The Health News Australia January 11 2018

  • Health advocates are concerned about the rising number of Australians dipping into their superannuation to pay medical bills. In 2000-2001 about $42 million was released early from the superannuation system under compassionate grounds. By 2016-2017 that had increased to $290 million, according to data from the Federal Treasury.
  • A new Australian-led study shows that human muscles ‘talk’ to other parts of the body during exercise by dispatching protein messages that can help fight disease. Researchers have shed new light on how muscles “talk” to other parts of the body during exercise, explaining why being active is good for you, from head to toe, and especially for your liver. Australian scientists have exposed new secrets about a kind of “postal system” that muscles use to communicate with other parts of the body, including vital organs.
  • According to an analysis led by the University of Sydney, Australia’s healthcare system is contributing more than 7% of the nation’s carbon footprint, with hospitals and pharmaceutical companies forming the bulk of health-related emissions.  The findings, published in the international medical journal the Lancet on Tuesday, have prompted the climate lobby group Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) to urge the federal government to fund states and territories to make hospitals more energy-efficient.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 11th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-09/superannuation-being-used-to-pay-for-medical-bills/9313720

Health advocates are concerned about the rising number of Australians dipping into their superannuation to pay medical bills. In two thousand to two thousand one about  forty two million dollars was released early from the superannuation system under compassionate grounds. By two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen that had increased to two hundred ninety million dollars, according to data from the Federal Treasury. Nearly three-quarters of that was spent on medical treatment and transport, with about fifteen thousand Australians accessing their superannuation early for such purposes. Michael Gannon, from the Australian Medical Association or the AMA, said most of those superannuation funds were being spent on bariatric surgery to help people lose weight, and in vitro fertilisation.
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He said the superannuation system should not be used to as a safety net for health costs. Doctor Gannon said the AMA also had some concerns about the finance companies set up to help people access their superannuation, particularly when it comes to IVF.
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Doctor Gannon expressed concern about people drawing on their super because they were knocked back from public hospital waiting lists.
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Finance Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has ordered a review into the early release of superannuation, with a report due in March.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/exercise-physiology/13/news/aap/study-shows-human-muscles-talk-to-other-parts-of-the-body-during-exercise/3106/

A new Australian-led study shows that human muscles ‘talk’ to other parts of the body during exercise by dispatching protein messages that can help fight disease. Researchers have shed new light on how muscles “talk” to other parts of the body during exercise, explaining why being active is good for you, from head to toe, and especially for your liver. Australian scientists have exposed new secrets about a kind of “postal system” that muscles use to communicate with other parts of the body, including vital organs.

Their findings offer hope to people with an increasingly common form of liver disease that can lead to cancer, and for which there is currently no treatment. Professor Mark Febbraio, from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, says human muscles have been found to dispatch messages to other parts of the body by releasing protein-packed “packages” called vesicles. These packages appear to carry important messages that tell organs to respond differently during exercise.

In the case of the liver, many more of these packages arrive during exercise, delivering a family of enzymes that allow the organ to break down and metabolise sugar rather than store it as fat.

The findings have Professor Febbraio excited for sufferers of fatty liver disease who can go on to develop cancer.
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The research has been published in the latest edition of the journal Cell Metabolism.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jan/09/australias-healthcare-system-contributing-to-7-of-nations-carbon-footprint

According to an analysis led by the University of Sydney, Australia’s healthcare system is contributing more than seven percent of the nation’s carbon footprint, with hospitals and pharmaceutical companies forming the bulk of health-related emissions.  The findings, published in the international medical journal the Lancet on Tuesday, have prompted the climate lobby group Doctors for the Environment Australia or DEA to urge the federal government to fund states and territories to make hospitals more energy-efficient.

Researchers obtained two thousand fourteen and two thousand fourteen financial data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for fifteen sectors of the healthcare industry, including public and private hospitals, dental services and private practice. They used this data in mathematical modelling to determine a carbon dioxide equivalent emissions factor for each sector, and to obtain an overall emissions footprint.
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This represented thirty five thousand seven hundred seventy two kilotonnes of Australia’s four hundred ninety four nine hundred thirty kilotonnes of carbon emissions in two thousand fourteen and two thousand fifteen. The study found hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry were together responsible for two-thirds of the healthcare carbon footprint.

It is the first time the carbon footprint stemming from healthcare has been determined for Australia. Similar analyses conducted overseas found healthcare contributed three percent of total emissions in England and ten percent in the US. The co-author of the study, Doctor Forbes McGain, an anaesthetist and intensive care physician with Western Health in Melbourne, said anaesthetic gases were a significant contributor to hospital carbon emissions. DEA has called on physicians to use general anaesthetic alternatives to gases, such as intravenous drugs.

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