The Health News – 23 August 2016

Overview:
• In 2006, the Federal Government fixed the price that health funds pay for common medical devices including replacement hips and knees and defibrillators. Dr Rachel David, the chief executive of Private Healthcare Australia, said prices of the medical devices were set at high levels by world standards.

• Earlier this year, the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the use of the anti-retroviral drug Truvada as a pre-exposure prophylactic (PrEP) to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted HIV. But the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended Truvada not be added to the PBS as a preventative drug, citing concerns it would not be cost-effective.

• A Brisbane hospital security guard who allegedly tackled an elderly patient to the ground (injuries inflicted during the incident that subsequently saw Mr van der Veen die two weeks later) has been granted bail after being charged with manslaughter on the condition that he report to police once a week and not travel internationally.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  23rd of August 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-22/costly-health-insurance-blamed-on-fixed-prices/7771568

Australia’s private health insurance industry has blamed rising health premiums on the high cost of devices such as pacemakers and replacement hips and knees

The industry’s peak representative body has produced data showing that a knee replacement costs three times more in Australia than in Canada.

The Government announced a review in February and the private health industry has called on them to reform the pricing system.

In 2006, the Federal Government fixed the price that health funds pay for common medical devices including replacement hips and knees and defibrillators.

Dr Rachel David, the chief executive of Private Healthcare Australia, said prices of the medical devices were set at high levels by world standards.

“Private patients in Australia through their premiums are still paying two to five times the real market value of the medical device,” she said.

Dr David said they wanted the Government to work with them on a price mechanism, or reference pricing, to bring the costs of benefits down to match other hospital prices in Australia.

More than 12 million Australians are signed up to private health insurance and Dr David said recent market research had shown that there was widespread concern about the rising premiums.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-20/anti-hiv-drug-truvada-wont-be-listed-on-pbs-as-preventative/7768470

Public health advocacy groups say they are dismayed a drug that can reduce the spread of HIV will not gain a federal subsidy as a preventative measure.

Earlier this year, the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the use of the anti-retroviral drug Truvada as a pre-exposure prophylactic (PrEP) to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted HIV.

The pill, taken once daily, had become popular with thousands of gay men in Australia who wanted to reduce their risk of contracting HIV.

The drug is up to 95 per cent effective in preventing HIV infection, according to the HIV Foundation.

It is already listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) as a treatment for people who have contracted HIV.

But the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) …recommended Truvada not be added to the PBS as a preventative drug, citing concerns it would not be cost-effective.

President of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations Bridget Haire said the ruling was disappointing.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-22/security-guard-charged-with-manslaughter-brisbane-hospital-death/7772450

A Brisbane hospital security guard who allegedly tackled an elderly patient to the ground has been granted bail after being charged with manslaughter.

Security was called after Theodorus van der Veen, 81, took hold of a fire hose and activated it in a ward of the Prince Charles Hospital in April, the Brisbane Magistrates Court heard.

Shane Kilgariff allegedly tackled Mr van der Veen, with both men falling to the ground.

Police will allege it was the injuries inflicted during the incident that subsequently saw Mr van der Veen die two weeks later.

Kilgariff, 50, was granted bail on the condition that he report to police once a week and not travel internationally.

The court was told that Kilgariff still works at the hospital but since the incident has been employed in an administration role.

Queensland Health has launched an investigation into the incident.

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