Category Archives: Health

John Menadue. The Coalition, Barnaby Joyce rural poverty and rural health. (Repost from 16 January 2016)

It is not surprising that independents are making headway in country electorates. But what is the ALP doing?  

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

PETER BROOKS. Movement on out of pocket expenses.

Over the last few years much as been written on the issue of out of pocket (OOPs) medical expenses in Australia including a number of contributions in this newsletter. There has been a Senate enquiry and much coverage in the … Continue reading

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IAN WEBSTER. Policy failures in mental health

Mental health problems arising out of modern despair have to be tackled with insights gained from the day-to-day lives of society’s outcasts and the social sciences.  Matthew Fisher, (Australia’s policy failure on mental health, Pearls and Irritations, 14 December 2017) … Continue reading

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A paraplegic woman and her elderly carer.

A well-known and respected doctor has written to me about caring for his loved wife.  He outlines a compelling and human story.  With his permission I share with readers his account of the burdens and cost of caring. John Menadue.  

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Private health insurers frighten the ALP-A REPOST from June 2 2017

There was a recent flurry of media excitement about a supposed “secret hospital funding plan”, which turned out to be no more than an option under consideration by a think-tank. But the real (and overlooked) issue in health funding is … Continue reading

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LESLEY RUSSELL. Who cares for the carers?

Governments have yet to create a coherent strategy to help the almost three million Australians providing informal care.

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JOHN DWYER. The devastating effects of Trumpism on science and medicine.

While the “Fire and the Fury” surrounding  the chaos at the White House dominates media reporting on the Trump presidency, the power of the office is being utilised to implement a myriad of bad decisions that will have very long-lasting … Continue reading

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MARK HARRIS. Sugar tax to tackle obesity: an update.

In 2016 I wrote about the call for a sugar tax, especially on sugar sweetened drinks, to address Australia’s obesity problem.  What has happened since then? 

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STEPHEN LEEDER. Alcohol and sport. A REPOST

Queensland’s victory over NSW in the 1 June  game lin 2016 was reported as the highest rating State of Origin match ever and ‘the top TV event of 2016.’  Both teams carried alcohol advertising on their clothing into the match. … Continue reading

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MICHAEL LAMBERT. Overweight and Obesity Part 2: The indigenous Australians Impact

Part 1 of this two-part post provided a global and broad Australian perspective on the pandemic of overweight and obesity. This part sets out the position for indigenous Australians and argues that this pandemic is a significant part of the … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Indigenous affairs | 4 Comments

STEPHEN LEEDER: A little bit of sugar may (or may not) make the weight go down.

The statistics do not support the view that there are big differences in sugar consumption between the fat and the thin.  We need to define our enemy clearly in the battle against obesity.

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MICHAEL LAMBERT. Overweight and Obesity Part 1: A Global and Australian Perspective

In part 1 of this two-part post Michael Lambert sets out the broad position on overweight and obesity as both a global development and the Australian situation, the costs involved and the case for national action . The second part … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.  

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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

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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.  

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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

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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.

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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

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