hospital and mortality data from each state. Making this type of data available would facilitate research … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on PHILIP CLARKE & PETER SIVEY. Why don’t we know how many people die in our hospitals?

IAN WEBSTER. A tribute to Anne Deveson – understanding the homeless mentally ill

Anne Deveson’ s media presence spearheaded the media’s involvement in public health and mental health. She contributed at so many levels – social commentaries and documentaries -which challenged our sensibilities.

Posted in Health, Human Rights, Tributes | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

IAN WEBSTER. Protecting young people from our ‘favourite drug’ – alcohol.

Marketing of alcohol is out of control. 20% of those watching major sporting events on TV are under the age of 18 years.  

Posted in Health, Media, Sport | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

STEPHEN LEEDER. Over-servicing in health.

Abuse of Medicare or other reimbursement schemes is much easier if the regulations surrounding it are lax. That is what makes the current review of Medicare so important so that the rules are clear and make the best match possible … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Private Health Insurance vs dental care.

Australian health would be much improved if the $11 billion subsidy for private health insurance was abolished and part of those funds allocated to universal dental care within Medicare.  

Posted in Health, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

BOB BIRRELL. GP Oversupply and Medical Migration

There are many indicators of GP over-supply in Australia.  … One consequence has been an escalation in the cost of GP rebates to the taxpayer. … Better distribution of GP services could be achieved by restricting new provider numbers to … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on BOB BIRRELL. GP Oversupply and Medical Migration

CHRIS SIDOTI. 30th Anniversary of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Part 2 of 2.

Human rights work has a cost, and we need to remember the cost and the toll that it takes on the people who are doing it. Those who are paying the price need the support of those who are not … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, Media, Politics, Refugees and asylum seekers | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on CHRIS SIDOTI. 30th Anniversary of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Part 2 of 2.

PETER DAY. Homelessness v houselessness

We need to change the way we do charity and welfare; we’re out of kilter: lots of giving and receiving of things, but too little giving of ourselves – we just don’t have the time. It hardly needs saying, “People … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Housing, Human Rights | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

KIM OATES. Respecting patients and keeping them safe

Some words of advice from Kim Oates for doctors and other health workers. The patient is the reason for health services. Health workers are means to that end.  

Posted in Health | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 1 – Who’s been left behind?

In “developed” countries the benefits of 35 years of economic growth have been unevenly distributed. Many people who once had well-paid manufacturing jobs and many who live in the country have fallen behind. While this has been most starkly manifest … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Economy, Education, Foreign Affairs, Health, Industrial relations, Media, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 2 – The response of those left behind

It would be hasty to attribute the Brexit and Trump votes to a “swing to the right”, or to an ill-informed electorate. The most compelling explanations are in terms of protest votes. People’s anger of electorates has given an opening … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Democratic Renewal, Economy, Education, Health, Media, Politics, Refugees and asylum seekers, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 3 – Globalization takes the rap, unfairly

Globalization has been only one of the developments that has led to widening inequality and social exclusion. Countries that have globalized have also introduced a raft of neoliberal domestic policies, against which people are reacting.

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Economy, Education, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Health, Industrial relations, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chomsky interview on the ravages of neoliberalism.

In this interview, reported in The Wire on 31 January 2016, Noam Chomsky talks about the ravages of neoliberalism. this is a repost from 21 February 2016. 

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Economy, Health, Media, Politics, Refugees and asylum seekers, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Chomsky interview on the ravages of neoliberalism.

HAL SWERISSEN and STEPHEN DUCKETT. Is a tax on sugary drinks “bonkers”?

The evidence is that currently there are significant harms and costs associated with the consumption of sugary drinks, both to those who are obese and the community more generally. 

Posted in Economy, Health | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on HAL SWERISSEN and STEPHEN DUCKETT. Is a tax on sugary drinks “bonkers”?

PETER SAINSBURY. A timely call to end massive public subsidies of the private health insurance industry

The private health insurance industry is a parasite on the health system and the public purse. The government-funded rebate on private health insurance premiums goes to the insurers, not the health care providers, and allows the government almost no control … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

How inefficient private health insurance, drug manufacturers and distributors drive up costs.

In parliament, forty years ago on 27 September 1967, Gough Whitlam described the factors driving up the high cost of healthcare in Australia. The same vested interests drive up costs in Australia at the expense of the taxpayer and the … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Who said this and when.

Private health insurance is unfair and inefficient. It was because of this that the Whitlam Government established Medibank/Medicare.  

Posted in Health, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on JOHN MENADUE. Who said this and when.

JOHN MENADUE. Cricket – alcohol and junk food.

Cricket has a dangerous relationship with alcohol and junk food.  

Posted in Health, Media, Sport | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

IAN WEBSTER. Standing up for Medicare.

Fair access to health care is in the zeitgeist of European countries and Australia. The political sensitivities of this issue were demonstrated in the last election with the angst generated by the Labor Party’s “Mediscare” campaign.

Posted in Health, Politics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

TIM WOODRUFF. How universal healthcare is being undermined.

The Medicare rebate freeze is one strategy in that agenda. Reducing the Federal Government’s share of public hospital funding is another. Reducing the support for public dental care is another. Promoting private health insurance in primary health care is another.

Posted in Health, Politics | Tagged , , | Comments Off on TIM WOODRUFF. How universal healthcare is being undermined.

LESLEY RUSSELL. The impact of private health insurance on equity and access in specialist healthcare

Most specialists charge fairly and reasonably, but there is clearly a need to name and shame those who are over-charging and over-servicing to ensure a level playing field for the good guys – and to protect, respect and care for … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment