The Health News – 7 July 2016

Overview:
• The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has renewed its call for the freeze on Medicare rebates to be lifted, as the Prime Minister concedes the Coalition must work harder to rebuild public trust when it comes to health policy.

• Staff at Launceston General Hospital (LGH) say morale is improving as steps are taken to resolve a crisis in the emergency department. Nine out of 11 doctors in the department have either resigned or threatened to resign, citing a lack of beds in the hospital that has compromised their ability to care for patients.

• Scientists have found that skin cells exposed to UV light and a temperature of 39 degrees Celsius show significant DNA damage, which increases a person’s risk of illness. Dr Leslie Calapre, lead researcher from Edith Cowan University’s melanoma research group based in Western Australia, said the findings were mostly related to the cells that comprises the upper layers of the skin.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  7th of July 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-06/ama-renews-call-for-coalition-to-lift-medicare-rebate-freeze/7572050

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has renewed its call for the freeze on Medicare rebates to be lifted, as the Prime Minister concedes the Coalition must work harder to rebuild public trust when it comes to health policy.

AMA president Michael Gannon welcomed Malcolm Turnbull’s acknowledgement that there was work to do.

Dr Gannon said throughout the election campaign the AMA had called on the Coalition to review parts of its health policy.

The budget saved $925 million by extending the existing freeze on the Medicare Benefit Schedule fees paid to general practitioners, medical specialists and other health practitioners until June 30, 2020.

The Labor party has committed to unwinding the freeze and the policy formed part of its assault on the Coalition over Medicare.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-06/morale-on-the-rise-at-troubled-launceston-general-hospital/7573138

Staff at Launceston General Hospital (LGH) say morale is improving as steps are taken to resolve a crisis in the emergency department.

Nine out of 11 doctors in the department have either resigned or threatened to resign, citing a lack of beds in the hospital that has compromised their ability to care for patients.

Two weeks ago Tasmanian Health Minister Michael Ferguson announced 12 extra ward beds would be reopened at the hospital and 17 new nurses would be hired.

The reopening and staffing of Ward 4D will go ahead, but will be delayed until July 18.

The chairman of the hospital’s Medical Staff Association, Associate Professor Scott Parkes, said doctors and nurses were buoyed by the State Government’s response.

The crisis erupted publicly during the federal election campaign.

Professor Parkes said that was coincidental and he was unsure how much impact the situation had on the election result, which led to the ousting of Liberal members in three Tasmanian electorates.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-05/cancer-risk-linked-to-exposure-to-high-temperatures/7570156

New evidence suggests a possible link between high temperatures and a person’s risk of developing skin cancer.

Scientists have found that skin cells exposed to UV light and a temperature of 39 degrees Celsius show significant DNA damage, which increases a person’s risk of illness.

They say the findings could be of particular importance to people who work outdoors, in warm climates.

Dr Leslie Calapre, lead researcher from Edith Cowan University’s melanoma research group based in Western Australia, said the findings were mostly related to the cells that “comprises the upper… layers of the skin”.

For the study, Dr Calapre compared two samples of human skin cells that were each exposed to UV light, but one was kept at 37 degrees Celsius and the other at 39.

And even that small difference showed that cells kept at the warmer temperature were more likely to develop skin cancer.

Dr Calapre said the findings suggested warmer temperatures inhibited an important tumour suppressing protein, and that protein was responsible for the repair or death of damaged cells.

Dr Calapre said that based on her analysis and results, it appeared that those who worked or spent a large amount of time outdoors in warmer climates, were at higher risk of skin cancer.

The findings have been published in the latest edition of the journal Bio Med Central Dermatology.

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