The Health News Australia March 8 2018

  • Health fund Bupa has admitted it went a step too far amid anger over changes to its gap cover scheme and will now wind-back elements of its controversial plan. Bupa had informed doctors that from August insured patients would only qualify for gap cover if they were treated at a Bupa-contracted hospital or day-stay facility, causing the AMA to warn of “US-style managed care” and policyholders threatening to leave. It’s unclear whether this latest news will stem the flow of Bupa members leaving the fund.
  • Researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), University of Melbourne and Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) in The Netherlands have made an important step towards making human kidneys from stem cells that they one day hope can be used to treat kidney disease. The research is part of a regenerative medicine project in which human stem cells are used to develop kidneys with functioning tissue as an alternative for renal replacement. In 2015 , Professor Melissa Little and her team grew kidney tissue from stem cells that can be used in drug screening and disease. Researchers across the globe now use this method.
  • A team of ten women researchers will launch an innovative project to tackle the leading cause of hospitalisation in older Indigenous people following a three million dollars funding injection. The exceptional grant to an all-woman team has kick-started work into the prevention of falls, which the researchers said affects 1 in 3 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people each year, contributing to injuries and deaths.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 8th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.thesenior.com.au/health/bupa-tweaks-controversial-gap-cover-plan-following-public-outcry/

Health fund Bupa has admitted it went a step too far amid anger over changes to its gap cover scheme and will now wind-back elements of its controversial plan. Bupa had informed doctors that from August insured patients would only qualify for gap cover if they were treated at a Bupa-contracted hospital or day-stay facility, causing the Australian Medical Association to warn of “US-style managed care” and policyholders threatening to leave.

The fund’s managing director Dwayne Crombie told Fairfax Media that “thoughtful” feedback, especially from those in regional areas, made him realise the change to the medical gap scheme was “catching the wrong thing” and he decided on Tuesday night to make re-adjustments.
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It’s unclear whether this latest news will stem the flow of Bupa members leaving the fund.
Exclusive figures from comparison website iSelect shows that in the past six days about six thousand four hundred Bupa policyholders have inquired about other funds, up eighty two percent on the same period last year.  iSelect chief executive Scott Wilson said: “Nearly a thousand people have actually made the switch, which is a really surprising number.”

The AMA characterised the original move, as well as Bupa’s decision to restrict cover for some services on basic to standard hospital policies, as “one big leap towards US-style managed care”. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt requested the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman to investigate the fund.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/renal/68/news/nc1/researchers-move-one-step-closer-towards-functioning-kidney-tissue-from-stem-cells/3208/

Researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, University of Melbourne and Leiden University Medical Centre in The Netherlands have made an important step towards making human kidneys from stem cells that they one day hope can be used to treat kidney disease. The research is part of a regenerative medicine project in which human stem cells are used to develop kidneys with functioning tissue as an alternative for renal replacement. In two thousand fifteen, Professor Melissa Little and her team grew kidney tissue from stem cells that can be used in drug screening and disease. Researchers across the globe now use this method.
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In this new research, published in Stem Cell Reports, the Australian and Dutch teams transplanted the stem-cell derived kidney organoid under the protective layer surrounding the kidney of a living mouse. They were able to see blood flow through the filtration units of the human kidney organoid by making this tissue using gene-edited stem cells lines of different colours. This also helped them to discover connections between the blood vessels of the mouse and the human kidney tissue. After four weeks of transplantation, the kidney tubules and blood vessels showed evidence of fully developed adult kidney tissue.
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Chronic kidney disease is rising in incidence by six percent per annum and costs the Australian economy one billion dollars a year. It is estimated by Kidney Health Australia that one in ten Australians will show evidence of chronic kidney disease by two thousand twenty, but only one in four patients will receive a transplant.
http://www.healthcareit.com.au/article/all-women-team-set-improve-indigenous-health-%E2%80%9Chighly-unusual%E2%80%9D-grant-win

A team of ten women researchers will launch an innovative project to tackle the leading cause of hospitalisation in older Indigenous people following a three million dollar funding injection.
The exceptional grant to an all-woman team has kick-started work into the prevention of falls, which the researchers said affect one in three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people each year, contributing to injuries and deaths.

The Ironbark program, developed by researchers at The George Institute for Global Health in partnership with local communities, will use the NHMRC funds to embark on a trial in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia delivering culturally tailored yarning circles and strength and balance classes to around six hundred people aged forty five years and older. The program team, which will partner with organisations in remote settings to deliver the program and use Skype and YouTube to provide training and support to facilitators, is breaking ground.

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The team studied National Health and Medical Research Council program grants from two thousand three to two thousand eighteen and Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grants from two thousand eight to two thousand seventeen and discovered that most of the grants were awarded to men named David.
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The research showed that seventy nine percent of the ARC LIEF and eighty two percent of the NHMRC grant recipients were male. Over eighty per cent of the men awarded NHMRC grants apparently worked in all-male teams.
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According to the NHMRC, women comprise more than half of science PhD graduates and early career researchers, yet only seventeen percent of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes.

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