The Health News – 26 July 2016

Overview:
• The New South Wales Government on Sunday announced it was the first state authorised to conduct cultivation research, after the Federal Government in October announced it would legalise the growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

• An IVF expert defends the right of parents who want to choose the sex of their third child saying it only affects a small number of families and it is strictly regulated. Professor Michael Chapman, a senior fertility expert with IVF Australia, said the vast majority of people did not want to choose the sex of their children, but a small percentage of families did.

• Researchers used available data to identify places in Victoria and Queensland where hospitalisation rates for treatable and manageable conditions — for instance diabetes and tooth decay — were at least 50 per cent higher than the state average in every year for 10 years.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  26th of July 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-25/nsw-to-start-cannabis-cultivation-research/7657696

The woman behind a push for medicinal cannabis says it is important to make sure Australia takes the lead on research and does not let international companies capture the market for profit.

The New South Wales Government on Sunday announced it was the first state authorised to conduct cultivation research, after the Federal Government in October announced it would legalise the growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Lucy Haslam heads a group called United in Compassion, set up following the death of her son Dan last year following a long battle with bowel cancer.

Ms Haslam has been campaigning relentlessly to change the perceptions about using cannabis to help the terminally ill.

Commonwealth regulations around the industry should be complete by the end of October.

In the meantime, Ms Haslam anticipates the complexity of the cannabis plant and the conditions under which it grows will be a focus of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) research.

Security around the cultivation sites will be strict.

The Government said its research would be conducted in a new state-of-the-art, high-security facility, under strict protocols.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-25/ivf-expert-defends-parents-choice-childs-sex/7657540

An IVF expert defends the right of parents who want to choose the sex of their third child saying it only affects a small number of families and it is strictly regulated.

The proposal is part of a review of IVF laws in Australia being undertaken by the Health Department.

Choosing a baby’s gender for cultural or racial reasons would be banned in favour of an approach that would allow parents to balance families with boys and girls.

Families would not be allowed to choose the gender of their first or second child, except for medical reasons.

Professor Michael Chapman, a senior fertility expert with IVF Australia, said the vast majority of people did not want to choose the sex of their children, but a small percentage of families did.

Professor Chapman said concerns about designer babies were not relevant.

“We were accused of that when we started doing IVF 25 years ago,” he said.

He said the technology was there and would be strictly controlled, requiring approval under National Health and Medical Research Council (NMHRC) regulations.

The chairman of the National Health And Medical Research Council (NMHRC) review, Professor Ian Olver, said he expected the final report to be completed at the end of this year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-25/appalling-rates-of-preventable-hospital-admissions-in-qld-vic/7657042

Some communities in Victoria and Queensland have had “appalling” rates of preventable hospital admissions for at least a decade, a new Grattan Institute report has found.

Researchers used available data to identify places in Victoria and Queensland where hospitalisation rates for treatable and manageable conditions — for instance diabetes and tooth decay — were at least 50 per cent higher than the state average in every year for 10 years.

In Queensland, 38 places were identified, including Palm Island and Mount Isa.

Melbourne suburbs Frankston and Broadmeadows were among the 25 hotspots identified in Victoria.

The report found “unacceptable place-based inequality” and called for “local, tailored policy responses”.

… the report found that, year after year, some places were far worse than others.

…Reducing hospitalisation rates in the hotspots to the state average would save $10 to $15 million a year, the report said.

The Grattan Institute report recommended small, locally-developed intervention trials in some areas with rigorous evaluation.

Besides reducing costs, the report said improving the health of people in the hotspots would improve well-being and opportunity, social cohesion and inclusion, workforce participation and productivity.

 

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