The Health News – 3 October 2016

Overview:
•  The University of Sydney is about to undertake the study to measure exactly what treatment services are available to affected communities across NSW regarding the ear health of Indigenous people. Professor Michelle Lincoln said the study by the university’s Poche Centre would go along way to addressing those gaps and where much-needed services should be delivered.

• Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said that  the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme had now been broadened to include women who were also at a moderate to high risk of getting breast cancer so that more Australian women will have access Tamoxifen, a preventative breast cancer drug

• The “Nature Play” event at Logan, south of Brisbane, included mud soccer, mud tug-of-war, and even a mud pie bakery. Its organisers are trying to combat plummeting rates of outdoor play. Nature Play Queensland organiser Hyahno Moser said the rise of technology, time constraints, and aversion to risk as factors.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  3rd of October 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-02/indigenous-ear-health-study-looks-at-services-available/7895560

Improving the delivery of treatment for people in remote communities is just one of the aims of a new study into the ear health of Indigenous Australians.

Indigenous people have some of the worst outcomes in the world when it comes to ear health but little is known about the services that are delivered to help with the problem.

The University of Sydney is about to undertake the study to measure exactly what treatment services are available to affected communities across NSW.

Professor Michelle Lincoln said the study by the university’s Poche Centre would go along way to addressing those gaps and where much-needed services should be delivered.

“It’s really the role of people like the Poche Centre to highlight these issues, and try and get equity of access to services for people in small communities — the same as what people would get in the city,” she said.

One of the driving forces behind the study is Dr Alex Saxby, an ear, nose and throat surgeon, who works with the Poche Centre.

Dr Saxby is part of a team of doctors who travel to remote areas of NSW to deliver specialist outreach clinics.

One of his patients, Jaidyn Sutton from Bourke in far west NSW, had a spectacular turnaround after receiving surgery from the team for severe hearing loss.

He suffered from a condition called glue ear but after undergoing a procedure where Dr Saxby drained the fluid from his middle ear and inserted grommets into his ear drum, he can now hear.

Jaidyn’s mother, Cassie Sutton, said in the two-week period since the operation, she had noticed his speech had improved and he could also follows instructions.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that if the inflammation of the ear … affects 4 per cent of a population, it should be recognised as a “massive public health problem” that requires “urgent attention”.

In some Indigenous communities, considered high risk by WHO, the rate is 10 times that number.

The WHO said poor ear health “affects intellectual performance” and could lead to “lower scores in psychological, emotional and social development test results”.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-01/breast-cancer-prevention-drug-tamoxifen-listed-on-pbs/7895378

More Australian women will have access to a preventative breast cancer drug that has today been listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the Federal Government says.

The drug, known as Tamoxifen … which had until now been used only as a breast cancer treatment, could cut the risk of getting the disease by 30 to 40 per cent.

Previously, only women who were actually suffering from a certain type of breast cancer could access subsidies for the medication.

But Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said that system had now been broadened to include women who were also at a moderate to high risk of getting breast cancer.

“The pharmaceutical company that’s developed Tamoxifen has provided additional evidence, additional research to make it available to women who don’t have breast cancer but are at high risk of contracting it.”

The Government said evidence from the makers of the drug had shown that if you take Tamoxifen for five years, it substantially reduces your risk by as much as 30-40 per cent, even after you stop taking it in a preventative way.

Ms Ley said the drug was the first preventative breast cancer treatment to be listed on the PBS, amid expectations that more than 16,000 new cases of breast cancer would be diagnosed this year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-01/parents-in-tug-of-war-to-get-kids-to-play-outside/7895304

Hundreds of children have got down and dirty in the mud as part of a movement to swap screen time for green time.

The “Nature Play” event at Logan, south of Brisbane, included mud soccer, mud tug-of-war, and even a mud pie bakery.

Its organisers are trying to combat plummeting rates of outdoor play.

Research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found less than 8 per cent of the nation’s children played outside every day.

Nature Play Queensland organiser Hyahno Moser said the rise of technology, time constraints, and aversion to risk as factors.

“In one generation childhood has moved largely indoors,” he said.

“It used to be outdoors, independent, social, community-oriented and active, and now it’s largely indoors, … risk-averse, fearful and also highly structured.”

Local mother Danita Forrest ended up joining her children in getting covered head to toe in mud.

“It’s not like when we were kids, so we try to get them out and do things that are safe and somewhat a bit dirty obviously,” she said.

Over the past two years, Nature Play Queensland has been issuing special “passports” for children to record their outdoor exploits.

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