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Friday, 19 December 2014

Health expenditure Australia 2012-13: analysis by sector (AIHW)

Health expenditure Australia 2012-13: analysis by sector extends the analysis presented in Health expenditure Australia 2012-13 to further explore expenditure on particular categories of health goods and services. In 2012-13, $55.9 billion was spent on hospitals in Australia, $52.9 billion on primary health care and $29.9 billion on other areas of health spending. A further $8.6 billion was spent on capital expenditure.

All funders increased their expenditure on hospitals between 2002-03 and 2012-13; however, growth in state and territory government funding ($10.6 billion) was almost double that of the Australian Government($5.4 billion). Primary health care spending is shared relatively evenly between Australian Government(about 43.0%) and non-government sources (about 41.0%), with the states and territories playing a relatively small role, over the same period.

Media release

Full report

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Cancer in Australia: an overview 2014 (AIHW)

Cancer in Australia: an overview 2014 presents the latest available information on national population screening programs, cancer incidence, hospitalisations, survival, prevalence and mortality. It is estimated that the most commonly diagnosed cancers in 2014 will be prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer (excluding basal and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, as these cancers are not notifiable diseases in Australia).

For all cancers combined, the incidence rate is expected to increase by 22% from 1982 to 2014, but the mortality rate is estimated to decrease by 20%. Cancer survival has improved over time. Cancer outcomes differ by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status and remoteness area.

The report is accompanied by Cancer in Australia: in brief 2014, which presents a summarised version of key facts and trends from the main report.

View the Media release, report, and 'in brief' report for free online.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

"Living Well, A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024" released by the Mental Health Commission

"Living Well, A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024"

The Strategic Plan sets out actions and future directions for reform of the mental health system in NSW. It asks that the NSW Government recommit to completing the process of reform begun with the Inquiry into Health Services for the Psychiatrically Ill and Developmentally Disabled (Richmond Report) in the 1980s in particular by taking two important steps - closing the remaining stand-alone psychiatric institutions and shifting the focus of mental health care from hospitals to the community.

The Plan does not directly govern the operation of services but instead lays out directions and principles for reform which agencies and service providers must find ways to embed in the supports they offer to people in our community.

The Report and the Plan are companion documents and should be read together.

Download PDF versions of the Strategic Planor read a summary, list of actions or an Easy English version.

The NSW Government has responded to the Strategic Plan with an $115 million commitment to a suite of mental health programs and initiatives that will make it easier for people for people who experience mental illness to live and be supported in the community.

Download PDF versions of the Strategic Plan or read a summary, list of actions or an Easy English version.

Read the Commissioner's message about the Strategic Plan

Read a media releaseabout the release of the Strategic Plan and the government announcement
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Living Well: Putting people at the centre of mental health reform in NSW: A Report honours the many voices the Commission has heard and the stories and insights shared by consumers, their families and carers, and those working in mental health.

This companion report to the Strategic Plan contains many personal stories that bring to life the wide consultation carried out across NSW.

It explores:

  • the mental health system past and present in NSW and its impact on people
  • what we already know about the state of mental health and mental health services
  • the history of mental health reform, here and overseas, where it has led us and some of the changes already in train
  • mental health services through the prism of groups facing issues that further challenge their mental health and wellbeing, such as Aboriginal people, those living in regional and rural areas, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with intellectual disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, those in the justice system and people also struggling with physical health problems or drug and alcohol issues
  • Our understanding of mental health and wellbeing as a life course through 8 journeys that take us from earliest childhood to the last years of a full life lived and that reflect the experiences, challenges, needs, rights and hopes of people at every stage of life.

Download PDF versions of the Report

Read about the language and values that underpin the Strategic Plan and Report.

The Living Well NSW Project is the voice of the people of NSW coming together to share what it means to be Living Well in NSW. Visit the Living Well Project website.

Australia's mothers and babies 2012 (AIHW)

For the first time in 5 years, there has been an increase in the rate of births in Australia, according to Australia's mothers and babies 2012 prepared by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

In 2012, 307,474 women gave birth to 312,153 babies in Australia. This was an increase of 10,343 births (3.4%) from that reported in 2011, and a total increase of 21.5% since 2003. Nationally, the proportion of teenage mothers (younger than 20) declined from 3.7% in 2011 to 3.6% in 2011, compared with 4.6% in 2003.

View the Media release and download the Full report for free online.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Caring for people with gastrostomy tubes and devices

A Clinician's guide: Caring for people with gastrostomy tubes and devices covers the patient journey from initiation of gastrostomy feeding to ongoing care, permanent tube removal and transition or transfer of care. The guidelines are applicable across health care settings and are designed to provide a framework for the development of local policies and procedures.

The guideline is the result of a collaboration between the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) and the Gastroenterological Nurses College of Australia (GENCA).

A Clinician's Guide: Caring for people with gastrostomy tubes and devices From pre- insertion to ongoing care and removal

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

Spinal Cord Injury Pain

The new Spinal Cord Injury Pain Resources for consumers and health professionals have been launched. The toolkit is a series of practical tools and resources which have been developed to help people with a spinal cord injury to better manage pain. Development of these resources was a collaborative partnership between the ACI Pain Management Network, NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service and funding from the Lifetime Care and Support Authority (LTCSA).

Huntington's Disease

Movement Disorders, the journal of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society has made freely available a special issue on Huntington's Disease. Some of the topics covered include onset, functional disability, current therapeutic options and clinical trials.

Special Issue: Huntington's Disease. 2014, Volume 29, Issue 11

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard


Bacteria can develop resistance to specific antibiotics, meaning that the antibiotic is no longer effective against those bacteria. The inappropriate use of antibiotics has increased the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, not only in hospitals and healthcare facilities but also in the community. Antibiotic resistance poses a significant threat to public health because antibiotics underpin routine clinical practice in a variety of healthcare settings.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, in collaboration with consumers, clinicians, researchers and health organisations, has developed the Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard and resources to guide and support its implementation.

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog.

Framework for Integrating Care for Older People with Complex Health Needs

In 2010, there were 1.02 million people 65 years of age and over living in NSW, and this is expected to double by 2050. However, for a growing number of older people, this will include living with complex health needs such as dementia and other chronic diseases. Currently, care is fragmented between different healthcare providers in community, primary health and acute care settings. The Building Partnerships Framework published by the Agency for Clinical Innovation, provides the most comprehensive look yet at how to integrate services for older people with complex health needs and introduces a vision of multi-sector partnerships that involve older people, their carer and families every step of the way.
Building Partnerships - A Framework for Integrating Care for<br>Older People with Complex Health Needs


Framework for Integrating Care for Older People with Complex Health Needs 2014

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

A better way to care : Safe and high-quality care for patients with cognitive impairment

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has released three resources to guide health service managers, clinicians and consumers in improving care of people with cognitive impairment in hospital. These resources were developed in recognition that cognitive impairment (dementia and delirium) is common among older people admitted to hospital and patients with cognitive impairment are at greater risk of preventable complications, and adverse outcomes, including falls, pressure injuries, functional decline and mortality. They are more likely to stay in hospital longer, be re-admitted or enter residential care.

Cognitive impairment and its risks are currently under-recognised in Australian hospitals, leading to significant safety and quality issues. However, harm can be minimised if cognitive impairment is recognised and care is tailored to the needs of the patient.

The resources follow a pathway, describing strategies that reflect evidence-based practice and existing models of care. In the resource for health service managers, the strategies are linked to the existing National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards

The three resources are:

  • Action for health service managers
  • Action for clinicians
  • Action for consumers

A better way to care: Safe and high-quality care for patients with cognitive impairment (dementia and delirium) in hospital. 2014

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog.

Journal of Compassionate Health Care

The Journal of Compassionate Health Care is a new journal which aims to provide a vehicle for bringing together multidisciplinary perspectives, research and initiatives concerning the concept of compassionate health care. Compassion may also be viewed as a vehicle for enhancing quality and reducing the cost of health care services.

Some of the subjects covered in this very first open access issue include;

  • Compassion meditation intervention for people with chronic pain.
  • Patient centred care retreats.
  • Re-inspiring compassionate caring.


Journal of Compassionate Health Care 2014, 1 Reposted from HealthInfo Blog.

Food and health communication across cultures.

A new resource package focused on improving health communication and practices in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will help to strengthen efforts to support good nutrition, health and wellbeing.

With funding from the Fred Hollows Foundation, Menzies School of Health Research has developed the teaching and learning resource, Food and health communication across cultures.

The resource package provides practical guidance to support strength-based approaches, critical reflective practice and the participatory process of health and nutrition communication. It holds potential relevance for a range of health professionals and workers who spend time in remote Indigenous settings, including nutritionists, health promotion staff, health workers and nurses.

Resource: Food and health communication across cultures

About the resource

New online learning modules for health professionals

A new educational initiative by NPS MedicineWise and the TGA aims to increase both the quality and quantity of adverse medicine, vaccine and device reports to the TGA. The new set of free, interactive online learning modules for health professionals is available at http://learn.nps.org.au/

Subjects so far covered include Fatigue, Taking medication histories, Quality use of medicines, Adverse event reporting, Case studies and Unlocking asthma technique.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Current issues in awareness, prevention and intervention by Child Family Community Australia, reviews the research and current policy surrounding prenatal alcohol exposure and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Alcohol use during pregnancy is linked to a spectrum of adverse fetal outcomes. This spectrum of abnormalities is collectively termed fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and may include physical, cognitive and/or developmental symptoms. The aim of this paper is to inform practitioners and other professionals working in a range of fields about the implications of FASD for children and their families. Current research on interventions or programs to work with families affected by FASD is also explored.

A practitioner resource: Supporting children living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Practice principles has also been published.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Analysis of bowel cancer outcomes for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (AIHW)

Analysis of bowel cancer outcomes for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program presents a comparison of the mortality outcomes and cancer characteristics for two populations: those invited to screen in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) in 2006-2008, and those of a similar age who had not been invited to screen in that time period.

Of the 2006-2008 bowel cancer diagnoses in these two groups, non-invitees were found to have a 15% higher risk of dying from bowel cancer than NBCSP invitees, and bowel cancers diagnosed in non-invitees were more likely to be at a more-advanced stage. These outcomes demonstrate that the NBCSP is contributing to reducing morbidity and mortality from bowel cancer in Australia. The report findings also suggest that the screening test has a high degree of accuracy.

Media release.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Suicide and hospitalised self-harm in Australia: trends and analysis (AIHW)

Suicide and intentional self-harm are significant public health problems in Australia, with the number of Australians who died by suicide averaging around 2,000 each year since the mid-1980s, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). For over a decade, more than 20,000 Australians have been admitted to hospital each year as a result of intentionally self‑inflicted injuries.

The report, Suicide and hospitalised self-harm in Australia: trends and analysis 2010-11, shows that suicides accounted for 2,282 injury deaths in Australia in 2010-11. This is lower than when the number of deaths by suicide peaked at over 2,600 in 1997 and 1998.

'Suicide death rates for males, adjusted for age, have fluctuated at around 20 deaths per 100,000 people between 1921 and 2010,' said AIHW spokesperson Professor James Harrison.

Rates for females were about 5 deaths per 100,000 people per year in most of this period.

Among Indigenous Australians rates of self-harm are about 2.5 times and two times higher than rates for non-Indigenous males and females respectively.

Media release

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

An ounce of prevention? A toolkit for evaluating preventive health measures

An ounce of prevention? A toolkit for evaluating preventive health measures by Helen Andrews of the Centre for Independent Studies offers a toolkit to assist in their evaluations, in the form of 8 questions to ask of any preventive health proposal.

Preventive health is a broad umbrella that includes such disparate services as vaccines for schoolchildren, blood pressure screenings, ad campaigns to discourage binge drinking, and special taxes on tobacco products. What all these programs have in common is an intention to spend money now in order to save money later—catching costly health problems before they arise or when they are less advanced and easier to treat.

However, even the most straightforward early interventions do not always save money over the long term. Something as seemingly basic as a cancer screening, if it is not narrowly targeted at high-risk patients, can fail to save money. In some cases, it can even do more harm than good. Trying to tell whether a preventive health program will be as effective—and cost-effective—as its proponents claim is a difficult task for policymakers and voters.

About the toolkit

Social justice and native title report 2014 launched

The Social justice and native title report 2014 was launched this week by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda. The report examines the enjoyment and exercise of human rights by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, providing an overview of the year with respect to social justice and native title issues.

The report pays attention to health inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, noting that a decline in smoking rates and improvements in maternal and child health are 'green shoots' that indicate efforts to close the health gap are working.

The report states changes made by the Federal Government this year to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, occurred without meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their leaders, or their respective organisations.

The report also calls for action on the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. 'I am heartened by the Prime Minister's strong commitment to closing the gap and by his leadership on constitutional recognition,' Commissioner Gooda said. 'Now is the time to commit to a solid timetable for the referendum.'

Media release.