Category Archives: Health

COVID-19 lays bare the US’s deep problems, with some help from Trump

With the COVID-19 pandemic laying waste to the country, and President Trump’s chances of re-election fading,  the United States is at last beginning to look more deeply into its problems.

Posted in Health, World Affairs | Leave a comment

Nurses, COVID-19 and the risks they run for us.

Nurses and other health care workers (HCWs) around the world are serving us well and at great risk to themselves. Many are exhausted but are carrying on. Still others are re-entering the workforce to assist in enabling surge capacity, so … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

Fast Tracking a National Care Service

We face the immediate future burdened with an out-of-hospital care workforce that is poorly paid, insufficiently skilled and understaffed to meet the caring needs of vulnerable people throughout the life span from infancy and childhood to old age.

Posted in Health, Politics | Leave a comment

Aged care homes: the weakest COVID-19 link

A pandemic throws a perfect mirror onto a society and shines a light on every crack. There is no better illustration of this than the light that COVID-19 is throwing on aged care homes in Australia and internationally.

Posted in Health, Politics, Top 5 | Leave a comment

The hindering of our efforts to control the spread of Covid-19

We face social fatigue and misconceptions about social distancing; irresponsible public behaviour; and a widespread lack of appreciation of the long-term clinical consequences of an encounter with this virus.

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

Caring for older Australians

Covid has blown the cover on much of what we need to maintain credibility as a humane nation. Care of older Australians is of priority concern.

Posted in Health, Politics, Top 5 | Comments Off on Caring for older Australians

The powerless suffer and the powerful carry on amid Covid-19

Covid-19 presents us with an opportunity. A more equal society, more resilient to the challenges ahead, or a society ruled by power imbalances, struggling to cope with both natural and man-made disasters.

Posted in Health | Comments Off on The powerless suffer and the powerful carry on amid Covid-19

The Power of Attorney and abuse of the elderly

Australia has a long way to go and COVID is lifting the scab revealing how neglect and absolute indifference have exposed these communities of older people to an end of life nightmare.

Posted in Health, Human Rights, Politics | Comments Off on The Power of Attorney and abuse of the elderly

Watching Fox News in the US may kill you

Recent US studies demonstrate that watching Murdoch’s US Fox News increases the likelihood of you believing what’s not true about COVID-19 and – if acting on it – possibly dying.

Posted in Health, Media | Comments Off on Watching Fox News in the US may kill you

The cost of outsourcing public health services

The current Victorian Hotel Quarantine Inquiry headed by the Honourable Justice Jennifer Coate AO is putting two things on trial – one predictable media fodder and the other at the root of decades of neo-liberal outsourcing and privatisation.

Posted in Health, Politics | Comments Off on The cost of outsourcing public health services

Domestic violence in the pandemic. Anti terrorism is a tried and successful diversion

The above is the headline in a story in the SMH on 13 July 2020. It illustrates once again how vested interests supported by our media give lip service about the tragedy of domestic violence but quickly forget it.But the … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Media | Comments Off on Domestic violence in the pandemic. Anti terrorism is a tried and successful diversion

In this pandemic, children will suffer far more than we realise

We are told, quite correctly, that one of the few bright spots of the Covid-19 pandemic is that children are at significantly lower risk of being infected, and less likely to have a severe illness should they become infected. But … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on In this pandemic, children will suffer far more than we realise

The Therapeutic Goods Administration must do better.

Almost 2 years after complaints about numerous hangover products were submitted to the TGA they have finally published one outcome. The TGA agreed there was insufficient evidence to support claims related to hangover relief.

Posted in Health, Public Policy | Comments Off on The Therapeutic Goods Administration must do better.

Where politics ‘trumps’ public health

We are six months into the Covid-19 (C19) pandemic. A year ago, we would have expected the United States to play a major leadership role in countering any pandemic. Instead, is has suffered at least 2,700,000 infections, resulting in 128,000 … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on Where politics ‘trumps’ public health

Australia’s health care after coronavirus – is there a silver lining to the pandemic?

What have we learned from the coronavirus pandemic that can inform and drive reforms to Australia’s health care system?

Posted in Health | Comments Off on Australia’s health care after coronavirus – is there a silver lining to the pandemic?

‘Get them laughing to get them drinking’ and ‘Keep them drinking’ while they’re stuck at home.

What’s the first ad you think of when someone says alcohol? Perhaps it is Carlton Draught’s ‘This is a big ad’, or the Canadian Club ‘Over beer?’ series. Chances are, it’s an amusing commercial that comes to mind. 

Posted in Health, Media | Comments Off on ‘Get them laughing to get them drinking’ and ‘Keep them drinking’ while they’re stuck at home.

Death of the critical friend in South Australia

Organisations advocating on behalf of those who otherwise have little say in the decisions which effect their lives can be seen as critical friends of government. They appear to be a threatened species – and we should be alarmed.

Posted in Health, Politics | Comments Off on Death of the critical friend in South Australia

Monty Python and the quest for herd immunity

Like the Holy Grail, ‘herd immunity’ often seems to involve miraculous powers, and its advocacy to contain the Covid-19 pandemic has far more to do with faith than evidence.

Posted in Health | 14 Comments

Australia’s COVID-19 response Part 2: The four successes and four failures

Australia’s response to coronavirus to date has been among the most successful in the world. After an exponential increase that peaked at more than 400 cases a day in late March, daily cases declined to about 20 a month later, … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 2 Comments

Health inequalities: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

‘The poorest Australians are twice as likely to die before age 75 as the richest, and the gap is widening. People living in socially disadvantaged areas and outside major cities are much more likely to die prematurely, our new research … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

Australia’s COVID-19 response Part 1 of 2: the story so far

Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been remarkably successful. After an exponential increase that peaked at more than 400 cases a day in late March, daily cases declined to almost zero a month later.

Posted in Health, Politics | Comments Off on Australia’s COVID-19 response Part 1 of 2: the story so far

Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘political kryptonite’ lesson: Resistance to Big Pharma’s greed can succeed

Australia’s response to US pharmaceutical industry influence in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations holds valuable lessons for the coronavirus crisis. 

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

PETER BROOKS, STEPHEN DUCKETT and BRIAN OLDENBURG. Telehealth and digital health navigators – a bright future.

Telehealth is not new in Australia but Covid -19 and the new Medicare item numbers have stimulated its rapid adoption across the country. It is clear patients like it. They do not need to expose themselves to potentially dangerous environments … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

RAY MOYNIHAN. Many of the world’s most influential medical leaders too cosy with pharma.

A new study of powerful medical leaders in the US finds around three-quarters have financial relationships with drug companies – with some doctors accepting millions. The study could not have been done in Australia, where many doctor-drug company payments remain … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 3 Comments

JOHN ASHTON. The UK with the world’s second worst response to COVID-19.

The UK response to COVID-19 has been marred by bad decisions in the face of an impending crisis, built on a decade of inadequate resources, planning and organisational preparedness to make the UK second only to the USA in terms … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | Comments Off on JOHN ASHTON. The UK with the world’s second worst response to COVID-19.

IAN WEBSTER. The UK and COVID-19; lessons for the UK and some for Australia

It is with bewilderment and concern we watch as COVID-19 overwhelms the UK’s health and social systems. There are lessons to be learnt for Australia, too.

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Lockdown mea culpa: Norway sets an example

On 5 May, the Norwegian  Institute of Public Health published an important report on Norway’s experience of dealing with the Coronavirus crisis. The text that follows is a verbatim extract of the equivalent of the executive summary from the report, … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

GEORGE BROWNING. Australia’s two personalities-pandemic and climate change

In recent domestic policy and international engagement Australia is demonstrating two contrasting personalities. One is demonstrated through our response to COVID 19 and the other through our troubled inability to form responsible climate and energy policy. Why do we have … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health, Politics | 6 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Let’s learn from this pandemic to be better prepared for the really big one

On 26 May, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said if Australia’s mortality rate matched the UK’s, we’d have had 14,000 Covid-19 deaths. This is just tautological rubbish. It would be just as true and equally pointless to say if Australia’s … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 7 Comments

JEFF KILDEA. How many Australians died of Spanish Flu? Take your pick

The advent of Covid-19 following on so closely from the centenary of Spanish influenza has led to a renewed interest in that last great pandemic. Yet, more than 100 years after the event, there is still a wide discrepancy in … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Public Policy | 1 Comment