Gillard points to health policy in pitch to independents and Greens

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Labor’s policy platform, including broadband, rural health and climate change, best matched the policy demands of the independents and stood the best chance of passing a Greens-controlled Senate, in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald. Tony Abbott said he offered the most stability.

Drug requiring genetic test for prescribing gets PBS green light
Bowel cancer drug Erbitux (cetuximab) has been recommended for funding through The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, but, at $20 000 per patient, a genetic test will be required before it can be prescribed, The Sydney Morning Herald reported last week.

Pressure on NSW government to release hospital stats
The NSW government has denied opposition claims that it has held off releasing hospital performance figures ahead of the election, according to an ABC report. The opposition said the government wanted to prevent election embarrassment because June figures would show lengthening waiting times.

Personal e-health records as secure as online banking
By 2012, accessing a personal electronic health record would be similar to online banking, according to Health Minister Nicola Roxon. In a report by ZDNet, she said the record would be accessed via an online portal with allergy and medications information upfront. 

Measles alert
Public health officials in the Tweed area of northern NSW have reported a measles outbreak, according to the ABC. Last week, six Tweed Heads school students had been diagnosed with the highly infectious virus and officials said it was likely it had spread further.

First fully artificial heart transplant
The first mechanical heart transplant in the southern hemisphere has been performed at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, The Courier Mail reported last week. The artificial heart is a temporary measure for its recipient, a 50-year-old man, who is waiting for a donor heart and may otherwise have had only 2 weeks to live.

Neither party’s election health policies enough
Stephen Leeder, director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney, last week in The Sydney Morning Herald called the health policies in the lead up to the election “an assortment of . . . crumbs . . . and. . . low-grade meat”. The incoming government, he said, would need to quickly tackle several major health issues, including the ageing population.

Dengue hits Cairns again
Outbreaks of dengue fever have been reported in far north Queensland, in the Cairns CBD and just south of the city, according to the ABC. Health authorities say they are expecting to see a record number of imported cases this year as the disease becomes more prevalent across the tropical world.

Primary profit rises
Primary Health Care has posted a profit of $132 million in the year to June 2010, a rise of 21.7% on last year, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Primary said funding cuts for Medicare services outside hospitals contributed to a fall in revenue of 3% over the same period.

Midlife crisis a dementia risk
Repeated stressful events in midlife can double the risk of developing dementia, according to a Swiss study of more than 1400 women reported in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Posted 23 August, 2010

One thought on “Health headlines

  1. EHR-lies says:

    There is a 0% chance that the EHR Roxon suggests will be useful and a time frame of 1.5 years is just silly. Who is tasked with keeping the info up to date???????????????

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