Category Archives: Health

IAN McAULEY. Medicare under threat – from Labor!

Last year Labor announced that if elected it would refer health funding, particularly private health insurance, to the Productivity Commission, it being 50 years since the value of PHI was last examined by government. It appears, however, that Labor is … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

‘CHRIS HARRINGTON. Care? The scourge of the ward station’

The professionalism in hospitals may have contributed greatly to better data collection and use of technology, but after a visit to a hospice and an ICU unit recently, I wondered what has happened to care. Our system is failing us.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

JEFFREY SACHS and others.- Fully Filling the Global Fund.

  In a world divided by conflict and greed, the Global Fund’s fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria is a matter of enlightened self-interest and a reminder of how much humanity can accomplish when we cooperate to save lives. For … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

PETER BROOKS. If specialists cannot be fair in their fee charging – should we not be supporting a Royal Commission into medical fees

Well done John Menadue for starting 2019 off with something that must strike at the heart of all Australians- out of pocket medical expenses. Some of the highest in the world and showing no sign of slowing and driven by … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 6 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. We don’t have a coherent health workforce. We have highly trained and professional people working in silos.

In the blue-collar area where there have been very substantial workforce reform and improvements which have helped transform the Australian economy. It was begun under the Hawke/Keating governments and continued under the Howard governments.  But the health sector the largest … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The Best of 2018: Why dental care was excluded from Medicare and why it should now be included.

In 1974, the Whitlam Government decided to exclude dental care from Medicare for two reasons.  The first was cost. The second was political in that Gough Whitlam felt that combatting the doctors would be hard enough without having to combat … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The Pandora’s box of excessive medical specialists fees! An update and repost from April 19 2017

‘Perhaps [we could consider] a review of what Pierre Trudeau and his government (in Canada) did in 1984 when they took on a system not dissimilar to ours – uncontrolled fee for service – and legislated that doctors could charge … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

IAN WEBSTER. It’s not mental illness, but despair

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have got it right when they frame the conditions we label as mental illness as issues of social and emotional well-being. They do not consider the endemic problems in their communities, as mental illnesses.

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

MARTYN LLOYD JONES, PAUL KOMESAROFF. Here’s why doctors are backing pill testing at music festivals across Australia

For many years experts in the field of drug policy in Australia have known existing policies are failing. Crude messages (calls for total abstinence: “just say no to drugs”) and even cruder enforcement strategies (harsher penalties, criminalisation of drug users) … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

MICHAEL THORN. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept – sports’ addiction to alcohol, gambling and junk food advertising.

No ad breaks, declares Fox Sports of its coverage of the Boxing Day cricket test in Melbourne. Well none, if you don’t count the scoreboard endorsements, perimeter branding and other in-game adverts promoting one brand or another.  All of them … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Sport | 1 Comment

PETER MAGUIRE. Regulate It, Man. Marijuana

One of the few issues that many Americans can agree on in 2018 is, improbably, marijuana legalization. Pot is now legal in thirty-three states and Washington, D.C. In April, John Boehner, the former Republican Speaker of the House, made the … Continue reading

Posted in Drug Reform, Health | 1 Comment

TIM CAREY. It’s despair, not depression, that’s responsible for Indigenous suicide (The Conversation, 14.12.18)

Last year, 165 Indigenous Australians died as a result of suicide. Despite continued efforts to improve suicide prevention programs, there has been no no appreciable reduction in the suicide rate in ten years.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

STEPHEN DUCKETT. Morrison’s health handout is bad policy (but might be good politics) (The Conversation).

The A$1.25 billion Community Health and Hospitals Program Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced this week should be awarded a big policy fail.

Posted in Health | Comments Off on STEPHEN DUCKETT. Morrison’s health handout is bad policy (but might be good politics) (The Conversation).

LESLEY RUSSELL. ACSQHC Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018.

The 2018 version of the Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation was released on December 11.  This is the third such annual atlas, which examines differences in healthcare use according to where people live within Australia and is produced by the … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on LESLEY RUSSELL. ACSQHC Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018.

STEPHEN DUCKETT. Activity-based funding and prevention: a message for state governments (Croakey)

JENNIFER DOGGETT.  Keeping people well and out of hospital should be a primary focus of our health system.  Yet the evidence is that we could do much better in preventing and managing problems in the community, before they require hospital … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

ANTHONY PUN. Advances in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

From a rubber band lizard tail shooter to a molecular biologist and later medical scientist, it took a life time to understand why the lizard loses its tail and is able to regenerate it completely. The advancement of molecule biology … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on ANTHONY PUN. Advances in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

HEIKO SPALLEK Time to make dental care an election issue.

Doing less but achieving more in dentistry. Scientific breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of tooth decay and dental disease have not yet converted dental practice, and consequently dental costs, in Australia. It will take a paradigm shift in how … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

LESLEY RUSSELL: Time to make dental care an election issue

The Victorian Government’s election commitment to a $395.8 million program to provide free dental care to schoolchildren will be welcome in a state where affordable and timely access to dental care is increasingly difficult. It’s time for a concerted campaign … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on LESLEY RUSSELL: Time to make dental care an election issue

DON EDGAR. Looking for the cuckoo in the mental health nest.

As a researcher, I have always been suspicious of statistics touted as incontrovertible truths; and of propagandists for a cause who claim to be the holders of effective remedies for complex social problems.  The current ‘truths’ being touted (and winning … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

STEPHEN DUCKETT. The tooth hurts but Victoria’s public dental system is broken (Grattan Institute).

Our dental care system is not working for a lot of Victorians. More than half a million Victorians say that the cost of dental care stopped them from getting care when they needed it in the past 12 months.

Posted in Health | Comments Off on STEPHEN DUCKETT. The tooth hurts but Victoria’s public dental system is broken (Grattan Institute).

JOHN MENADUE. Health Reform Priorities

Health costs are rising through greater use of technology, ageing, lack of coordination and waste. Doctors provide too many services. Mental , Indigenous and dental health have serious problems. Services are being delivered less equitably. Progress has been made particularly … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | Comments Off on JOHN MENADUE. Health Reform Priorities

JOHN MENADUE. How the politically urgent pushes the important health issues aside.

Australians have some of the best health outcomes in the world measured for example by high life expectancy and low death rates, although that is not the case with Indigenous Australians.  

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

HEIKO SPALLEK. No clever answers! Finding the right questions about dental care in Australia.

The significant impact that dental disease makes to the financial and social burdens of preventable chronic illness in Australia is rarely acknowledged, although there is substantial evidence of the inequalities in access to dental care. Dental care is not seen … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on HEIKO SPALLEK. No clever answers! Finding the right questions about dental care in Australia.

ANTHONY PUN. Bullying in the public health system.

The formation of the Australian Health Reform Association (AHReform) is triggered by the need to have a community organisation with members from all healthcare professions to help create a safer working environment for all healthcare professionals so that they can … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

MARYANNE DEMASI. Vindication : dietitians cut ties with the sugar lobby.

The Dietitians Association of Australia has pledged to cut financial ties with the sugar lobby following a series of investigations. The DAA initiative and the exoneration of surgeon and sugar critic Dr Gary Fettke are significant steps towards diet reform … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

KIM OATES. If we listened to children the world would be a better place

Last week was National Children’s week, with a theme that children’s views and opinions should be respected, that they have a right to be heard.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

MICHAEL THORN. Cricket Australia: Culpable without consequence

Australia’s disgraced cricket trio, Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, may have engineered the ball tampering scandal in South Africa this year, but the damning cultural review released yesterday has found an arrogant and controlling Cricket Australia essentially to … Continue reading

Posted in Drug Reform, Health | 2 Comments

IAN TRESISE. A View on the Need for Systemic Change in Health & Wellbeing Education

There is a very strong need in our community for a refreshing whole-of-government approach to confronting the major health issues of our day.  This starts with the recognition that many of our political institutions were developed for an Industrial Age … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on IAN TRESISE. A View on the Need for Systemic Change in Health & Wellbeing Education

STEPHEN LEEDER. Health and wealth travel together.

Self-contained health programs directed at infectious diseases such as HIV, TB, malaria have wrought miracles, saving lives and enhancing prosperity. But a new challenge is looming globally, as subtle as climate change.  No self-contained ‘vertical’ programs work for non-communicable disease: … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

JENNIFER DOGGETT. Healthcare’s out-of-pocket crisis (Inside Story, 24.10.18)

Fast-rising medical expenses are restricting access to healthcare and increasing long-term costs. If two Australian capital cities were suddenly left without any dental services it would be considered a national crisis. But a problem of this size occurs each year … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments