Category Archives: Health

FRANK BRENNAN, TIM COSTELLO, ROBERT MANNE, JOHN MENADUE. Boat Turnbacks and Medical Transfers.

It’s time to stop the shrillness.  The boats have stopped.  Both sides of politics are now committed to turnbacks.  Both Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten will do whatever it takes to stop asylum seekers setting sail from Indonesia.  If asylum … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

MARIE McINERNEY. Labor would set up Aust Health Reform Commission if it wins 2019 poll (Croakey).

Labor’s announcement on Wednesday that it would establish a permanent Australian Health Reform Commission has been welcomed though all eyes will of course be on the detail and the funding commitments to emerge in the leadup to the next federal … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE . Heath ministers may be in office but they are seldom in power

The Rudd/Gillard governments muddled through on health policy. There was very little  to show in the way of useful reform,with one exception. That was plain packaging of cigarettes.    The record is not encouraging, and will not be  better in future … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

JOHN DWYER. Health care reforms and the Federal election: A guide for voters

Our health care system provides, at least for metropolitan based Australians, world class management of medical emergencies. A stent in a coronary artery in the middle of the night can save a heart in danger and our dedicated stroke units … Continue reading

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LIZ HANNA. A warming Australia spells serious trouble for human health

Climate change. Global warming. A hotter planet. A hotter Australia. Yet few are asking the difficult question of ‘how hot is too hot?’. We have so many elephants in the room at present that ‘the room’ is getting pretty crowded, … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health | Leave a comment

HUGH MACKAY. A Culture of Compassion (Edited extract of Australia Day Address)

We humans are, by nature, social beings who need each other. We need the sense of belonging to communities that sustain, nurture, support and protect us and even give us our sense of personal identity – you can’t make sense … Continue reading

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TIM WOODRUFF. What’s wrong with Labor’s Private Healthcare Discussion Paper? (Croakey)

In 2017 I referred a patient for relatively simple orthopaedic surgery on her wrist to enable her to get back to working in a café.  She had been advised that she was a category 3 patient and should be operated … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

MARK PROOST. Millions of Americans flood into Mexico for health care – the human caravan you haven’t heard about. (Truthout 23.1.2019)

The Trump administration is trying to convey panic that there’s an immediate crisis on the southern border, pointing to caravans of desperate people who have traveled thousands of miles. It’s true that Latin and Central Americans are coming to the … Continue reading

Posted in Health, International Affairs | 1 Comment

LESLEY RUSSELL. The recommendations from the MBS Review for reforms in primary care: who will ensure these proposals are properly considered?

Hidden in a pack of draft reports from the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce that were released by the Morrison Government without fanfare just before Christmas are a series of recommendations that, if effectively funded and implemented, could begin … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Private Health Insurance is a con job. Is Labor being conned again?

 The ALP does not seem to understand its own creation- Medicare- and that the $11 b taxpayer subsidy to PHI is like a Damocles sword that  hangs over  Medicare.  Ian McAuley in  Medicare under threat from Labor  points out that … Continue reading

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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 | 3 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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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