The Health News – 23 June 2017

  • Parents of children with special needs have reacted strongly to Pauline Hanson’s controversial calls for them to be removed from mainstream classrooms, with many calling the comments “offensive”. They argue that rather than disadvantaging their classmates by monopolising teachers’ time, children with special needs actually enrich the learning environment.
  • Public hospitals that deliver 73 per cent of Australia’s babies are so overstretched more than a third of women can’t get an antenatal appointment in the first 14 weeks of their pregnancy. And fewer than one in ten women are getting access to continuity of care with the same doctor or team of midwives.
  • People can now find out if their genetics and lifestyle has left them prone to developing a suite of life-threatening conditions including 31 types of cancer and 13 heart conditions across 230 genes.
  • Launched on Tuesday by Sydney’s Garvan Institute’s Genome.One lab and corporate clinic Life First, the service also offers individuals the ability to predict how they would likely react to more than 220 medications, allowing clinicians to better tailor treatment to their patients.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-22/what-parents-think-about-pauline-hansons-disability-comments/8641872

Parents of children with special needs have reacted strongly to Pauline Hanson’s controversial calls for them to be removed from mainstream classrooms, with many calling the comments “offensive”.
They say while schools do need more resources to help children with disabilities, Senator Hanson’s claims the education of other children is suffering are unwarranted.
They argue that rather than disadvantaging their classmates by monopolising teachers’ time, children with special needs actually enrich the learning environment.
But some say mainstream schools simply cannot cope with the demands of children with special needs.

Annette McLaren’s son Scott, 9, has Asperger’s. He attends a mainstream state school in Sydney.
Miss McLaren said she encountered some resistance from other parents at the school who were concerned about the disruption he may cause in the classroom.
She recognised children with special needs can take up more of the teachers’ time and their behaviour can often be disruptive. But she argued all children benefited from diversity in the classroom, which added “strength and richness” to their education.

Heather Ryan’s son Joe, 7, has autism. He attends a mainstream Catholic primary school in Melbourne.
Ms Ryan said Senator Hanson’s comments were “offensive”.
She argued the workforce participation rate and education outcomes for people on the autism spectrum show it is these children who are being disadvantaged in schools, not their classmates.
But she said segregation was not the answer.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/health/pregnant-australian-women-are-missing-out-on-crucial-maternity-care/news-story/c3ff1a386be8d07a68ba95f7c89cd3c7

Public hospitals that deliver 73 per cent of Australia’s babies are so overstretched more than a third of women can’t get an antenatal appointment in the first 14 weeks of their pregnancy.
And fewer than one in ten women are getting access to continuity of care with the same doctor or team of midwives.

Maternity Choices which represents pregnant women says maternity care in Australia is in crisis but the framework does not address shortcomings in the system hurting mums and babies.

More than one in eight women can’t get access to antenatal care in a public hospital until halfway through their pregnancy even though screening ultrasounds are meant to be carried out at 11-12 weeks.
The college of midwives says there is an undersupply of midwives and there needs to be an entire rethink of how maternity care is delivered.
Instead of requiring pregnant women to go to hospital for monitoring visits midwives should be placed in local community health centres or shopping centres to provide services where women want them.
Pressure is mounting on public maternity services as high out of pocket expenses means the number of women giving birth in private hospitals has fallen by 10 per cent.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/australianfirst-whole-genome-sequencing-and-health-testing-open-to-public-20170619-gwtsgm.html

An Australia-first service that combines whole genome sequencing and a comprehensive health assessment could offer individuals an unprecedented glimpse into their future health.
People … can now find out if their genetics and lifestyle has left them prone to developing a suite of life-threatening conditions including 31 types of cancer and 13 heart conditions across 230 genes.
Launched on Tuesday by Sydney’s Garvan Institute’s Genome.One lab and corporate clinic Life First, the service also offers individuals the ability to predict how they would likely react to more than 220 medications, allowing clinicians to better tailor treatment to their patients.
CEO of Genome.One Dr Marcel Dinger said the service marked the start of a new era in precision medicine that balanced an individual’s genetic predisposition to disease with lifestyle factors.

“Genetic information provides an entirely new dimension to understand your health, but its value is best realised in the context of other health data. Personal and family medical history and lifestyle are key components for consideration in this service,” Doctor Dinger said.

The service can refer patients for further testing, treatment and prevention programs via First Life programs attached to St Vincent’s outpatient clinics in Sydney and Melbourne.
The service only offers testing for conditions with known treatments and effective evidence-based prevention strategies.
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