The Health News Australia July 24 2017


  • Korongee Village is a place specifically built for people with living dementia, allowing patients to move in a familiar environment with safe access to a supermarket, cinema, cafes, beauty salon and gardens.
  • AIDS treatment has won as deaths almost halved since 2005 and more than half of people infected with HIV now getting treatment, according to a UN report.
  • Cancer patients face financial stress, often affecting their treatment decisions. Out-of-pocket expenses plus their inability to work adds up to their financial burdens.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 24th of July 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

Australia’s first purpose-built dementia village,  where people with the illness can live in houses with safe access to a supermarket,  cinema,  cafes,  beauty salon  and gardens, is being built in Tasmania.  Korongee village  is a twenty five million dollar project being built in the suburb of Glenorchy in Hobart, which aged care provider Glenview Community Services believes will change the way we help dementia sufferers.  There are more than four hundred thirteen thousand one hundred and six Australians living with dementia in two thousand and seventeen,  and it is the second leading cause of death in Australia.  “We need to do something different,”  Glenview CEO Lucy O’Flaherty tells SBS.  She also says that realistically when we look at our aging demographic, and particularly Tasmania that’s got the fastest aging population in Australia,  we need to change what we do  – that’s the bottom line  and we know that creating de-stressing environments is critical in terms of supporting people.  So we’ve spent the last five or six years looking at what works best overseas,  and we’re really keen to make a difference.

The village will consist of fifteen houses,  each with six bedrooms,  which will be staffed by health professionals who act as ‘home makers’ to provide residents with an authentic home-like environment.  O’Flaherty said  people living with dementia often struggle with unfamiliar spaces,  colours  and even décor  which is why each house will be designed to create familiar cultural touchstones of Tasmanian suburban life.

The scales have tipped in the fight against AIDS,  with AIDS-related deaths almost halving since two thousand five and more than half of people infected with HIV now getting treatment,  the United Nations has said.  In its latest global report on the pandemic,  which has killed about thirty five million people worldwide since it began in the nineteen eighties,  the UNAIDS agency said there were particularly encouraging signs in Africa,  a continent ravaged by the disease.

Eastern and southern Africa were leading the way,  reducing new HIV infections by nearly thirty percent since two thousand and ten,  the report said.

Malawi,  Mozambique,  Uganda  and Zimbabwe had gone further, cutting new HIV infections by forty percent or more since two thousand and ten.  Among the most significant impacts of a vast scale-up of HIV testing,  treatment and prevention programs has been in the reduction of AIDS-related deaths,  which have dropped by almost half since two thousand five.  As a result,  more people are now living longer in what had been some of the worst affected countries.  In eastern and southern Africa,  for example,  average life expectancy increased by nearly ten years from two thousand and six to two thousand and sixteen.

“Communities and families are thriving as AIDS is being pushed back,”  UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidib said.

Globally in two thousand and sixteen,  nineteen point five million of the thirty six point seven million people with HIV had access to treatment,  and AIDS-related deaths fell to one million from one point nine million in two thousand and five.  Provided that scale-up continues,  this puts the world on track to reach the global target of thirty million people on treatment by two thousand and twenty,  UNAIDS said.

Half of all Australian cancer patients experience financial stress  and money problems often impacts their treatment decisions,  new analysis has found.

With concerns patients are comprising their care because they can’t afford treatment,  the findings of the Cancer Council report have prompted calls for greater transparency from surgeons,  oncologists and other health care providers about costs.

“Out-of-pocket costs  in addition to other factors  are leading to what has been described as financial toxicity in people with cancer,”  said Professor Sanchia Aranda,  Cancer Council Australia CEO.

“It is paramount that health care professionals disclose all costs and treatment options to their patients,  including whether there are alternatives that offer similar benefits at a lower price,” Professor Aranda said.

Professor Aranda told AAP that people are not getting the information they need.  A classic example is robotic surgery for prostate cancer,  there is actually no evidence that it is any better than open surgery  and people are paying fifteen thousand to twenty thousand dollars out-of-pocket because they think it’s the best option,   that’s what the surgeon tells them and they don’t realise they can walk down the road and go to a public facility and get equivalent cancer outcomes with no out-of-pocket costs.

A review of the latest evidence published in the latest edition of Cancer Forum, found patients are shouldering around fifteen percent of their treatment costs.  Adding to this burden is often a patient’s inability to work.

The analysis also found up to nineteen percent of cancer patients said cost-related factors influenced their decisions about treatment,  and around twelve per cent of patients used over-the-counter medicines rather than prescribed medication as a way of saving money.

Worryingly, some patients were using medications from someone else as a substitute.

“People shouldn’t have to risk compromising their care because of their capacity to pay for treatment,” she said.

Professor Aranda also said Australia has a good health system by international standards,  yet too many people are at risk of experiencing inequities associated with their capacity to afford adequate care  and our lower socioeconomic groups have poorer cancer outcomes than our wealthy people  and so if we are adding costs to that we are contributing to that disadvantage.


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