Category Archives: Health

STEPHEN LEEDER. Social causes of illness are not immutable: they are amenable to change.

Modifying our own behaviour in health-promoting directions is sensible but for sustainable, nation-wide change we need to take action of a different kind.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

HELEN CLARK. The health of future generations is at risk.

The health of future generations is being mortgaged as a result of environmental degradation that threatens to reverse the health gains achieved over the past century, according to Dr Helen Clark, a global health advocate. Clark, formerly Administrator of the … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on HELEN CLARK. The health of future generations is at risk.

MICK PALMER. Australia’s Illicit Drugs Policy – There Really is a better Way A REPOST

It happens time and time again. We are told breathlessly  by the media  with photos of bags of seized drugs flanked by Border Protection officials and police officers about how   successful  we are in containing the drug problem.. But is … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Human Rights | 3 Comments

AMANDA BIGGS. Whither the private health insurance rebate?

The private health insurance rebate is an important element in maintaining the attractiveness of private health insurance membership. The government rebate subsidises the cost of private health insurance premiums (hospital, general, and ambulance policies). It is usually applied in the … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on AMANDA BIGGS. Whither the private health insurance rebate?

HUGH MACKAY. Another kind of deficit

Here’s a quick Christmas quiz. (Warning: it’s not a very merry quiz.)

Posted in Health, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

MATTHEW FISHER. Ministers for Health in name only

Evidence on social determinants of health, health inequities and primary disease prevention and health promotion present many, currently under-utilised opportunities for Australian Government Health Ministers to genuinely be Ministers for health as well as for remedial healthcare services.

Posted in Health, Uncategorized | Comments Off on MATTHEW FISHER. Ministers for Health in name only

MATTHEW FISHER. Australia’s policy failure on mental health.

Australia rates highly on international measures of physical health status such as life expectancy at birth, suggesting we are healthier than ever before, but the data on mental health and illness tells a very different story. On measures of mental … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

TIM WOODRUFF. A proposal for health-promoting welfare reform: could it help six million Australians?

On an almost weekly basis now I’m asked as a medical specialist to write a letter to help a patient be accepted by Centrelink as unable to work. My letter and that of the patient’s general practitioner are then assessed … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

FRAN BAUM. Beyond the social determinants: a manifesto for wellbeing

Last week the Australian Health Policy Collaboration launched their Health Tracker by socioeconomic status, which is a report card on the health of adult Australians  in relation to chronic diseases, risk factors and rates of death, by quintiles of disadvantage.

Posted in Health | Comments Off on FRAN BAUM. Beyond the social determinants: a manifesto for wellbeing

JOHN DWYER: When will we seriously tackle the Inequity associated with the delivery of health services to rural and remote Australians? Part 2 of 2.

Health outcomes for Australians living in rural or what are characterised as “remote” areas are far inferior to those of their city cousins. If you don’t live in metropolitan Australia your life expectancy is reduced by about four years. You … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on JOHN DWYER: When will we seriously tackle the Inequity associated with the delivery of health services to rural and remote Australians? Part 2 of 2.

STEPHEN LEEDER. The double-ended spoon and how to meet our health needs

The Productivity Commission has recognised how joined up care for people with serious and complex illnesses can enhance their quality of life. Opportunities to prevent these problems abound and the time for action is now.

Posted in Health | Comments Off on STEPHEN LEEDER. The double-ended spoon and how to meet our health needs

JOHN DWYER: When will we seriously tackle the Inequity associated with the delivery of health services to rural and remote Australians? Part 1 of 2.

Health outcomes for Australians living in rural or what are characterised as “remote” areas are far inferior to those of their city cousins. If you don’t live in metropolitan Australia your life expectancy is reduced by about four years. You … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on JOHN DWYER: When will we seriously tackle the Inequity associated with the delivery of health services to rural and remote Australians? Part 1 of 2.

MICHAEL LAMBERT. The Productivity Commission on Improving Productivity and Health Reform PART 2 OF 2.

In part 1 yesterday, I outlined the five key areas or themes where the Productivity Commission believes that reform is essential and would deliver major benefits to individuals, the community and the economy. These five themes are summarised below.  

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

MICHAEL LAMBERT: The Productivity Commission on Improving Productivity and Health Reform. Part 1 of 2.

The Productivity Commission (hereafter the Commission) has recently released a very substantial and potentially important report, Shifting the Dial, and associated supporting papers. It was produced in response to a reference from the Treasurer for the Commission to investigate the … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on MICHAEL LAMBERT: The Productivity Commission on Improving Productivity and Health Reform. Part 1 of 2.

BENJAMIN VENESS. NSW commits to improving health of doctors-in-training

NSW has finally committed to addressing systemic problems with medical training in a bid to improve the mental health of doctors-in-training.  

Posted in Health | Comments Off on BENJAMIN VENESS. NSW commits to improving health of doctors-in-training

LYN GILBERT. Healthcare-associated infections are important and often avoidable.

Hospital, where you go to get better, can have the opposite effect and high on the list of hazards is infection acquired while there.   Progress has occurred  but more needs to be done.  IT opens up great possibilities for scaling … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

IAN WEBSTER. The social harm of alcohol to communities and society

The social harm of alcohol, alcohol’s ‘harm to others’, is a re-vitalised framework for national and international policies to control the marketing of alcohol.

Posted in Health | Comments Off on IAN WEBSTER. The social harm of alcohol to communities and society

PETER YOUNG: Why Health Professionals in Immigration Detention should stop colluding and speak out

As the situation for hundreds of asylum seekers in the Manus Island continues to deteriorate the harmful consequences of Australia’s punitive immigration detention policies are obvious. Despite the secrecy surrounding immigration detention it is only the wilfully blind who avoid … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Refugees, Immigration | Comments Off on PETER YOUNG: Why Health Professionals in Immigration Detention should stop colluding and speak out

JOHN MENADUE. The growing social divide.

There are ominous signs that Australia is breaking up into different social tribes.  Our claimed egalitarianism and social mobility are under serious challenge.  A mixed society is the best guarantee of social cohesion and social improvement.  That social cohesion arising … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Education, Health, Housing, Politics | 4 Comments

PETER ARNOLD. Ethics and the AMA

Interestingly, the committee appointed by the Victorian government to report on ‘assisted dying’ was headed by the immediate past-president of the AMA, neurosurgeon Brian Owler. Neurosurgeons have a close connection with this problem when patients with severe head injuries have … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

AMBER CARVAN. The health impacts of climate change in rural and remote Australia

Without swift action climate change stands to further cement the health deficit experienced in rural and remote populations. Conversely, taking action to build the climate-resilience of rural and remote communities, and the health care services that support them, could lead … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health | Comments Off on AMBER CARVAN. The health impacts of climate change in rural and remote Australia

LESLEY RUSSELL . How knee replacement surgery highlights issues of access, affordability and best practice in Australia’s two-tiered healthcare system – Part 2

Part 2 – Best practice and improved surgery outcomes As the population ages, total knee replacement surgery is becoming commonplace.  It is one of the most expensive surgical procedures. Most replacements are performed as elective surgery in private hospitals. Those … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

LESLEY RUSSELL. How knee replacement surgery highlights issues of access, affordability and best practice in Australia’s two-tiered healthcare system – Part 1

 PART 1 – Access and affordability As the population ages, total knee replacement surgery is becoming commonplace.  It is one of the most expensive surgical procedures. Most replacements are performed as elective surgery in private hospitals. Those patients who must … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

STEPHEN DUCKETT. Assisted dying is one thing, but governments must ensure palliative care is available to all who need it

The debate in the Victorian Parliament about assisted dying has tended to focus on the terrible personal experiences of deaths of family members. That focus is understandable, but it has been at the cost of consideration of the need for … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Religion and Faith | Comments Off on STEPHEN DUCKETT. Assisted dying is one thing, but governments must ensure palliative care is available to all who need it

MICHAEL WOODS. Why reforming health care is integral for our economy

Australia’s productivity growth has been stagnant for over a decade and, according to a new report, our health policies and programs could be partly to blame. Released today, the Productivity Commission report also highlights how the health-care sector (among others) … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

LEANNE WELLS. Who benefits from health insurance reforms? Check the sharemarket.

The notable feature of Australia’s heavy investment in health insurance is the lack of hard evidence to support the cost and performance of subsidised private health insurance. For health fund members baffled about the real impact of the Government’s private insurance … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

JOHN DWYER. The folly of looking at private health insurance as a single issue . Part 2 of2

So “Private Health insurance is in the DNA” of the Coalition government we hear from Minister Hunt. That may well be the case but there is no evidence to suggest that the delivery of equitable, quality health care to all … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

PETER ARNOLD. Calling for medical help at night

Obtaining first-line medical attention at night, especially if the patient is house-bound, has become increasingly difficult. Proposals to improve affordable access to such services need to take account of changing urban structures, medical culture and community expectations. 

Posted in Health | Comments Off on PETER ARNOLD. Calling for medical help at night

JOHN DWYER. The folly of looking at private health insurance as a single issue rather than a policy failure .Part 1 of 2

So “private health insurance is in the DNA” of the Coalition government, we hear from Minister Hunt. That may well be the case but there is no evidence to suggest that the delivery of equitable, quality health care to all … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

LESLEY RUSSELL: Private Health Insurance: the focus on premiums ignores the cost of using it

Last week’s announcement from the Turnbull Government purported to be about making private health insurance “simpler and more affordable” but in fact delivered more for health insurance funds’ bottom lines than for Australians’ budgets and highlighted the contorted, confused and … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments