Category Archives: Health

JOHN MENADUE. How the politically urgent pushes the important health issues aside.

Australians have some of the best health outcomes in the world measured for example by high life expectancy and low death rates, although that is not the case with Indigenous Australians.  

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HEIKO SPALLEK. No clever answers! Finding the right questions about dental care in Australia.

The significant impact that dental disease makes to the financial and social burdens of preventable chronic illness in Australia is rarely acknowledged, although there is substantial evidence of the inequalities in access to dental care. Dental care is not seen … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. Bullying in the public health system.

The formation of the Australian Health Reform Association (AHReform) is triggered by the need to have a community organisation with members from all healthcare professions to help create a safer working environment for all healthcare professionals so that they can … Continue reading

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MARYANNE DEMASI. Vindication : dietitians cut ties with the sugar lobby.

The Dietitians Association of Australia has pledged to cut financial ties with the sugar lobby following a series of investigations. The DAA initiative and the exoneration of surgeon and sugar critic Dr Gary Fettke are significant steps towards diet reform … Continue reading

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KIM OATES. If we listened to children the world would be a better place

Last week was National Children’s week, with a theme that children’s views and opinions should be respected, that they have a right to be heard.

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MICHAEL THORN. Cricket Australia: Culpable without consequence

Australia’s disgraced cricket trio, Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, may have engineered the ball tampering scandal in South Africa this year, but the damning cultural review released yesterday has found an arrogant and controlling Cricket Australia essentially to … Continue reading

Posted in Drug Reform, Health | 2 Comments

IAN TRESISE. A View on the Need for Systemic Change in Health & Wellbeing Education

There is a very strong need in our community for a refreshing whole-of-government approach to confronting the major health issues of our day.  This starts with the recognition that many of our political institutions were developed for an Industrial Age … Continue reading

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STEPHEN LEEDER. Health and wealth travel together.

Self-contained health programs directed at infectious diseases such as HIV, TB, malaria have wrought miracles, saving lives and enhancing prosperity. But a new challenge is looming globally, as subtle as climate change.  No self-contained ‘vertical’ programs work for non-communicable disease: … Continue reading

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JENNIFER DOGGETT. Healthcare’s out-of-pocket crisis (Inside Story, 24.10.18)

Fast-rising medical expenses are restricting access to healthcare and increasing long-term costs. If two Australian capital cities were suddenly left without any dental services it would be considered a national crisis. But a problem of this size occurs each year … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. The extraordinary determination of China to have the world embrace its traditional medicine. (Part 3 of 3.)

The artemisia annua plant has been used for centuries in China to fight malaria. In 2011 a Chinese scientist, Tu Youyou, discovered how to extract the ingredient responsible for the anti-malarial effect (now called Artemisinin) and her reward was a Nobel Prize. … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. The extraordinary determination of China to have the world embrace its traditional medicine. (Part 2 of 3)

Remarkably and unfortunately politics, not clinical effectiveness, is powering the global penetration of Traditional Chinese Medicine into health care systems. The term “Traditional Chinese Medicine” (TCM) was dreamt up by Chairman Mao Zedong in a cynical response to the Communist … Continue reading

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GRAEME STEWART. Growing inequality in access to health care is curable.

It has been sad to observe the growth in out-of-pocket expenses for patients seeking expert medical consultation and the resultant rising inequality in access to timely care and in health outcomes (“Specialists charging extreme fees”, March 6. These twin inequities … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. The extraordinary determination of China to have the world embrace its Traditional Medicine. (Part one of three)

The child was six years old. His parents were struggling to manage his Diabetes. He had Type 1 diabetes, the most serious form of the disease caused by his own immune system destroying his pancreas. As a result he could … Continue reading

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CATHERINE STUBBERFIELD. UNHCR urges Australia to evacuate off-shore facilities as health situation deteriorates.

The following is a transcript of the remarks by Spokesperson for the UNHCR Regional Representation in Canberra, Catherine Stubberfield  at today’s press briefing(12 October 2018) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. 

Posted in Health, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE Vale John Deeble – an architect of Medicare

Every Australian owes a great debt to John Deeble who died this week in Canberra, aged 87.  Together with Dick Scotton he provided Gough Whitlam from 1967 onwards with the essential advice on how to establish a compulsory public insurance … Continue reading

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JOHN INVERARITY. Do we have a higher priority as a society than the raising our children: We must end alcohol advertising in sport.

As responsible adults we need to do all we can to ensure that our young are provided with the best opportunities to live purposeful, fulfilling lives and are encouraged to partake of these opportunities. We need to strive to provide them … Continue reading

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LESLEY RUSSELL.Tackling the wicked problems in health – by building bridges with social services.

None of the “wicked’ problems in health – obesity, mental illness and suicide, chronic illness, ageing – will be solved with just hospitals, doctors, nurses and prescription pads. They all require resources beyond those provided by the health care system. … Continue reading

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JONATHAN PAGE. How Buddhism helped this cancer doctor care for his dying patients (ABC Science interview)

Medical oncologist Jonathan Page says being more in the moment helps him to be a better doctor.  His relationships with his patients were once characterised by “coldness…. and a lack of grieving”.  But a mental health crisis that led him … Continue reading

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JENNIFER DOGGETT. AIHW Health Expenditure Australia 2016-17 report – five key lessons.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)  has released its Health expenditure Australia 2016–17 report. This report contains detailed data on expenditure throughout our health system and is a valuable resource for governments, policy makers and health stakeholders.

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JERRY ROBERTS. Is Ken Wyatt’s position tenable?.

Ken Wyatt is one of the few high-class acts in a low-class environment known as the Australian Federal Parliament. If he is driven out of the place it will be the Parliament’s loss, not Ken’s

Posted in Health, Politics | 5 Comments

JOHN GOSS. Health care is getting cheaper (unless you need a specialist, or a dentist) (the Conversation, 28.09.18)

Public and private health expenditure amounted to 10.3% of gross domestic product in 2016-17, almost exactly the same percentage as in 2015-16, according to figures released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

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BRIONY DOW. Do we need a Royal Commission into Aged Care?

With the recent announcement of a Royal Commission into Aged Care, debate is raging in the aged care sector and beyond as to whether it is really needed. 

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ISABELLE LANE. Six big players dominate Australia’s scandal-hit aged care sector (The New Daily, 19.09.18)

Aged care providers are expected to rake in $1.7 billion worth of profits in 2018-19, but reports of poor living conditions in nursing homes have raised concerns that the industry is putting profit before people.

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STEPHEN LEEDER. Employing less qualified people in aged care

The Royal Commission announced this week will have a full agenda. If it can help us get aged care back on track we will all be the richer.

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NICOLE GIBSON. A Letter to Canberra from a young Australian.

“Each Australian story I’ve heard is etched on my heart, permanently shifting my views and perspectives on leadership. I pray that you also have the humility to silence the chatter in your own minds and be inspired by the people … Continue reading

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BIANCA BRIJNATH. Improving dementia awareness in Australia’s multicultural communities can mean better care for all.

Sheila holds 10 teaspoons in her hands and every time the cooker whistles, she puts one down.  After 10 whistles, she switches the cooker off. The rice is done. She takes down two pots and prepares one of the five … Continue reading

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FRAN BAUM and TOBY FREEMAN. Time for the reform of primary health care in Australia: a ten-point plan (Croakey, 12.09.18)

12 September)marks 40 years since the World Health Organization member countries gathered for the International Conference on Primary Health Care in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and signed off on the declaration of Alma-Ata.

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JOHN MENADUE. Beyond the political rhetoric,hard hats and akubras what do our political ‘leaders’ really believe.

Power does reveal substance.  It tells us quite quickly about the values that drive political parties and political leaders. Scare tactics are always a sure sign that the values and policy cupboard is bare.

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | 3 Comments

KIM OATES. Viewpoint: “Always say something positive about the child” (Berry Brazelton 1918-2018)

Over 40 years ago, I was fortunate to do some of my paediatric training with Berry Brazelton. He wasn’t famous then, but there was something about him that set him apart from the purely organic focus of most of the … Continue reading

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MARK DANTA, CHUN MA, RICHARD DAY, DAVID MA. Dealing with the spiraling price of medicines: how “low” can it go?

New medications are increasingly expensive. In Australia, where the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) covers the vast majority of prescription medications, the spiraling cost of medicines has a significant impact on the sustainability of our health system.  In countries where patients … Continue reading

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