Category Archives: Health

JEFF KILDEA. Lessons to be learned from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919 – Part 1

COVID-19 is the worst pandemic Australia has faced since the visit of the ‘Spanish Lady’ just over a century ago. What lessons can we learn from that earlier experience?

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GEOFF EBBS. Coronavirus tracking is about more than privacy vs safety.

The privacy versus safety debate around coronavirus tracking and tracing technology examines the wrong dilemma. Choosing the right tracking solution is equally important.

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

JOHN CARLIN. Living with Death – the Coronavirus Paradox

The coronavirus presents us with a paradox: none of us want to catch it, but all of us wish we had recovered from it. It is only a matter of time before those who have had it will be given … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Sound the Trumpists: The deputy sheriff rides again – Part Three: Goading the dragon

Cockwomblette: A neologism coined to describe the lesser antipodean cousin of the cockwomble (see Monday’s Part One). Its natural habitat is the bush capital of the world; the inheritor of an obsequious line of deputy sheriffs.

Posted in Asia, Health, Public Policy, World Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Sound the Trumpists: The deputy sheriff rides again – Part Two: India and Australia

Consider the case of India. What exactly does ‘social distancing’ – elegant as it is as an abstract concept – mean in practice in Indian conditions, a country of 1.3bn people with a population density of 464 per km2 compared … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Public Policy, World Affairs | 3 Comments

GEOFF RABY. PM’s Virus Inquiry was a Lose-Lose Call (AFR 4.5.20)

The Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister have handily demonstrated over the past fortnight how not to get an international inquiry into the origins and early management, or mismanagement, of COVID-19.  It has been a useful lesson for students of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Health, Politics, World Affairs | 3 Comments

JOHN DWYER. Palmer’s Pills, all 32 million of them!

Sydney Morning Herald, March 3, 2022. A grateful nation rewards Clive Palmer with the Prime Ministership for using his personal fortune to save Australia from a Covid catastrophe. President Trump tweets his congratulations noting that the two men are “kindred … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Sound the Trumpists: The deputy sheriff rides again – Part One: The global landscape

Cockwomble: A person, usually male, prone to making outrageously stupid statements and/or engaging in inappropriate behaviour while generally having a very high opinion of their own wisdom  and importance. Presently exemplified by Agent Orange who dwells in the casa blanca … Continue reading

Posted in Health, World Affairs | 8 Comments

DAVID SHEARMAN and MELISSA HASWELL; The EPBC Act Review is a once in a decade chance to prioritise our Environment, our Health and our Future

After COVID 19, many of us have a flicker of hope that our government will apply some of its demonstrated sense of responsibility on medical advice to the larger health emergency on our doorstep.

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ALEX MITCHELL: How Sydney survived the 1900 bubonic plague

Sydney was struck by bubonic plague in 1900 creating panic throughout the ramshackle town on Sydney Cove. The city fell under a state of siege and a shutdown. Why did it work?

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. Pandemics, paradoxes and the Federal system

There is still a question as we continue to confront the coronavirus whether the Constitution with respect to health and education needs clarification so that the imposition of border closures, regional lockdowns, school closures, etc., and decisions having legal implications, … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN DWYER. Trump, Xi and the WHO.

President Trump, always blaming someone to hide his own inadequacies, has vented his fury on both China and the WHO. The WHO, for one precious week, had accepted China’s advice that the novel respiratory infections were not transmitted from human … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 8 Comments

TIM WOODRUFF. Health Services or a Health System?: We Have a Choice

How do we keep our population healthy? From a patient perspective we don’t have a health system. From a provider’s perspective we don’t have a health system.

Posted in Health | 7 Comments

TONY SMITH. Promoting ignorance over education.

True education is open minded and open ended. It is the antithesis of propaganda and works to free minds, not control them. The federal government has a minister who lacks any understanding of basic educational principles.

Posted in Education, Health | 5 Comments

ALLAN KESSING. Unregulated Global Health Experiment by Airlines.

NATO and most western armies switched from macho big-bore rifles to 7.62mm for the strategic reason that a wounded enemy requires far more resources than a dead one.

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

BARRY JONES. From COVID-19 to Climate Change? Hoping for a miracle.

Australia handled the COVID-19 pandemic exceptionally well. Our success gives us confidence that our political leaders and institutions are capable of addressing other serious issues, such as climate change, the refugee crisis, redefining work, and setting a high international standard.

Posted in Environment and climate, Health | 7 Comments

TERRY SLEVIN. The Silver lining on the coronavirus cloud.

Among the extraordinary health devastation, and social and economic disruption of COVID19, comes some benefits.  Will we be able to identify and capture them and will we be able to sustain them? Will public health become a higher priority for … Continue reading

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DUNCAN MACLAREN. The Coronavirus and Scottish Independence

During her daily briefings on the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on Scotland’s NHS and people, the First Minister and SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has been articulate, transparent, comprehensible and compassionate. And she hasn’t mentioned the word independence once, except … Continue reading

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STEPHANIE DOWRICK. Communication in a time of crisis

“Isolation” is also a crisis of communication for us as social beings. And an opportunity to consider with fresh interest how we can more thoughtfully support others – receiving with grace and gratitude what they may have to give.

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

JOHN McCARTHY. COVID-19 , Trump, Xi and Canberra(AFR 22.4.2020)

Australia’s decision to spearhead an international enquiry into the origins of the Covid19 pandemic –read China’s lack of transparency and the WHO’s mistakes –is a nice hoary bellow from our domestic political ramparts, but it is a policy mistake.

Posted in Asia, Health | 19 Comments

IAN McAULEY. A little more coronavirus arithmetic

Here’s a little help in understanding that magic figure – the “R” value.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

KERRY GOULSTON, THANH NGUYEN AND OLIVER FRANKEL. Vietnam’s success in containing Covid-19

Relative to most other countries, including Australia, Vietnam seems to be faring extremely well in the shadow of the current coronavirus pandemic, and has recently earned praise from the WHO. Vietnam had only 275 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and thankfully … Continue reading

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SUE WAREHAM. Cancel RIMPAC and reorder our priorities

The failure to cancel RIMPAC or the slowness in doing so – whichever turns out to be the case – demands a reordering of our priorities to place healthcare before warfare. A call from the Australian government to our troops … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 7 Comments

ADAM ELSHAUG & STEPHEN DUCKETT. Hospitals have stopped unnecessary elective surgeries – and shouldn’t restart them after the pandemic (The Conversation 16.4.20)

Part of Australia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic was a severe reduction in elective surgery, and so private hospitals have stood almost empty for a month now.

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JOHN DWYER. Questions we need answered before we can safely ease COVID-19 restrictions.

COVID decisions at the cross roads; which path will Australia take?

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

PETER SAINSBURY. Corona-myths: shifting the blame to preserve privilege. Part 2 of 2.

In Part 1 I explored seven myths about coronavirus that are being used to obscure the truth, shift responsibility and perpetuate existing power and privilege. In Part 2 I examine the failure over the last twenty years of governments and … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health, Politics | 11 Comments

TIM WOODRUFF. COVID 19: Lessons for our Health ?System

Australia doesn’t have a health system. We have a maze of poorly connected health services which barely manage to work together to provide health care of extremely variable quality depending on many competing variables such as income, geography, ethnicity, culture, … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

PETER SAINSBURY. Corona-myths: shifting the blame to preserve privilege. Part 1 of 2.

Myths about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, who is to blame and characteristics of the global response abound. In Part 1 I explore seven myths, the most significant being that the pandemic could not have been predicted. These myths … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 7 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Arithmetic supports a policy of eradicating coronavirus

The numbers behind the spread of coronavirus in Australia are promising, but we should wait some time before considering any relaxation of social distancing and other restrictions.  

Posted in Economy, Health | 3 Comments

MAX HAYTON. Ardern provides crisis management masterclass.

New Zealand is giving us a crisis management masterclass. Prime Minister Ardern has demonstrated skilful and empathetic management of the Covid-19 crisis.

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