Monday, 19 March 2018

Health Translations : consumer health information for CALD populations.

The Victorian government Health Translations website enables health practitioners and those working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to easily find translated health information.

* The Health Translations Directory provides direct links to reliable translated health resources produced in Australia. Organisations are responsible for registering their own multilingual resource on the Health Translations Directory.

* Over 14000 resources in over 100 languages and counting : New resources are regularly being added.

* Information can be found in a variety of ways. Search on topics, languages, or organisations.

* Health practitioners and organisations who work with culturally and linguistically diverse communities can use the site to find reliable translated health information, including a unique tool to help identify what language your client speaks.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Causes of death patterns and people's use of aged care

Nearly 245,000 older people (Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over, and non-Indigenous Australians aged 65 and over) died between July 2012 and June 2014. This report presents information on the cause of death patterns, and any aged care services they used before their death. This is the first time this analysis has been done in Australia.

The leading causes of death for these older Australians were Coronary heart disease (14% of deaths), Dementia (9%), Cerebrovascular disease (stroke) (8%), Lung cancer (5%), Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (5%) and Diabetes (3%).

These 6 conditions also account for more than 40% of the total burden of disease for older Australians.

4 in 5 (80%) of people in the study cohort had used an aged care program sometime before their death. Cause of death patterns differed somewhat between this group and people who had not used any aged care.

Coronary heart disease (14%) was the leading underlying cause of death for people who had used aged care, followed by Dementia (11%). For people who had not used aged care, Coronary heart disease was also the leading underlying cause of death (16%), but this was followed by Lung cancer (9%). Cancer-related causes were more common among those who had not used any aged care.

Causes of death patterns and people's use of aged care.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Friday mental health forum: Coping during drought

DROUGHT is not isolated to the northern parts of the country. In fact, the Hunter region has been severely affected of late, and other parts of NSW continue to dry off at a rapid rate.

During Friday’s Friday Forum at 12pm, The Land and the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) are partnering to bring together the Rural Resilience Workers, RAMHP, NSW Farmers and a researcher to answer your questions, including the warning signs someone isn’t coping; how to prepare mentally for drought; signs of depression; practical ways to stay mentally healthy, and getting farmers to talk openly about mental health.

See more at:

Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia data visualisations [AIHW]

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new web report with data visualisations:

Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia presents the latest available information on national population screening programs, cancer incidence, survival, prevalence and mortality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, compared with non-Indigenous Australians. Information is available to explore by sex, age, state and territory, remoteness area and trend.

Latest findings:
* Between 2009 and 2013, an average of 1,279 new cancer cases were diagnosed each year in Indigenous Australians
* Between 2011 and 2015, there was an average of 551 cancer-related deaths each year for Indigenous Australians
* In 2007-2014, Indigenous Australians diagnosed with cancer had a 50% relative chance of surviving five years
* In 2009-2013, Indigenous Australians were 1.1 times as likely to be diagnosed with cancer as non-Indigenous Australians
* In 2011-2015, Indigenous Australians were 1.4 times as likely to die from cancer as non-Indigenous Australians
* In 2007-2014, Indigenous Australians had lower five-year relative survival compared with non-Indigenous Australians

Download web report: Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia.

Media release: Indigenous Australians more likely to be affected by cancers associated with preventable risk factors and are 1.4 times as likely to die from cancer as non-Indigenous Australians.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service

The NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service provides expert clinical guidance and support to NSW doctors considering prescribing a cannabis medicine for their patient.Based at John Hunter Hospital at Hunter New England Local Health District, the Service offers expert clinical advice to NSW doctors on whether cannabinoids may be an appropriate treatment option for their patient, available clinical evidence, known contraindications and risks, available products, and monitoring requirements.

The Service is part of the NSW Government $21 million commitment to advance our understanding for the safe and appropriate use of cannabis medicines to treat serious and debilitating symptoms. It is available to NSW doctors and health care professionals. It is operational Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm snd can be contacted by email< or by telephone (02) 4923 6200.

The Service can assist with:

* understanding the latest evidence around cannabis medicines
* understanding the regulatory requirements for cannabis prescription
* considering tools to monitor a patient's progress whilst using cannabis medicines
* provision of protocols to facilitate cannabis medicine prescribing
* information about dosing and titration in individual patients

NSW Mothers and Babies Report 2016

This nineteenth annual report documents findings on the number of births across NSW and provides information on recent trends in the health of mothers and babies in NSW, maternity services provided by hospitals, clinical indicators and the health of Aboriginal mothers and babies.​

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

10,000 steps a day keeps the blues away

New research published in BMC Psychiatry reveals that walking 10,000 steps a day, over the course of 100 days, can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing, weight loss, blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

In one of the largest health studies carried out at a workplace, two thousand participants in the Stepathlon, a corporate wellness challenge dedicated to achieving better physical and mental health outcomes, reveals consistent and positive impacts on all measures of mental health.

Read more at:

Brain scans show why people get aggressive after a drink or two

Researchers have used magnetic resonance imaging scans that measure blood flow in the brain to better understand why people often become aggressive and violent after drinking alcohol.

After only two drinks, the researchers noted changes in the working of the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the part normally involved in tempering a person's levels of aggression.

The study, led by Associate Professor Thomas Denson of the UNSW School of Psychology, is published in the journal Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, which is an official journal of the Psychonomic Society and is published by Springer.

In this study, Denson and his team recruited 50 healthy young men. The participants were either given two drinks containing vodka, or placebo drinks without any alcohol. While lying in an MRI scanner, the participants then had to compete in a task which has regularly been used over the past 50 years to observe levels of aggression in response to provocation.

Read more at:

Gonorrhoea 'super-superbugs' triple in six months

Cases of a strain of gonorrhoea impervious to an antibiotic have almost tripled in six months, the latest report from the National Alert System for Critical Antimicrobial Resistance (CARAlert) reveals.

The result was a “warning shot across the bow” for doctors and public health officials fighting antibiotic resistance, CARAlert’s senior medical adviser said.A total of 742 reports of critically resistant bacteria were collected by the early-warning system from 65 laboratories nationwide between April and September last year, a 75 per cent rise on the 423 cases reported in the same period during 2016.

Read more at:

Friday, 9 February 2018

All complications should count (Grattan Institute)

1 in 9 patients who go into hospital suffers a complication, and the risk varies dramatically depending on the hospital. An extra 250,000 patients would leave hospital complication-free each year if all hospitals lifted their performance to match the best 10 per cent of hospitals.

This report exposes the flaws in Australian hospitals' safety and quality monitoring regime, and recommends reforms that could result in an extra 250,000 patients leaving hospital each year free of complications.

At the moment, hospital safety policies focus on only a small subset of complications classified by government as being 'preventable'. Instead policy should be directed towards reducing all complications to the best rate achievable. This requires building up a comprehensive picture of patient outcomes, and understanding how some hospitals and clinical teams reduce all complications and achieve excellent outcomes.

Report: All complications should count.

Media release.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

10-year review of the Closing the Gap Strategy released

This review assesses the most significant national effort to date to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health: the 2008 Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) Closing the Gap Strategy with its target to achieve life expectancy (health) equality by 2030.10-years after its commencement, it is time to critically reflect on why Australian governments have not yet succeeded in closing the health gap to date, and why they will not succeed by 2030 if the current course continues.

In fact, a December 2017 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report found the mortality and life expectancy gaps are actually widening due to accelerating non-Indigenous population gains in these areas.

The COAG Closing the Gap Strategy was developed by Australian governments following their signing of the Close the Gap Statement of Intent from March 2008 onwards. The Close the Gap Statement of Intent is, first, a compact between Australian governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Second, it embodies a human right to health-based blueprint for achieving health equality referred to hereon as the 'close the gap approach'.

CTG 10 year review and Executive Summary.

Royal Australasian College of Physicians response.

Public Health Association of Australia: Close the Gap Strategy continues to fall short.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Hospitalised farm injury, Australia: 2010-11 to 2014-15 [AIHW]

Hospitalised farm injury, Australia: 2010-11 to 2014-15.

This injury report provides information on hospitalisations as a result of injury which occurred on a farm.

The report finds:

* Almost 22,000 people were hospitalised in the period 2010-11 to 2014-15 as a result of injury which occurred on a farm
* Injuries involving motorcycles and quad bikes on farm accounted for 42% of all hospitalisations in children aged 0-14
* Injuries involving horses accounted for 16% of hospitalisations in children aged 0-14, 80% of which involved girls

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

AMA 2017 Report Card on Indigenous Health (Otitis media focus)

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is reported to suffer the highest rates of otitis media in the world. This unacceptably high prevalance has been known for at least 60 years.

The 2017 Report Card on Indigenous Health identifies chronic otitis media as a 'missing piece of the puzzle for Indigenous disadvantage' and calls for an end to the preventable scourge on the health of Indigenous Australians.

Otis media is a build up of fluid in the middle ear cavity, which can become infected. While the condition lasts, mild or moderate hearing loss is experienced. Otitis media is very common in children and for most non-Indigenous children, is readily treated. But for many Indigenous people, otitis media is not adequately treated. It persists in chronic forms over months and years.

This Report Card calls for a national, systematic approach to closing the gap in the rates of chronic otitis media between Indigenous and non-Indigenous infants and children in Australia, and a response to the lasting, disabling effects and social impacts of chronic otitis media in the Indigenous adult population.

2017 Report Card on Indigenous Health

Press release.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Rural Suicide and its Prevention (CRRMH)

In 2016, the number of suicides per 100,000 people in rural and remote Australia was 50% higher than in the cities. This rate gets higher as areas become more remote and has been growing more rapidly than in the cities. The rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is twice that for non-Indigenous people.

The Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health believes that 5 focus areas are needed to address this situation. Two are for immediate action to prevent suicide deaths (now and into the future) and three are designed to prevent deaths in the future. The prevention of rural suicide is not the sole responsibility of health services or of mental health services. There are important roles for governments, private sector, health and welfare institutions, rural and remote communities, and individuals.

Rural Suicide and its Prevention: a CRRMH position paper.

Summary - Rural Suicide and its Prevention: a CRRMH Prevention Paper.

Towards an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander violence prevention framework for men and boys

Towards an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander violence prevention framework for men and boys was developed by a knowledge circle of recognised experts, including health workers, researchers and community members. It was supported by White Ribbon Australia and published by the Healing Foundation.

The report found higher than average rates of family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can be linked to specific factors such as Intergenerational Trauma, the destruction of positive cultural practices and ongoing disadvantage.

The report promotes 6 critical factors proven to lead to long term success for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, by studying programs at Dardi and others in WA, NSW and the Northern Territory. The report also calls for programs to involve an historic context and focus on healing families and communities collectively, co-designing programs with community and supporting strong men into mentoring roles.


Press release.

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