The Health News Australia January 31 2018

  • A new report warns that the national disability insurance scheme is failing those with severe mental health problems and risks creating significant gaps in support services. The University of Sydney report, titled Mind the Gap, warns problems with the NDIS’s handling of serious mental health issues could leave many without proper support. About 81.4% of those who requested NDIS support for psychosocial disability were accepted, compared with more than 97% for people with cerebral palsy, autism or intellectual disability.
  • A study has revealed that almost half of all attempts to self-diagnose an illness using Google could leave people fearing they have cancer.  Researchers from medical firm Bupa found some 47% of searches for an illness — such as headaches — returned at least one result for cancer on the first page. Many Dr. Google fans were worried about wasting their doctor’s time, or were too scared to seek professional medical advice. According to Google, 1 in 20 searches are health-related, and Australians, Canadians and Americans are the most likely nationalities to search for “cancer” on the search engine.
  • Oncologists across the country are backing a campaign to raise the age anyone can buy cigarettes from 18 to 21. Cancer specialists across the country want to make it illegal for anyone below the age of 21 to purchase cigarettes. The Medical Oncology Group of Australia and the Private Cancer Physicians of Australia want the legal age in Australia raised from the current 18.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 31st of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jan/29/ndis-failing-people-with-severe-mental-health-issues-new-report-warns

A new report warns that the national disability insurance scheme is failing those with severe mental health problems and risks creating significant gaps in support services. The University of Sydney report, titled Mind the Gap, warns problems with the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s handling of serious mental health issues could leave many without proper support.

The authors interviewed fifty eight stakeholders in the mental health sector and found that people with a psychosocial disability are having significant difficulty accessing the scheme.
The latest figures show just six point four percent of NDIS participants have a primary psychosocial disability, less than half the number expected. About eighty one point four percent of those who requested NDIS support for psychosocial disability were accepted, compared with more than ninety seven percent for people with cerebral palsy, autism or intellectual disability.

The scheme, at full rollout, is designed to cover about sixty four thousand people with psychosocial disability. That is well below the total number of people who require ongoing support for severe mental illness in Australia, which the government estimates at two hundred thirty thousand. The report casts doubt on the government’s figure, saying its basis is unclear, given there are an estimated six hundred ninety thousand Australians with a severe mental illness.

The federal government has repeatedly stated the NDIS is designed to complement, not replace, existing mental health services, and is only for those who have a permanent, or likely to be permanent, disability caused by a mental health issue. A National Disability Insurance Agency spokeswoman said the scheme was never intended to replace other government support systems, such as the mental health system.

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/study-finds-47-per-cent-of-google-symptom-searches-leave-people-convinced-they-have-cancer/news-story/76be53e4052cb3e6baa96aa6182d4201

A study has revealed that almost half of all attempts to self-diagnose an illness using Google could leave people fearing they have cancer.  Researchers from medical firm Bupa found some forty seven percent of searches for an illness — such as headaches — returned at least one result for cancer on the first page.

The research also found half of the search results for constipation and one in three for sore throat suggested cancer, with doctors warning online information can be ­unreliable and increase anxiety. Six in ten of people admit using internet search engines to help identify an illness. The Bupa poll found that half do not visit a general practitioner after browsing online. Many Doctor Google fans were worried about wasting their doctor’s time, or were too scared to seek professional medical advice. According to Google, one in twenty searches are health-related, and Australians, Canadians and Americans are the most likely nationalities to search for “cancer” on the search engine. But some of the most commonly-searched types of cancer — pancreatic, skin and bowel cancer — share symptoms with many other conditions.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, of the Royal College of GPs, said websites like NHS Choices were more reputable than simply Googling symptoms.
….
The problem is so widespread that there’s even a term for medical anxiety caused by researching your health symptoms online: cyberchondria. Last year Roy Morgan research revealed five million Australians paid for a doctor’s visit in an average four week period — but an increasing number of them are also going online to research health and medical information themselves.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/oncology/4/news/aap/oncologists-request-to-raise-the-age-anyone-can-buy-cigarettes-from-18-to-21/3142/

Oncologists across the country are backing a campaign to raise the age anyone can buy cigarettes from eighteen to twenty one. Cancer specialists across the country want to make it illegal for anyone below the age of twenty one to purchase cigarettes.

The Medical Oncology Group of Australia and the Private Cancer Physicians of Australia want the legal age in Australia raised from the current eighteen. MOGA chair Chris Karapetis said:
“We know from research that 95 per cent of all adults start smoking before they turn twenty one.”

Christopher Steer, head of the Private Cancer Physicians of Australia, says smoking rates among disadvantaged youth is alarmingly high, and significantly higher in regional Australia than in the cities. According to government figures, fifteen thousand Australians die from smoking-related illnesses every year.

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