Boosting elective surgery and specialist outpatient clinics

Dr Ross Farhadieh is one of the many specialist surgeons at Canberra Health Services (CHS) who is excited that public elective surgery is ramping up after it was impacted by COVID-19 earlier this year. Ross is the Unit Director of Plastic Surgery & Reconstructive Surgery at CHS. ‘There was a lot of elective surgery, including our work such as breast reconstructions, rightly postponed because we were gearing up for a possible COVID-19 crisis,’ Ross says. ‘Now that we have returned to elective surgery, a lot of that backlog that we hadn’t been able to perform is resuming. ‘It’s very exciting to have all hands back on deck.’ Original article [...]

By |2020-07-02T15:59:49+10:00July 2nd, 2020|Elective Surgery, Latest News, Post Slider|

Too many men avoid bowel cancer test kits

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program – a free gift too many men are reluctant to accept. Only 40% of people who receive free National Bowel Cancer Screening kits actually complete them – with men younger than 70 having the lowest rates of use, citing fear of the test process and embarrassment in dealing with faeces among reasons for avoiding the test. The need to improve this situation is urgent. Bowel cancer is the third most commonly-diagnosed cancer in Australia and second most frequent cause of death from cancer – although up to 90% of deaths from bowel cancer are preventable with early detection. Researchers at Flinders University have [...]

By |2020-07-02T15:39:45+10:00July 2nd, 2020|Latest News, Post Slider|

Disability Royal Commission set to resume, with more counsellors trained by people with lived experience

The frustration of Belle Owen's first counselling session almost a decade ago is still fresh in her mind. The 35-year-old from Adelaide, who is short-statured, arrived at the waiting room where there was no space for her wheelchair. She ended up waiting outside. "The staff didn't really know what to do with me," she said. "They were so awkward [and] I was so scared that they'd forget about me and I'd miss my appointment. "I immediately felt excluded, it was another layer of stress in a time when I needed to start healing and you just get the very real sense you aren't having the same experience as everyone [...]

By |2020-07-02T14:53:55+10:00July 2nd, 2020|Latest News, Post Slider|

Telehealth must remain an integral part of the Australian Health System

AMA Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology The AMA will today reiterate its call for broader access to Medicare-funded telehealth consultations with GPs and non-GP specialists to remain an integral part of the health system beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, will appear before the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology at 10.55am today to discuss the AMA submission, which promotes the retention of telehealth initiatives. Dr Bartone said that around 20 per cent of all Medicare-funded consultations with a doctor are now being provided by telehealth, either over the phone or via video, since temporary Medicare [...]

By |2020-07-02T15:07:12+10:00July 1st, 2020|Latest News, Post Slider|

Aged care system “perfectly designed” for poor results

IF Australia’s elderly citizens could get a Level 4 home care package at the same speed they could be given a bed in a residential aged care facility “it would be a very different world”, according to an expert in the aged care system. Associate Professor Craig Whitehead, a geriatrician and Director of Rehabilitation and Aged Care with the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, told InSight+ that Australia has an aged care system “perfectly designed to give us the results we’ve got”. “On the one hand, we have a rhetoric that says older people – and in fact, older people will say this – they want to remain living at home [...]

By |2020-07-02T15:16:06+10:00June 29th, 2020|Latest News, Post Slider|

NT Government quietly axes cardiothoracic surgery program and puts medical equipment up for sale

The Northern Territory Government has quietly dumped a program that would have allowed at least 150 patients a year to receive lifesaving heart surgery in the Top End instead of having to travel interstate. The decision, finalised by Cabinet last year, came after the Health Department had already spent millions of dollars developing plans for the cardiothoracic surgery program, including the purchase of high-tech medical equipment. The department is now trying to on-sell two heart-lung machines which it bought for $1.2 million in June 2018, shortly before the surgery program was recommended for the axe by the Top End Health Service published by ABC News on the 29th June [...]

By |2020-07-02T15:06:18+10:00June 29th, 2020|Latest News, Post Slider|

Rules designed to protect patients from faulty medical devices delayed until next year

Some pacemakers have been found to cause patients electric shocks.(ABC News: Alison Branley) Patients affected by malfunctioning medical devices are angry the Federal Government is quietly delaying important safety reforms until the end of next year. Changes to the oversight of medical devices were due to be introduced in three months, but will now be delayed until November 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A statement on the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website said: "Reflecting the challenges identified by the medical devices industry and healthcare professionals as they have focused on the COVID-19 crisis, the Australian Government intends asking the Governor-General to agree to the proposed delay of … [...]

By |2020-06-25T15:19:04+10:00June 25th, 2020|Latest News, Post Slider|

Telehealth in lockdown meant 7 million fewer chances to transmit the coronavirus

The expansion of telehealth services was a deliberate strategy to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission between practitioners and patients, so is it working? According to analysis undertaken by, Centaine Snoswell  Research Fellow Health Economics, The University of Queensland, Anthony Smith Professor of Telehealth; and Director of the Centre for Online Health, The University of Queensland and Liam Caffery   Associate Professor in Telehealth and Director of Telehealth Technology, Centre for Online Health, The University of Queensland, the answer is that telehealth is indeed reducing the risk. Since March 2020, more than 7 million MBS-funded telehealth consultations have been reported, with the vast majority (91%) being done by [...]

By |2020-06-25T15:12:33+10:00June 25th, 2020|Latest News, Post Slider|

Treatment for incurable diseases receives $5.9 million research injection

The Australian Government is investing $5.9 million in eight vital medical research projects to find new and innovative treatments for incurable diseases including leukaemia, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. The $5.9 million in funding is part of the Morrison Government’s $150 million commitment over nine years to transform stem cell research into practical treatments through the Stem Cell Therapies Mission. Research is due to begin next month and run for two years. Press release 21st June 2020 from Health Department, Minister Hon. Greg Hunt. click here to read the original press release.

By |2020-06-25T14:51:39+10:00June 25th, 2020|Latest News, Post Slider|

Cybercrime: why is health care the most targeted?

THE illicit sale of health care information is now more valuable than ever before — millions of medical records are being sold on the black market, putting both patients and health care organisations at greater risk of data compromise. Health care organisations are desperately trying to detect and stop theft, but unfortunately, some hospitals are still in the process of transitioning from paper patient records to electronic health records — far behind other industries such as the Australian banking sector. As a result, there is significantly less protection in place to stop sophisticated cybercriminals. Written by Geoff Schomburgk and published by the Medical Journal of Australia 22nd June 2020. [...]

By |2020-06-25T14:42:12+10:00June 25th, 2020|Latest News, Post Slider|