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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Ice use in Orange is a concern, but experts say alcohol is the real issue – Poll

THE prevalence of the drug ice in Orange and other regional areas is taking second place to the impact of alcohol on the community, according to Orange-based drug and alcohol experts.
Lyndon Withdrawal Unit deputy chief executive officer Dr Julaine Allan and Western NSW Local Health District drug and alcohol clinical nurse consultant Melissa Romeo say the release of NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics figures showing a doubling of ice use in rural areas in the last year needs to be measured in the context of overall drug use in the area.

Please see more details at the following link:

OUR TOWN, OUR UNIVERSITY: Student projects address rural health issues

Troy Belshaw, Diviya GK and Talal Lakmas explored factors which determine why general practitioners (GPs) choose to practise in the Western NSW Local Health District.
The study found 60 percent of GPs working in the district were of non-rural origin and 40 per cent of rural origin.

Please see more details of article below:

Australian hospital statistics 2013-14: emergency department care (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2013–14: emergency department care

In 2013–14:
there were almost 7.2 million presentations to public hospital emergency departments;
• 75% of patients received treatment within an appropriate time for their urgency (triage) category;
• 73% of patients spent 4 hours or less in the emergency department;
• 2 million patients were admitted to the hospital from the emergency department, and 45% of these were admitted within 4 hours.
View the media release and download the full report for free online.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Impacts of climate change on public health in Australia (Deeble Institute)

Impacts of climate change on public health in Australia: Recommendations for new policies and practices for adaptation within the public health sector by the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research, aims to:
  • draw attention to the potential impacts of climate change on health in Australia;
  • discuss the policies and issues related to the impacts of climate change on health;
  • present prioritised recommendations to decision-makers on policies and practices which may assist mitigation of and adaptation to the most serious of the identified impacts;
  • provide guidance which will assist appropriate people and agencies to allocate resources to the highest priority problems; and
  • provide a comprehensive list of references which provide reliable evidence about the potential impacts of climate change on health in Australia


Monday, 20 October 2014

Researchers, communities, government and not-for-profit sector band together to improve Indigenous health outcomes

Health and medical researchers have teamed up with Indigenous community organisations, policymakers, businesses and others on the frontlines of health care delivery to help improve the health of Indigenous communities, as part of five National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership project grants announced today.

Please see more details at the link below:

Psychosis fears after 'ice' use rises among injecting drug users

Hospitals and drug clinics are bracing themselves for more patients presenting with psychosis and cardiovascular problems after a significant increase in use of the drug "ice".

The number of injecting drug users who used ice in the last six months has increased from 55 per cent to 61 per cent in the last year, according to the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre's annual survey released on Monday.

Please see below for more details of this article:

Healthy living program aids recovery from mental illness (Curran Centre-Orange)

People battling depression or anxiety have been offered a greater understanding of their illness by taking part in an older and wiser, active and healthy program.
The program is run by the Curran Centre Orange. See more details below:

Australian hospital statistics 2013-14: elective surgery waiting times (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2013-14: elective surgery waiting times

In 2013-14:

- about 700,000 patients were admitted to Australian public hospitals from elective surgery waiting lists;

- 50% of patients were admitted for their surgery within 36 days of being placed on the waiting list and 90% were admitted within 262 days.

Media release

Friday, 17 October 2014

Companion animals and the health of older people

The International Federation on Ageing has published Companion animals and the health of older persons as one response to the projected costs associated with caring for ageing populations. A literature review examined the relationship of older people living both independently and in long-term care facilities, including dementia sufferers and people with a mental illness, with their pets.

The study focused on the physical, mental, emotional and social health of these people, as well as the role of animals in their perceptions of inclusion in their community. The economic impact of animals interacting with older people was also examined and some promising initiatives explored, including one in Victoria and one in NSW. It was acknowledged that research on this topic has been very limited.

Press release

Re-Posted from "HealthInfo Blog"

Dying Well : how we die in Australia

 The Grattan Institute has published Dying Well,a report by Hal Swerissen and Stephen Duckett about how we die in Australia. According to the report, 70% of Australians would like to die at home, but only 14% actually do so. About 50% die in hospital and a third in residential care. Dying in Australia is more institutionalised than most other countries and this is linked to medical and community attitudes as well as a lack of funding for home-based care.

The report recommends more public discussion, including an education campaign, about the limits of health care as death approaches and the need to focus on end-of-life care. It also proposes the widespread adoption of advance care plans that ensure people's desires for the end of life are met. "The baby boomers are growing old and in the next 25 years the number of Australians who die each year will double," Professor Swerissen says. "We need the courage to promote a national discussion about a subject that we might dislike but cannot avoid."

You can also read Swerisson and Duckett's article in The Conversation, A Good death: Australians need support to die at home. It's a good summary of their full report.

Re-Posted from "HealthInfo Blog"

Fact check: Does a farmer commit suicide every four days in Australia as Bob Katter says?

Australian agriculture is "closing down" and farmers - "the toughest people this nation has ever produced" - are folding, federal MP Bob Katter says.

Speaking as part of a mental health special on the ABC's Q&A's program on October 6, Mr Katter said Australia's four big agricultural sectors - sheep, cattle, dairy and sugar cane - were all "going straight down the chute at 100 mile an hour".

Please see more at the link below:

Parental sexual offending – new study

Diversion programs that offer community-based treatment for low-risk parent sexual offenders can reduce re-offending and heighten protection for young children and their families, a new study has found.

The study, 'Parental sexual offending: managing risk through diversion' published recently by the Australian Institute of Criminology, is by Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty, a leading researcher at the CSU Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security and the CSU School of Psychology, and doctoral candidate Ms Kate O'Brien at the School of Psychology and Psychiatry at Monash University.

Please see more details of this CSU research at the following link:

Women, work and the menopause

According to this report, 78% of women aged between 45 and 54 participate in the Australian workforce, representing over a million women potentially experiencing menopause while at work.

Women, work and the menopause: releasing the potential of older, professional women is a report from the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society at La Trobe University and authored by Gavin Jack and colleagues. It explores:

  • Older women's health and well-being
  • The relationship between menopause-related symptoms and work outcomes
  • Actual and desired levels of organisational support for women experiencing menopause
  • Work-related and organisational factors that exacerbate or ameliorate women's experiences of menopause in the workplace
  • Women's first-hand experiences, beliefs and attitudes towards menopause at work.

Re-Posted from "Health Info Blog"

Common mistakes made when interpreting research

Two researchers at the Australian National University have written a useful article in The Conversation, The 10 stuff-ups we all make when interpreting research. Will J. Butler and Rod Lamberts explain very simply simply some of the pitfalls we can easily fall into when trying to critically appraise a study.

Some of these "stuff-ups" include using the results of just one study to prove a point, confirmation bias (where we look for studies that confirm what we already believe), confusing the merits of qualitative and quantitative results and giving too much weight to significance and peer review.

Re-Posted from "Health Info Blog"

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Primary Health Districts : the successor to Medicare Locals

The Department of Health (DoH) has released the long-awaited boundaries for the new Primary Health Networks (PHNs) that are set to replace Medicare Locals.

30 PHNs have been established – more than the expected 20 or 24 – which DoH says will align with Local Hospital Network (LHN) boundaries.

A strong emphasis on the role of PHNs in predominantly assisting general practice is apparent in the overview, with no mention of community pharmacy or aged care.

It states that PHNs will have 5 primary roles, including analysing and planning for the health needs of their local communities; helping general practices to assist patients in avoiding hospital admissions; supporting general practices in safety and quality measures; assisting GPs to use eHealth systems; and purchasing or commissioning clinical services for population health issues such as chronic disease and mental illness.

For Western NSW, one large PHN will be created, incorporating the territory of the Far West Local Health District, The Western NSW Local Health District, plus a large section of the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

Summary of proposal

NSW Primary Care Networks Map.