Category Archives: Health

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

JOHN CARLIN. Discrimination and Inequality

The Covid-19 virus discriminates against the old. The young are hardly affected. The lockdowns around the world required everyone to live in a cage, young and old. Now that the restrictions are being relaxed, it is inevitable that governments are … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. The rise and fall of coronavirus modelling

Will the Great Lockdown’s epitaph be ‘The Greatest Mistake in History’?

Posted in Health | 12 Comments

LESLEY RUSSELL. The Next Community Pharmacy Agreement

In normal, pre-coronavirus pandemic times, we would have expected to see the details and funding for the 7th Community Pharmacy Agreement announced in the May federal budget. But the new agreement, expected to cost some $20 billion over five years, … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

ROY HARVEY. The Anzac spirit and the future of health policy

The policies adopted by the Australian governments to fight the Covid-19 crisis are the opposite of the policies that the Coalition Government has pursued for the past 70 years.

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

IAN HICKIE and STEPHEN DUCKETT. Mobilise private resources to cope with the COVID-19 mental health wave

The public-private divide in Australia’s health system disappeared early in the Coronavirus pandemic when all states signed contracts with private hospitals to ensure private beds were available to meet the anticipated tsunami of hospital demand. The same ‘can do’ approach … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

DEBORAH GLEESON & DAVID LEGG. Three simple things Australia should do to secure access to treatments, vaccines, tests and devices during the coronavirus crisis (The Conversation 21.4.20)

Patents and related intellectual property rights can present formidable barriers to procuring medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tests and medical devices.

Posted in Health, Public Policy | 2 Comments

JOHN WARD. Residential aged care in Covid and beyond

Residential aged care was already struggling before Covid, the arrival of which threatens to collapse the industry. It is surely time to redesign aged care to meet the needs of future generations.

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

JOHN DWYER. Political ambition demands we play the COVID ‘Blame Game’ while Rome still burns

President Donald J Trump claims that carelessness in the Wuhan Institute for Virology saw the COVID-19 virus, which, he insists, was being grown in the Institute, escape, resulting in a disastrous pandemic.

Posted in Health | 11 Comments

CAVAN HOGUE. Science, not politics, must drive an independent and comprehensive Coronavirus inquiry

The whole question of lessons to be learned to help prepare for future pandemics is caught up in international politics and it will be hard for science to defeat politics. We need to examine who handled it well and who … Continue reading

Posted in Health, World Affairs | 9 Comments

DAVID FIDLER. The dangerous COVID-19 quest for WHO reform (EAF 10.5.20)

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a health and a political crisis. Political tensions threaten to damage the global fight against the coronavirus.

Posted in Health, World Affairs | 1 Comment

KEN HARVEY. Formal response from the TGA

Dr Ken Harvey has provided the following formal response from the TGA as an update to his article (Pearls and Irritations, 7 May,

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

IAN WEBSTER: Public health and the nanny state.

Behind our backs, public health became the poor cousin of biomedicine and was dismissed as ‘drains and sewerage’. How wrong we were!

Posted in Health, Public Policy | 2 Comments

HAL SWERISSEN. The New Normal: how we’ll live with Covid-19

The Covid-19 restrictions are painful, but they have worked. Some restrictions will soon be lifted. But what will the ‘new normal’ look like?

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Digesting the cases being missed

As we cautiously begin to lift the lockdown, if we don’t know who the silent carriers are, how can they play an active role in keeping the community safe?

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

JACK WATERFORD. Asymptomatic Covid cases will give us our next waves

As the Prime Minister and Premiers look to relax COVID-19 restrictions, we still need to be wary of the significant proportion of asymptomatic cases.

Posted in Health, Politics | 3 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. When in doubt, think up a number

Indonesia’s second president General Soeharto had a fix-all to calm restless citizens demanding improvements. He’d pronounce a numbered plan.

Posted in Asia, Health | 1 Comment

PETER HANSFORD. Corona Virus: Capturing the Lessons Learned

As the COVID 19 infection curve flattens and we look forward to a potential easing of restrictions on the lives we once knew, it is appropriate to start contemplating what sort of world we want to create “on the other … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

KIM OATES. Anxiety and the Etiquette of Walking

When we meet people walking towards us, have you noticed how anxious many look? Anxiety can be damaging to mental health. What can we do to help reduce damaging anxiety?

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

JEFF KILDEA. Lessons to be learned from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919 – Part 2

By the end of February 1919 the NSW government, by prompt and strict measures, had, in today’s parlance, ‘flattened the curve’. But the worst was still to come.

Posted in Health | 10 Comments

JAMES CURRAN. Canberra’s wolverines threaten our connection (AFR 8.5.20)

Beijing deserves scrutiny for little transparency amid the pandemic, but Australia’s proposal for an inquiry is badly timed.

Posted in Asia, Health, World Affairs | 7 Comments

TONI HASSAN. Building a mental health system that addresses root causes

For many of us, forced to work at home or to not work at all, the COVID-19 crisis has driven home the importance of mental health and how work interacts with our sense of wellbeing.

Posted in Health, Public Policy | Comments Off on TONI HASSAN. Building a mental health system that addresses root causes

SUE WAREHAM. Prioritising Health

Global military spending continues to rise. Critical health goals could be achieved for a fraction of what we spend on wars. Focussing funding on health rather than military spending, globally and in Australia, would create more jobs, healthier communities, and … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 6 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. Covid19 USA: The Human Exchange Rate   

Trump has now clarified that the meaning of the disaster that Covid-19 is posing to the US is that it could threaten his re-election. It is not a health problem. He thinks reopening the economy is his path to political … Continue reading

Posted in Health, World Affairs | 2 Comments

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?

Posted in Health | Comments Off on JEFF KILDEA. Lessons to be learned from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919 – Part 1

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