The Health News – 1 June 2016

Overview:
• Fertility specialists have knocked back calls for more regulation of the IVF industry, saying Australia is an international leader in infertility research and treatment governed by a code of practice that is the envy of the world.

• Australia’s largest not-for- profit provider of health and aged care services, St Vincent’s Health Australia, proposed the measures to adopt higher alcohol taxes, ban alcohol sponsorship in sport, and introduce nation-wide lockout laws to reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking, as part of a plan to reduce alcohol-related harm by 20 percent by 2025.

• Next week’s ACT budget will allocate $7.3 million dollars over four years to establish a clinical genomic service that will allow medical researchers at the Australian National University to take their specialised skills into Canberra’s hospitals.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  1st of June 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-31/fertility-specialists-reject-calls-for-greater-regulation-of-ivf/7464832

Fertility specialists have knocked back calls for more regulation of the IVF industry, saying Australia is an international leader in infertility research and treatment governed by a code of practice that is the envy of the world.

The business of baby-making through IVF technology is a thriving industry.

But there is concern couples who are turning to fertility treatment are not fully aware of the risks and reality of what IVF can deliver.

Louise Johnson from the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Technology Authority said there were gaps in industry regulation as well as public understanding.

She said ideally the industry should come up with a “gold standard” to present information clearly and consistently so that prospective patients can better understand their chances of taking home a baby.

Ms Johnson said it was important for clinicians to have a realistic conversation with their patients about the chances of success.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-31/alcohol-tax-lockout-laws-needed-st-vincents-says/7464894

Adopt higher alcohol taxes, ban alcohol sponsorship in sport, and introduce nation-wide lockout laws to reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking, Australia’s major political parties are being urged.

Australia’s largest not-for-profit provider of health and aged care services, St Vincent’s Health Australia, proposed the measures as part of a plan to reduce alcohol-related harm by 20 per cent by 2025.

“You’ve got 157,000 people every year going into hospital, you’ve got around 60 per cent of crime in Australia related to alcohol, [and] nearly a billion dollars spent on putting people into hospital because of alcohol,” St Vincent’s Health CEO, Toby Hall told AM.

He said a 20 per cent reduction in alcohol-related harm would see 30,000 fewer hospital admissions per year and three fewer alcohol-related deaths per day.

St Vincent’s Health is calling for a national strategy, with changes to state and federal laws, including specific measures to tackle the role of alcohol in family violence.

The policies include a floor price on alcohol, and federal taxes based on the volume of alcohol in a drink.

St Vincent’s has not provided an estimate of how much extra revenue its changes could generate for the health system, but said previous modelling commissioned by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education estimated changes to alcohol taxes could generate up to $2.5 billion per year.

St Vincent’s is also lobbying for a dedicated levy of 1 to 2 per cent to help fund early intervention and treatment services.

It said the extra revenue could also help sporting clubs end their sponsorship arrangements with alcohol.

The federal political leaders are also being urged to encourage state and territory governments to introduce Sydney-style lockout laws across the country, with bottle shops closing at 10pm and bars and clubs not serving alcohol after 3am.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-31/act-budget-boost-for-personalised-medicine/7464038

Patients with rare or complex illnesses stand to benefit from an ACT budget boost for the developing science of personalised medicine in Canberra.

Next week’s Territory budget will allocate $7.3 million dollars over four years to establish a clinical genomic service that will allow medical researchers at the Australian National University to take their specialised skills into Canberra’s hospitals.

The service will be a partnership between the Centre for Personalised Immunology at the ANU and ACT Health.

Health Minister Simon Corbell said the funding would keep the ACT at the forefront of the new diagnostic technology.

The Government said the centre would be operational within the next financial year.