The Health News Australia March 28 2018

  • Six new cases of measles are being linked to a passenger on an AirAsia flight D7214 from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne on March 7. The new cases include a baby who was too young to be immunised and five adults ranging in age from 20 to 60. All of them were in the international baggage area of Melbourne Airport when the flight arrived about 9:30am.
  • New research shows that an alarming number of children under 5 years of age are being prescribed asthma medication outside of national guidelines. The Australian Asthma Handbook by the National Asthma Council Australia suggests a stepwise approach to the management of asthma, with stepping up or down of asthma medications depending on the control of asthma symptoms. After years of being stable, asthma deaths are slowly increasing, and a multitude of studies have highlighted poor asthma control across the country.
  • The Australian Medical Association has delivered a grim view of the nation’s private health insurance providers, saying falling membership rates and rising premiums are threatening the viability of the entire health system. The AMA handed down the assessment in its latest annual report card on private health cover. Private Healthcare Australia (PHA) — which represents twenty registered health funds in Australia — said the criticism from the AMA was not helpful, and rejected its assertion that consumers were not getting value for money from their health funds.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-26/six-new-cases-of-measles-linked-to-ill-passenger-on-airasia-fli/9588344


Six new cases of measles are being linked to a passenger on an AirAsia flight D seven two one four from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne on March seven. The new cases include a baby who was too young to be immunised and five adults ranging in age from twenty to sixty. All of them were in the international baggage area of Melbourne Airport when the flight arrived about nine thirty AM.

The initial case of measles was tracked to an Australian man in his forties who became unwell on the flight and went straight to hospital where he was diagnosed. Measles is a highly infectious viral disease which can cause serious illness, including pneumonia and other complications in the very young and very old. The symptoms are similar to the common cold followed by fever and rash, which can begin three to seven days after the first symptoms show.

Measles is relatively uncommon because of the widespread use of the vaccine, but can be brought into Australia from overseas travellers. This case is one of several measles outbreaks in Victoria this year, including one linked to a British backpacker and another a flight between Denpasar, Sydney and Melbourne.
….

https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/health/poor-asthma-prescribing-compromising-health-children

 

New research shows that an alarming number of children under five years of age are being prescribed asthma medication outside of national guidelines. The study, by medical researchers at the University of New South Wales and Sydney Children’s Hospital, was presented in Adelaide today to health professionals at the Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting for Leaders in Lung Health and Respiratory Science or TZANZRS, hosted by the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

 

The Australian Asthma Handbook by the National Asthma Council Australia suggests a stepwise approach to the management of asthma, with stepping up or down of asthma medications depending on the control of asthma symptoms. The guidelines advise that inhaled fixed dose combination medications – a combination of inhaled steroids and a long acting beta agonist – are not recommended in children aged under five. If the initial use of low-dose inhaled corticosteroid alone fails to control the symptoms, other treatment options are preferable.

The study, led by Doctor Nusrat Homaira of the UNSW School of Women’s and Children’s Health, found that an estimated eight hundred thousand children are prescribed an asthma medication each year across the country. The prescription of fixed dose combination inhalers is common in children under five years of age, despite this being outside of the age recommended in national guidelines.

….
After years of being stable, asthma deaths are slowly increasing, and a multitude of studies have highlighted poor asthma control across the country.

….
Australia has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world, affecting approximately two point five million people. More than half of the approximately forty thousand asthma hospitalisations in Australia each year are in children aged zero to fourteen, peaking in children aged zero to four years. Excessive use of health care resources is a marker of poorly controlled asthma and is associated with inadequate or inappropriate use of asthma medication. Earlier research found that only twenty five percent of adults and forty percent of children with asthma have a written asthma plan.

….

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-26/private-health-insurance-not-offering-value-for-money-ama-says/9587848

 

The Australian Medical Association has delivered a grim view of the nation’s private health insurance providers, saying falling membership rates and rising premiums are threatening the viability of the entire health system. The AMA handed down the assessment in its latest annual report card on private health cover. AMA president Michael Gannon said patients were not getting value for money and were being left confused by unnecessarily complex policies that often did not provide an acceptable level of cover.
….
Doctor Gannon said fifteen years ago, virtually no policies had exclusions, but they had now become commonplace.
….
The report is compiled annually using data from a range of sources, including the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). It shows that in two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen, there was a thirty percent increase in the number of complaints to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman on the year before — the highest number of consumer complaints in a decade.

….

Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, HCF, which is set to merge with Western Australia’s largest health fund HBF, was the best performer on the AMA’s league table. It paid the highest benefit in twelve of the twenty one categories. Medibank and NIB were among the lowest ranked. Doctor Gannon said the private health system was a key part of universal health care, but insurers were not thinking long-term.
….
Private Healthcare Australia (PHA) — which represents twenty registered health funds in Australia — said the criticism from the AMA was not helpful, and rejected its assertion that consumers were not getting value for money from their health funds.

….

Liked it? Take a second to support Health Professional Radio on Patreon!

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.