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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Pain management resources

1 in 5 Australians live with chronic pain, with the prevalence increasing to one in three for people aged over 65 years. The incidence of chronic pain is greater in rural areas due to the physically demanding nature of work and the lack of effective, timely care for acute pain.

Pain is the most common reason people seek medical help. The incidence of chronic pain is higher in rural and remote areas due to the physically demanding nature of work and the lack of effective, timely care for acute pain. Painaustralia has put togther a collection of key education and training resources on pain management for health professional's and those living with chronic pain.

Fact sheet: "Chronic pain-a major issue in rural Australia (National Rural Health Alliance)

Monday, 6 July 2015

Palliative care training modules

The AHHA has launched an expanded palliative care online information and training portal, with new training materials and extensive resources.

Two new free online training modules launched on July 1 build on the success of the AHHA's first four online units on community based palliative aged care. All six units are now available at no cost, at palliativecareonline.com.au

The Pain Management module examines pain from a holistic perspective, and provides insights into discussing, assessing, treating and managing client pain. The module Recognising Deteriorating Clients assists with managing the many diverse and complex aspects of end of life care involving clients, carers and family members.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Mental health patients in rural areas could wait months to see psychologists due to problems with Primary Health Networks

Mental health patients in rural and regional areas could wait months to see psychologists because of problems with the Government's new Primary Health Networks (PHNs), former employees claim.

Several former staff from Medicare Locals have contacted the ABC and said patients in rural and regional areas are being told they will have to wait months to see psychologists, because service contracts for the new organisations have not been signed.

See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-02/mental-health-patients-in-rural-areas-face-long-waits/6589866

NACCHO begins production on Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands video series

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has begun work on a 20 episode series that will highlight how investing in Aboriginal community controlled health will lead to generational change, and will contribute to closing the gap.

Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands for health futures will showcase the members of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) on the role and function ACCHOs are making in the health system, and towards the Close the gap initiative, to improve understandings of the purpose of the ACCHOs for politicians, bureaucrats, the general public and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

See more at: http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/about/news/3325

Monday, 29 June 2015

Anytime Fitness fundraiser fit to boost mental health prospects

Centre for Rural And Remote Mental Health executive officer of programs Trevor Hazell and Anytime Fitness manager Megan Griffin hope a recent treadmill challenge can make meaningful change for those living with mental illness.

ANYTIME Fitness manager Megan Griffin knows the benefit of exercise for those living with mental illness. Ms Griffin lives with anxiety herself and is passionate about helping people manage their mental health issues.

See more at: http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/3175621/anytime-fitness-fundraiser-fit-to-boost-mental-health-prospects/

Focus on illicit drugs puts Australia’s drinking problem on ice

Recent discussions of Australia’s “ice epidemic” have culminated in a A$9 million government-funded media campaign to raise community awareness of the drug’s harms, particularly in rural areas. We do need to address the harms of illicit drugs, but, in doing so, we mustn’t overlook the greater social impact of excessive alcohol consumption.

A number of commentators have cautioned about the possible negative effects of government fear-mongering on parents, families and communities. Experts have also highlighted the substantial evidence that drug education campaigns are, at best, ineffective and, at worst, encourage experimentation.

See more at: http://theconversation.com/focus-on-illicit-drugs-puts-australias-drinking-problem-on-ice-42710

Mental health reform too slow, say some experts

It's been 8 months since the Government received a major report on Australia's mental health failings. PM understands a failure of mental health experts to agree on all the recommendations has held up crucial reform.

The Health Minister has ordered a separate review of the report's recommendations. Many in the mental health sector are frustrated by what they say are unacceptable delays to improving care for suicidal Australians.

Poorly planned, and a massive drain on people's wellbeing. Those were the findings of a National Mental Health Commission report ordered by the Federal Government to look at Australia's mental health system.

See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2015/s4262736.htm

Preventing Aboriginal maternal smoking WA portal

The Preventing Aboriginal maternal smoking WA (PAMSWA) portal aims to address the gap in accessing coordinated services and resources for health professionals addressing maternal smoking among pregnant Aboriginal women in WA, whose smoking rates are reported at being four times higher than non-Indigenous women.

The free to access portal provides quality information about smoking cessation and prevention to support better health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, their babies and families with the selection of content carefully evaluated to ensure it is culturally appropriate and promotes best practice methods and strategies available for working with pregnant Aboriginal women.

The portal also links to the Preventing Aboriginal maternal smoking WA yarning place to encourage information sharing and collaboration among health professionals and others involved in maternal health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Ultimately, the portal will create a solid knowledge base about Aboriginal maternal smoking and establish the site as the 'go-to' place for any information, resources, training opportunities and support for health professionals who work with pregnant Aboriginal women and their families, advancing Aboriginal maternal and child health outcomes.

Preventing Aboriginal Smoking WA portal

Press release

Friday, 26 June 2015

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Organisations report

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report - key results 2013-14.

The report includes details on:

  • 203 organisations provided primary health-care services to around 419,000 clients through 4.6 million client contacts
  • 189 counsellors provided social and emotional wellbeing or Link Up counselling services to around 16,600 clients through 88,200 client contacts
  • 56 organisations provided substance-use rehabilitation and treatment services to around 43,000 clients through 371,000 episodes of care.
  • Download the full report for free online.

    Thursday, 25 June 2015

    Antimicrobial resistance strategy


    Responding to the threat of antimicrobial resistance: Australia's first national antimicrobial resistance strategy 2015–2019 has been released by the Australian Government this month. It was developed in partnership with industry and government, including the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare and aims to guide actions by governments, health professionals, farmers and veterinarians to respond to the threat of antibiotic misuse and resistance.

    The Strategy document discusses the looming public health issues globally and nationally related to antimicrobial resistance and "calls on all stakeholders to support a collaborative effort to change those practices that have contributed to the development of resistance and implement new initiatives to reduce inappropriate antibiotic usage and resistance."

    Wednesday, 24 June 2015

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and dementia: a review of the research

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and dementia: a review of the research by Alzheimer's Australia outlines the prevalence of dementia and modifiable risk factors in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience dementia at an earlier age then the general population and this, combined with the steadily growing number of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, will result in the number of people effected by dementia growing significantly in the coming years.

    Although higher rates of dementia have been reported in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the disease is often overlooked by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, health workers and service providers. Geographical constraints in the provision of services, a lack of education and awareness in communities and by health workers and the prevalence of other chronic diseases have all posed considerable barriers to the recognition of dementia as an emerging health issue.

    The report adds to a strong evidence base on the subject, which has led Alzheimer's Australia to produce a suite of resources on Indigenous dementia including DVDs, newsletters and other reports and resources.

    Tuesday, 23 June 2015

    New reports on Australian hospital statistics (AIHW)

    The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released three new reports:

     

    Australia's hospitals 2013-14 at a glance provides information on Australias public and private hospitals. In 2013-14, there were 9.7 million hospitalisations, including 2.5 million involving surgery. Public hospitals provided care for 7.2 presentations to emergency departments, with 74% of patients seen within recommended times for their triage category and about 73% were completed within 4 hours. This publication is a companion to the 2013-14 Australian hospital statistics suite of publications.
    AIHW catalogue number HSE 157.
    Available to order at the AIHW website for $17
     
    In 2013-14, about 46 million occasions of service were provided for non-admitted patients by 558 public hospitals, including:
    -6 million occasions of service for emergency care
    -18 million for outpatient care
    -22 million for other non-admitted patient care.
    For the first time, information is also included about the patients age and sex, their Indigenous status, how the service was delivered and how it was funded.
    AIHW catalogue number HSE 159.
    Available to order at the AIHW website for $13
     
    Hospital resources 2013-14: Australian hospital statistics presents a detailed overview of public and private hospital resources in Australia. In 2013-14, there were:
    - 747 public hospitals: with over 58,600 beds that accounted for more than $44 billion of expenditure.
    - 612 private hospitals with almost 31,000 beds that accounted for more than $11 billion of expenditure.
    AIHW catalogue number HSE 160.
    Available to order at the AIHW website for $14

    Media release

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys: New reports from the Managing Two Worlds Together Project



    The Lowitja Institute has released several reports from stage 3 of the Managing Two Worlds Together Project. These reports provide several specialist case studies. The list of new reports is as follows :

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Study Report

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Rural & Remote Case Studies

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Cardiac Case Studies

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - City Sites Case Studies

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Maternity Case Studies

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Renal case studies

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Workbook

    The full list of the Lowitja Institute's publications can be found here.

    Monday, 22 June 2015

    Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2013-14 (AIHW)

    Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2013-14 reveals that a round 119,000 clients were estimated to have received over 180,700 treatment episodes from 795 publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies in 2013-14. Alcohol was the most common drug leading clients aged 30 and over to seek treatment, while cannabis was most common for clients aged 10-29.

    Over the 5 years from 2009-10, there has been an increase in the proportion of episodes where amphetamines were the principal drug on concern (from 7% to 17%) and an increase in smoking/inhaling as the method of administration for amphetamines. A majority of treatment episodes had a duration of three months or less, and counselling remains the most common treatment type.

    Friday, 19 June 2015

    My Aged Care website

    From 1 July 2015 the aged care system is changing, with the aim to make it easier for Australians to understand their options, the costs involved and how to access this support.

    My Aged Care is the first step for individuals and their families seeking advice on their options and how to access this support. It has been established by the Australian Government to help people navigate the aged care system.