The Health News – 29 August 2016

Overview:
•  The Federal Government says new figures on bulk billing rates prove Labor’s campaign on its treatment of Medicare has no basis, with an increase in the number of GP visits fully paid for by the scheme last financial year. Out of 145 million GP services, 123 million were fully funded under Medicare in the 2015/16 financial year.

• Playing in nature used to be a part of everyone’s childhood but researchers say it has become an increasingly foreign concept in Western countries with changes to the way we live, the places we live in and advances in technology. Exposure to nature also has important physiological impacts, said paediatrics specialist Professor Susan Prescott from the University of Western Australia.

• The Sleep Apnoea Cardiovascular Endpoints (SAVE) study monitored sleep apnoea patients with a pre-existing vascular disease over four years in 89 hospitals in Australia, New Zealand, India, the US, Spain and Brazil. The results of the study released this week showed the CPAP treatment made no difference to whether patients had a major cardiovascular event.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  29th of August 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-28/medicare-figures-prove-labor-campaign-has-no-basis-ley-says/7791682

The Federal Government says new figures on bulk billing rates prove Labor’s campaign on its treatment of Medicare has no basis, with an increase in the number of GP visits fully paid for by the scheme last financial year.

Out of 145 million GP services, 123 million were fully funded under Medicare in the 2015/16 financial year.

That equates to 85.1 per cent of visits bulk billed, compared to 84.3 per cent the previous year.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said it was a higher rate than anything achieved under a Labor government.

Ms Ley said the Coalition had invested more than $21 billion in Medicare last year, and the party’s commitment to the service could not be questioned.

Medicare was one of the major election issues, with the Opposition arguing that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was seeking to privatise the service.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-27/nature-play-important-for-physical-and-mental-health/7791458

A disconnection from nature can affect everything in a child from gut health and immunity, to mental health and even the way they think, recent research has revealed.

Playing in nature used to be a part of everyone’s childhood but researchers say it has become an increasingly foreign concept in Western countries with changes to the way we live, the places we live in and advances in technology.

“Your connection to nature established early in life to your experiences can actually influence [your] life course’s wellbeing,” Canadian naturopath and health researcher Alan Logan said.

“And this is not just one or two studies, there have been several studies combined that have clearly shown this connection.”

Mr Logan is one of the keynote speakers at a Children and Nature conference [which was] held in Perth this weekend, that has attracted specialists from around the world.

Mr Logan said studies show nature has positive impacts on stress levels and depression.

Research …showed nature had a positive impact on children who have been diagnosed with impulsivity, hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorder and it even influences the way people relate to each other, Mr Logan said.

“One of the really important things about those early life connections to nature relates to empathy, and empathy of course is your ability to understand and to take another’s perspective.”

Exposure to nature also has important physiological impacts, said paediatrics specialist Professor Susan Prescott from the University of Western Australia.

The Children and Nature conference is being held in Fremantle and is a first for Western Australia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-28/cpap-machines-do-not-reduce-risk-of-heart-attack-or-stroke/7792624

An international study led by Australian sleep specialists has shown machines designed to help people with sleep apnoea do not reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, but significantly improve quality of life.

The study of more than 2,700 sleep apnoea sufferers with cardiovascular disease estimated 25 per cent of middle-aged men and 10 per cent of middle-aged women suffer from sleep apnoea.

The Sleep Apnoea Cardiovascular Endpoints (SAVE) study monitored sleep apnoea patients with a pre-existing vascular disease over four years in 89 hospitals in Australia, New Zealand, India, the US, Spain and Brazil.

Researchers were looking at whether a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine would prevent major cardiovascular events including heart attack and stroke.

The results of the study released this week showed the CPAP treatment made no difference to whether patients had a major cardiovascular event.

However the study did show the patients who used a CPAP machine experienced quality of life benefits including reduced snoring, reduced daytime sleepiness and [a] better mood.