The Health News Australia March 7 2018

  • Western Australia’s largest health insurer will cut benefits for customers with sub-premium hospital cover as it grapples with rising costs. From July 1, HBF members on basic or mid-tier hospital policies will no longer be covered for a spate of services, including weight loss surgery, dialysis and psychiatric care. HBF is the second major insurer to cut hospital benefits this year, after Australia’s largest fund, Bupa, last week revealed it would wind back cover for 700,000 members.
  • A 6-year-old Canberra girl fighting cancer has undergone an Australian-first robotic surgery to remove a tumour which was initially considered inoperable. Six-year-old Freyja Christiansen faced a grim prognosis when doctors found a tumour at the base of her neck, but Australian-first robotic surgery is being credited with a miracle. The Canberra youngster was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called clear-cell sarcoma in 2016 and she is thought to be the youngest of 40 cases ever recorded worldwide.
  • Experts predict that within the next 40 years, Australia will most likely be the first country to eliminate cervical cancer. According to a report by 9 News, “the latest research shows there’s been a dramatic decline in the rates of HPV – the infection that causes about 99.9% of cervical cancers – due to the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine. According to new research published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, among Australian women aged 18 to 24, the HPV rate had dropped from 22.75% to just 1.1% over the last 10 years. This means, that because of the success of the vaccination program, cervical cancer might no longer be a public health issue.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 7th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-06/hbf-to-cut-member-benefits-as-health-insurance-premiums-rise/9513084

Western Australia’s largest health insurer will cut benefits for customers with sub-premium hospital cover as it grapples with rising costs. From July one, HBF members on basic or mid-tier hospital policies will no longer be covered for a spate of services, including weight loss surgery, dialysis and psychiatric care.

Those with basic policies will also lose coverage for cochlear implants, insulin pumps and sterilisation reversal procedures, while some members will pay an excess for day surgery.
HBF is the second major insurer to cut hospital benefits this year, after Australia’s largest fund, Bupa, last week revealed it would wind back cover for seven hundred thousand members.
HBF chief executive officer John Van Der Wielen said the insurer was trying to limit future premium increases, because affordability was “the major concern” for members.
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HBF is in the process of writing to the majority of its members — it has just over one million — to inform them of the changes.

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On average, HBF premiums will rise by three point seventy five percent from April one, which is below the industry average of three point ninety five percent, but almost twice the rate of inflation. HBF pays ninety one point four percent of its hospital premiums back to members in rebates.
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Last month, HBF revealed it planned to merge with Sydney-based not-for-profit HCF to create a new four billion dollars health fund. If approved, the merger would create the nation’s third-largest health fund, with more than two point five million members. HBF has an eight percent share of the national health insurance market.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/medical-technology/65/news/aap/a-sixyearold-girl-undergoes-austfirst-robot-surgery/3212/

A six-year-old Canberra girl fighting cancer has undergone an Australian-first robotic surgery to remove a tumour which was initially considered inoperable. Six-year-old Freyja Christiansen faced a grim prognosis when doctors found a tumour at the base of her neck, but Australian-first robotic surgery is being credited with a miracle.

The Canberra youngster was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called clear-cell sarcoma in two thousand sixteen and she is thought to be the youngest of forty cases ever recorded worldwide. It was the position of Freyja’s tumour, between a main artery and the base of her skull, that posed a problem for specialists who said the situation seemed hopeless.
The prognosis didn’t stop Freyja’s mother, Liz, and oncologist Antoinette Anazondo from searching for a cure.

Freyja began targeted immunotherapy last year, which was previously only available to adults, while the duo searched for a surgeon who would be willing operate using a machine called da Vinci which operates a small robotic arm. Thirty-seven surgeons across the world refused to use the technology on Freyja.

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health-news/cervical-cancer-could-be-eliminated-in-australia-in-40-years-say-experts/news-story/ae8e781d2721ab06ebc51626dff00cc4

Experts predict that within the next forty years, Australia will most likely be the first country to eliminate cervical cancer. According to a report by Nine News, “the latest research shows there’s been a dramatic decline in the rates of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – the infection that causes about ninety nine point nine percent of cervical cancers – due to the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine.

According to new research published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, among Australian women aged eighteen to twenty four, the HPV rate had dropped from twenty two point seven percent to just one point one percent over the last ten years. This means, that because of the success of the vaccination program, cervical cancer might no longer be a public health issue.

According to Professor Suzanne Garland, a leading cervical cancer and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) researcher and representative of the International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS), “we are forecasting that over the next thirty to forty years, rates of cervical cancer will drop from around the current one thousand cases a year in Australia to just a few.

At this point, just under eighty percent of high school students are vaccinated and those who don’t “represent lost opportunities to prevent cervical cancer and a range of sexually transmitted infections linked to HPV.” Professor Garland urges all parents to ensure their children do receive the vaccine, and that it doesn’t present adverse effects.

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